Finally getting around to posting some stuff...
We never really had a winter, and spring decided to come early this year. Fine by me...just hope our herping doesnt get jacked up like it did last summer with the heat! But anyway, here is a few odds and ends from the last month or so.
March 10 - Mike (mikemike) and I took a trip to north central arkansas. On a whim, we took a few county roads and ended up in a very cavey area. ALL of the caves we visited were on private property...mike wanted to knock off grottos, dark sided and cave sallies- it took a while but we managed all three. No, i didnt get any pics! My camera was having some issue and I couldnt get the flash to work, which is important inside a cave.
Mike gettin ready to enter a cave.
The only cave shot I got...and it was when the camera unexpectedly went off. oh well... who cares about salamanders anyway.
A few weeks later, the weather sure seemed right, so we headed to one of our atrox dens. It was nice to see some familiar faces out basking, after having such a $hitty fall...
This was a new individual we did not recognize. All of the ones we saw that day were around 4ft, but rest easy, we didnt molest/touch/tube any of them.
This was the biggest one of the day...tucked up under what we call 'cap rock'. 9 times out of 10 you'll find SOMETHING up under this rock!
This was another new animal at a different densite on a seperate ridge. I think we finished with 5 atrox that day, 2 of which were new...always exciting to find new animals!
and some of the usual residents popped up in numbers as well...
Mike snagged a large garter foraging in a stream.
On March 18 we took a drive down to the magnolia state for some out of state herping. I met some guy on the internet and he suggested this igloo shaped catfish place south of Jackson.
It did not disappoint!
Here's that guy...terry somethin or other...and the rest of the group...from left to right- Terry, Me, Jeremy, Ben, and Glenn.
Ben spotted this southern copperhead hanging out in a burned log.
Our hearts skipped a collective beat when Jeremy saw a nice black snake coiled on a piece of pine bark basking...it even had some white speckles on the chin...but alas...the infamous RACER. Boooooooo!
By far the coolest find of the trip was this adult gopher tortoise out patrolling about 5 pm...
We've seen them dart into their burrows on other herp trips, but this was the first time we got to see one out in the open. Needless to say, it headed like a heat seeking missile to its burrow...they are suprisingly fast.
Some cajun joint in D'bierville Ms (sp?) Had some outstanding crawfish etouffe.
The next day, we flipped some tin at this awesome site. Sadly, all we found was a speckled king.
We did, however, meet a little hairy friend that wanted to help find whatever we were looking for.
About the time we got cameras out, he decided it was time to attack the snake!
It had had a rough winter, but it was a snake nonetheless.
A couple weeks later, Got to get out in the field with one of my herping mentors, Dr Steve Beaupre from the University of AR. We didnt find much, but it was nice to get out and herp with him again!
Mike and Reagan shootin pics of a worm snake.
Then, I had some visitors from the state of Pennsylvania. Matt and Paula do radio tracking and den assessments in PA. I told them we'd be overrun with big atrox on our slopes...but it was not to be!
Conditions were just about perfect, but we found -0- crotes.
The group- front row: Matt, Paula, Eric
Back row: Mike, Reagan, Jeremy, Me
I did manage to get them out to one of our favorite tin sites and flip a few common things...I think they had a good time, but I promised them better herping next time!
Parting Atrox shot. Can you ever get enough big fat atrox pics? I think not.
Good Herping, be safe.