April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
dwakefield
Posts: 122
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 11:11 am
Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Contact:

April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by dwakefield » May 4th, 2016, 8:36 am

This April has been one of my most successful herping months ever! Granted, I did just move down from Canada, so that could have something to do with it :mrgreen:

The month got off to a great start on April 1 when a buddy and I went to check out a location that was basically new for both of us. We knew it was going to be great because as soon as we started on the dirt road, we saw this after driving for about 20 seconds...

ImageYellow Rat Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

And then this about 10 minutes later...

ImageYellow Rat Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

The remainder of the afternoon yielded only a few Peninsula Ribbon Snakes and Southern Black Racers on the dirt road, but the habitat was amazing and variable down the entire length of the road. Here are a few photos:

ImageHerping spot by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageHerping spot by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageHerping spot by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageHerping spot by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

We decided to hit the paved road when the sun started sinking, but we definitely wanted to do that dirt road again at a later date.

The sun had really baked the road that afternoon, and it was really warm. We cruised for about 20-30 minutes as the sun went down with no success (we were hoping to get a Pygmy Rattlesnake in the late evening sun). But as soon as the darkness crept up on us, the snakes started coming out. We had already gotten a couple of snakes (including a really nice Everglades Rat Snake) and were excited about what we might see next when my buddy and I both saw the next one on the road and he yelled out, "Mud Snake!" What a great moment, especially since this was my lifer. Here are some photos of it and some of the other snakes cruised that night.

ImageEastern Mud Snake, Hendry County by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageCorn Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageYellow Rat Snake, juvenile by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageEverglades Rat Snake, Hendry County by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageEverglades Rat Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

We also found Banded Waters, Florida Green Waters, Brown Waters, Peninsula Ribbons, Eastern Garters, Southern Ringnecks, and a DOR Florida Scarlet Snake.

The next week, a quick trip to Miami-Dade county was very slow and yielded only this nice Florida Cottonmouth.

ImageFlorida Cottonmouth by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

A week or so later, my buddy and I were planning to head to a location north of Lake Okeechobee, but the weather turned bad there so we decided to go to our new location that we had done on April 1st. We drove down the dirt road starting at around 5:30 pm and explored one of the side roads on the first pass. Then we headed back to the main dirt road and started pass number two. Not 2 minutes later, I slammed on the brakes because I saw this in the road.........success!

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

Not only was I thrilled to see a Diamondback in this location, but this was also my first EDB outside of Miami-Dade County.

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

After taking a bunch of pictures, we watched it crawl back into the hardwood hammock and we continued on, elated by our success. We continued driving up the dirt road towards the entrance and were so busy talking that we nearly missed this sticking out of the prairie.....

Another one!!!
ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

What a treat. This one wasn't quite as long as the first, but it was bigger and definitely the prettiest of the two.

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

It also had much more of an attitude....

ImageMan of Steel by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageStrike zone by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

Pardon the abundance of pictures........this was such a beautiful snake!

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageEastern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

We did one more pass on the dirt road without finding anything and then hit the pavement again. Things weren't moving as much this time, but we did get three Florida Cottonmouths and a pretty Corn Snake.

ImageCorn Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

And then this on the way home to cap off the night!

ImageAmerican Alligator by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

A couple more trips to that location during the month weren't quite as successful as the first two trips, but still pretty good. Here are a few photos from those trips.

ImageCorn Snake, Hendry County by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageEastern Mud Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageFlorida Cottonmouth by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageYellow Rat Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

On the way home from one of those trips, I spotted something in the road that looked Pantherophis-shaped, but the color looked wrong. I stopped and ran back to see what it was only to discover this beauty!

ImageAnery Corn Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

Another trip out there, I was able to find this lifer on the way home and a gorgeous Corn Snake.

ImageBlack Swamp Snake, gravid female by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageCorn Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

Even though it happened on May 2, a trip up above Lake Okeechobee yielded tons of snakes, including my lifer Eastern Coral Snake! We actually cruised it on a dirt road about an hour BEFORE sunset, crossing in full sun. We definitely didn't expect to get one at that time, but none of us complained :)

ImageEastern Coral Snake, Okeechobee County by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

ImageEastern Coral Snake by Daniel Wakefield, on Flickr

Thanks for hanging in there for that really long post!

rtdunham
Posts: 219
Joined: January 11th, 2011, 2:43 pm

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by rtdunham » May 4th, 2016, 11:04 am

Great experience, great snakes, great photos. Thanks for sharing.

User avatar
dwakefield
Posts: 122
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 11:11 am
Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Contact:

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by dwakefield » May 5th, 2016, 12:16 pm

Thank you!

blueboost68
Posts: 7
Joined: January 21st, 2012, 8:11 pm
Location: Grand Bay Alabama

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by blueboost68 » May 5th, 2016, 6:26 pm

One word AWESOME hope I have as much luck on my trip to South Florida.

User avatar
dwakefield
Posts: 122
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 11:11 am
Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Contact:

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by dwakefield » May 7th, 2016, 4:04 pm

blueboost68 wrote:One word AWESOME hope I have as much luck on my trip to South Florida.
Thanks! I hope you do too! :thumb:

blueboost68
Posts: 7
Joined: January 21st, 2012, 8:11 pm
Location: Grand Bay Alabama

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by blueboost68 » May 7th, 2016, 6:08 pm

I will be heading to South Florida in a month my goal is to see a Everglades rat snake. That was a good file herping trip I must say.

User avatar
dwakefield
Posts: 122
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 11:11 am
Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Contact:

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by dwakefield » May 12th, 2016, 6:21 am

Where are you going to be in South Florida?

NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by NACairns » May 12th, 2016, 12:07 pm

Great post and photos, that diversity is enough to make the rest of us Canadians jealous. Look s like a great month. Did that second (!) mud snake evert its hemipenes on its own or was it hit by a car or something? Great work thanks for sharing.
Best,
Nick

User avatar
dwakefield
Posts: 122
Joined: February 18th, 2015, 11:11 am
Location: Deerfield Beach, Florida
Contact:

Re: April Highlights in South Florida (Long!)

Post by dwakefield » May 13th, 2016, 4:38 am

It had been hit by a car and was dying unfortunately :( it was still alive at the time and was the prettiest one I had ever seen so I had to snap a quick photo.

Post Reply