The month of May and so far of June.

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Josh Young
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Location: Wakulla County, Florida
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The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Josh Young » June 21st, 2014, 9:13 am

May was rather slow around my area, and it still is, most nights I don't even see any snakes, and some nights I will only see a gray rat or moccasin while cruising. For anything more than one or two snakes I have to go 30 mintues south of me into Jefferson county, FL. That area has been steady for me and I have had some pretty good nights over there.

The area I frequent is a spillway, running off from a lake, and it is quite reliable for swamp snakes and mud snakes, having already had a 5 mud snake night one, and having multiple mud snake nights on several occasions. There is also of course Nerodia to be found, as well as the largest examples of Siren and Amphiuma I have ever seen.

At the beginning of May I had went to just pass time at the area, and ended up getting 3 mud snakes in the same rockpile all within 5 minutes.
Image

I roadcruised this loggerhead musk turtle on a back road into town where I lived the next day, in the middle of the day at that.
ImageLoggerhead musk turtle by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Went back the next night to see if I could reproduce the mud snakes and that flopped. I did manage to get my second Slender dwarf siren, as well as my lifer central newt, both which were just sitting next to the boat ramp.
ImageSlender dwarf siren by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageCentral newt by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

I then went back a couple of nights later, again looking for mud snakes. And struck out again. So I made my way back to my truck, and decided to take a leak before having to drive back the 30 minutes it took to get home. So while I am doing that, I start shining up a large cypress tree that I parked next to. About 40 feet up, I notice a tricolor snake making its way up the tree. Grabbed my camera and took a photo to get a better look, and it turned out to be a scarlet kingsnake. It was my first time finding one not roadcruising.
ImageScarlet kingsnake by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageScarlet kingsnake by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

I cruised this pretty little red-bellied snake not far from my place.
ImageRed-bellied snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Then cruised up this moccasin while trying for diamondacks.
ImageWater moccasin. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Towards the end of the month, I made another trip over to the ANF, because I love the area and was hoping to see something different from what I have been seeing around here.

I love rough greens, and even though I've seen my fair share of them, I never get tired of seeing them.
ImageRough green snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageRough green snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Also found this corn snake close to sunset.
ImageCorn snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Then as the sun was setting, I got this little pygmy rattlesnake.
ImageDusky pygmy rattlesnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

I also got my lifer eastern slender glass lizard.
ImageSlender glass lizard. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Later that night I cruised up 2 mud snakes. Only got a good shot of the first one though.
ImageMud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

The next morning I set off looking for a pine snake. Instead, found this large corn that was around 50 inches stretched across the road at around 7:30 am. Didn't see much after that so I ended up heading home.
ImageCorn snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageCorn snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageCorn snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr


Once again I set off for the spillway, and saw 2 muds, only 1 of which I was able to grab for photos.
ImageEastern mud snake In-situ. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageEastern mud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Walked away from the spillway a bit to see if I could find any muds trying to cross the road, and I noticed this water moccasin a few feet from the road.
ImageWater moccasin. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Also helped this banded water across so he didn't end up as road jerky.
ImageBanded water snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Walked back to the bridge, and noticed this corn snake using the bridge as a means to get across the water flowing beneath.
ImageCorn snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Came back a few days later during the day, and flipped this juvie moccasin under a pile of palm fronds.
ImageWater moccasin. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

On the way back home, I cruised up this gray rat snake.
ImageGray rat snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Couple days later I once again went back to the spillway area. Managed to see this 5 foot mud snake in the rocks. My flash died however, and this is the best photo I got of it before it disappeared and before I could remove my flash to use the onboard flash.
ImageEastern mud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Greater sirens are very common here, here's a large one.
ImageGreater siren. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Amphiumas are quite common too. This one was most likely fleeing from that mud snake, as that was the area the mud snake disappeared into.
ImageTwo-toed amphiuma. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Also managed to see this North Florida swamp snake.
ImageNorth Florida swamp snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

More amphiumas.
ImageTwo-toed amphiumas. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

2 days later I went back again, because cruising around my general area has really just been an absolute bust and a complete waste of gas.

This time I got to see 3 separate mud snakes.
Mud #1
ImageEastern mud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Mud #2. This one was an adult, and disappeared quickly.
ImageEastern mud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Mud #3.
ImageEastern mud snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Also saw a banded water, green water, and another swamp snake.
ImageBanded water snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageGreen watersnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageNorth Florida swamp snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

And that's been it so far. Sorry for the longwinded post again. Hope y'all enjoyed it.

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Noah M
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Noah M » June 21st, 2014, 10:18 am

Lots of mud. They're neat animals.

Nice assortment of other stuff in there too. I bet if you keep going back I bet you'll end up finding a mud eating something. When you do, I want to see the pictures. :)

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Nshepard
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Nshepard » June 21st, 2014, 1:58 pm

Damn, cool post. Would enjoy seeing a Mud in habitat, neat stuff.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Josh Holbrook » June 21st, 2014, 3:58 pm

Looks like you found a mudsnake honey hole!

Carl D. May
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Carl D. May » June 21st, 2014, 4:12 pm

What an absolutely unique post! Never even heard of finding so many mud snakes in such man made habitat.
The scarlet king photo is great and reminds me of so many I found at night in the Ft. Lauderdale area way up in Australian pine trees.
But for me, the big question here is...what about rainbow snakes at that spillway?

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » June 22nd, 2014, 6:24 am

Great! I love long posts!

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PrimitiveTim
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by PrimitiveTim » June 22nd, 2014, 9:27 am

You have inspired me to go shining! Thanks for sharing the cool animals and how you found them. That's always helpful.

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soulsurvivor
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by soulsurvivor » June 22nd, 2014, 11:41 am

That SK up-a-tree photo is pretty sweet, but.......where's all the ANF rainbow snake photos?

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Rich in Reptiles » June 22nd, 2014, 12:19 pm

Awesome post!! Thanks for sharing!

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Greg Theos
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Greg Theos » June 22nd, 2014, 4:55 pm

The SK pic in the tree is double ultra badass. I knew they were skillful climbers but have never heard of one being observed so high up.

EvanKY
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by EvanKY » June 23rd, 2014, 7:45 am

Josh,

I have exactly the same thoughts as you about road cruising in my area so far. I've struck out and feel like I'm wasting gas. I'm also frustrated because we had lots of snow this winter and a cooler, wetter than normal spring. So I thought I would be doing better by now. Your post is awesome, especially the variety and the apparent great spot you have found for some cool animals. It's renewed my resolve for going out and finding stuff. Thanks for that and for the cool narrative.

Evan

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BillMcGighan
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by BillMcGighan » June 23rd, 2014, 9:56 am

Great collections of muds and their chow.

JH
Looks like you found a mudsnake honey hole!
For sure.
I guess my question, Josh (Young), is, do you think this is consistent, or is it dependent on recent water levels?

Either way it looks like a great spot to sit with a movie camera, and get some footage of a mud capturing and eating a snot snake!

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: The month of May and so far of June.

Post by Berkeley Boone » June 23rd, 2014, 10:22 am

Holy cannoli Batman! Wow, that was quite the selection. I enjoyed that arboreal scarlet king too.
BillMcGighan wrote:Either way it looks like a great spot to sit with a movie camera, and get some footage of a mud capturing and eating a snot snake!
Agreed! And yeah, that is a PILE o' mud snakes. Sweet!
--Berkeley

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