Spring 2015

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Adam Cooner
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Joined: July 8th, 2010, 2:50 pm
Location: Calera, AL

Spring 2015

Post by Adam Cooner » May 19th, 2015, 11:16 am

I figured I'd share my finds thus far this spring before my Smokies trip this weekend (which I hope is successful enough to warrant its own post).

First, what's a "spring post" without the harbinger of spring itself?

ImageSpring Peeper by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

Near the end of a short visit to the Oakmulgee District of the Talladega National Forest, I walked up on this little canebrake coiled near a rotting log. This was the first of two I've seen this year. The second was in considerably worse shape (DOR) and is not pictured here.

ImageCanebrake Rattlesnake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

ImageCanebrake Rattlesnake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

ImageCanebrake Rattlesnake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

Robb (Ectohunter) was kind enough to show me around the Georgia Sandhills in late April. The weather took an adversarial position (torrential downpours, lightning, cool morning temps, etc), but we still had some success.

After riding out a big rainstorm in our tents, we set out for some late morning flipping as the clouds began to part. At our first stop, I flipped my lifer coachwhip. This was one of those snakes that I've just rarely been in the right places to find, so I was excited to get it off my list.

ImageEastern Coachwhip by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

ImageEastern Coachwhip by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

We also flipped a couple of these guys.

ImageSoutheastern Five-lined Skink by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

The next morning, we hiked some nice upland habitat, and Robb turned up this little scarlet snake.

ImageNorthern Scarlet Snake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Scarlet Snake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

I found an oak toad on the move.

ImageOak Toad by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

In passing, I had mentioned my desire to get better photographs of a queen snake. I had seen one basking on some rocks a couple of years ago and had a poorly-focused shot from afar as my only proof. Robb directed us to a creek on our way back, and I spotted one resting on a snag hanging over the opposite bank. I yanked off my boots and stood ready to wade through the rain-swollen creek, keeping my eyes on the snake as Robb hurried over a bridge to sneak up behind her. Robb grabbed the queen, saving me from a soggy car ride, and I finally got some good photos.

ImageQueen Snake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

ImageQueen Snake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

Spring rains tend to bring worm snakes at my parents' home, and this year has been no exception.

ImageEastern Worm Snake by Adam Cooner, on Flickr

That's all for now. Thanks for looking! I hope to be back with some salamander photos from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surroundings.

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soulsurvivor
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by soulsurvivor » May 19th, 2015, 3:17 pm

Nice pics, Adam. Love those brakers!

~Bree

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InfantryVeteran
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by InfantryVeteran » May 19th, 2015, 5:04 pm

That's a gorgeous cane!! Super vibrant!!

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by mtratcliffe » May 20th, 2015, 1:59 am

That's a big Queen Snake you've got there! I also like the patterning on the Coachwhip's head. About how long was that snake?

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » May 20th, 2015, 3:18 am

Beautiful images, all. The queen snake looks regal.

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JakeScott
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by JakeScott » May 20th, 2015, 5:28 am

Getting sopping wet and riding home in a car is half the fun (I'm not sure I have that fraction correct).

When I lived in Maine I could not WAIT for the peepers to call. Not just because they are cool little hylid, but because spring has finally burst winter's bubble...or at least started to.

Some really good photos in this post.

-Jake

simus343
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by simus343 » May 20th, 2015, 6:14 am

Amazing little canebrake and cute little coachwhip. I'm still trying to look everywhere for a scarlet snake, those are some elusive little critters!

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Rich in Reptiles » May 20th, 2015, 12:55 pm

Man, that canebreak is just gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! Excellent finds, Adam!

Ecto Hunter
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Ecto Hunter » May 20th, 2015, 2:52 pm

:beer:

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Adam Cooner
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Adam Cooner » May 21st, 2015, 6:23 am

Thanks, everyone!
mtratcliffe wrote:That's a big Queen Snake you've got there! I also like the patterning on the Coachwhip's head. About how long was that snake?
That's a juvenile coachwhip. Maybe 16-18 inches long? We also found a good-sized adult, but it was in shed.

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Noah M
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Noah M » May 21st, 2015, 4:19 pm

I love the pics. Do you think the queen was gravid? News about this royalty is far more interesting than that family across the pond.

Barry R
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by Barry R » May 22nd, 2015, 10:35 am

good stuff Adam!

HerpMan ATL
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Re: Spring 2015

Post by HerpMan ATL » May 24th, 2015, 4:20 am

Awesome post. Love the little Canebrake, Scarlet, and the Queen. I still don't have a decent photo of a Queen Snake.

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