Search found 517 matches

by mtratcliffe
May 7th, 2015, 5:31 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The past few weeks
Replies: 8
Views: 2941

Re: The past few weeks

Those are some great pics! I'm glad that your camera and new lens are working out for you. I love the Scarlet Kingsnake climbing the tree.
by mtratcliffe
May 7th, 2015, 10:40 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap
Replies: 9
Views: 2578

Re: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap

That map of the aquifer is interesting, as is the one showing the effects the rising/falling seas had on Florida thousands of years ago. Thanks to the aquifer, we are able to enjoy the beauty of Florida's many natural springs. Interestingly enough, the Hillsborough and Alafia Rivers both have a spri...
by mtratcliffe
May 5th, 2015, 8:30 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap
Replies: 9
Views: 2578

Re: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap

The first thought that comes to mind with me is the possibility that early Floridians introduced the Suwanee cooters to the Alafia River as a food source. It is known--or at least highly suspected-- that the South American red-footed tortoise, Chelonoidis carbonaria reached some of islands of the C...
by mtratcliffe
May 4th, 2015, 4:19 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap
Replies: 9
Views: 2578

The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap

There is a gap in the range of the Suwannee Cooter that has puzzled me ever since I heard a local herpetologist, George Heinrich, give a presentation on them last fall. He recently published a manuscript about the Suwannee Cooter in the Journal of North American Herpetology. You can read it here (it...
by mtratcliffe
May 3rd, 2015, 4:42 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: First 1/3 of 2015
Replies: 11
Views: 3465

Re: First 1/3 of 2015

Good finds and great shots! Not sure what sorcery you employed to get the two Chorus Frogs to pose together like that. Those are some striking frogs!
by mtratcliffe
May 3rd, 2015, 3:46 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Fire Snakes
Replies: 6
Views: 1912

Re: Fire Snakes

That's awesome, even if you didn't find as much as you had hoped. Glad to see they had several fires going - was this in Ocala NF?
by mtratcliffe
May 2nd, 2015, 1:57 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Re: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

Thanks! That's interesting - this snake was much more inland than the other. The geography in that area is a bit odd. You've got a mix of pinewoods and hardwoods, some wide open fields, and then ditches that bisect them, many of which are tidally influenced. Just east of there the ditches are mostly...
by mtratcliffe
May 2nd, 2015, 11:51 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Re: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

Hey everyone, I found another DOR Nerodia about a quarter of a mile down the road from the first snake I shared. This spot was more inland (mixed pine/hardwoods), but still not very far from mangroves or tidally influenced ditches. I believe this is a Florida Green Watersnake, and if so, it's the fi...
by mtratcliffe
May 1st, 2015, 4:10 pm
Forum: FHF Image Lab
Topic: Flowers
Replies: 1
Views: 2196

Re: Flowers

Lantanas...so that's what they are called. I've seen them in a few spots, and find them very interesting. Thanks for sharing your photos!
by mtratcliffe
April 28th, 2015, 3:57 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Re: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions

Thanks for the replies and PMs. I'm starting to narrow down our agenda for Day 2. Has anyone walked Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk? It's in Fakahatchee Strand.
by mtratcliffe
April 26th, 2015, 6:23 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*

Hey everyone, I'll be taking the wife and kid with me in mid-May down Big Cypress and the Everglades for an extended weekend. While it's later in the year than I would prefer to go, I want to get out of town for a few days before a very busy month of work during June arrives. Plus, doing anything ou...
by mtratcliffe
April 22nd, 2015, 5:26 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2015 so far (Costa Rica, Tennessee, Georgia) lots of photos.
Replies: 6
Views: 3005

Re: 2015 so far (Costa Rica, Tennessee, Georgia) lots of pho

Woah, you've had quite the year so far! Congrats on all the lifers and thanks for sharing - those are some great finds.
by mtratcliffe
April 16th, 2015, 6:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: video of a rattlesnake encountering a rival
Replies: 8
Views: 3450

Re: video of a rattlesnake encountering a rival

That's an awesome find - thanks for sharing! Not too many people get to see something like that, and now I know how fast Rattlesnakes can move!
by mtratcliffe
April 16th, 2015, 1:59 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: you might be done herping for the day...
Replies: 15
Views: 3812

Re: you might be done herping for the day...

When you've spent more time swatting at mosquitoes than observing herps...you might be done herping for the day.

When you start to lose count of how many times you've driven up and down a particular stretch of road this session...you might be done herping for the day.
by mtratcliffe
April 14th, 2015, 6:41 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: A Productive Day with My Son
Replies: 9
Views: 2547

Re: A Productive Day with My Son

Good script and pics = a very nice post. The racer is a really good opportunity! The best to me (and my wife) is the My son entertained himself with this leaf and pinecone for a good ten minutes moment. Development at that age is so important for later on. Everything is new and must be studied by a...
by mtratcliffe
April 14th, 2015, 1:16 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida Keys
Replies: 6
Views: 2224

Re: Florida Keys

I've seen a Giant Day Gecko at Curry Hammock SP. Doesn't necessarily mean that you will, but they are there.
by mtratcliffe
April 13th, 2015, 6:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Short Trips
Replies: 6
Views: 2721

Re: Short Trips

I like the Green Tree Frogs coming out of the post at night - makes you wonder where frogs might be hiding during the day that we aren't aware of. There's a park near me that has a sign with a swinging door on it. More often than not, there's at least one Squirrel Treefrog hiding in the areas behind...
by mtratcliffe
April 13th, 2015, 5:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: A Productive Day with My Son
Replies: 9
Views: 2547

A Productive Day with My Son

Lately on Sundays, I've been taking my kid (almost 14 months old) out with me in the afternoon to give my wife a few hours of peace and quiet so that she can get some stuff done around the house. Yesterday, I decided to check out a park I hadn't yet been to, and I ended up having quite the productiv...
by mtratcliffe
April 12th, 2015, 6:06 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: MAN INJURED WHILE SAVING A SNAPPING TURTLE!
Replies: 21
Views: 6424

Re: MAN INJURED WHILE SAVING A SNAPPING TURTLE!

I've only moved a snapper off the road once, and I wish I knew to grab it further back than halfway when lifting it. Thankfully I wasn't harmed and I don't think the turtle was either. Sure did come close to losing a finger, though. For larger turtles, you may want to consider dragging them backward...
by mtratcliffe
April 12th, 2015, 6:00 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Re: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

Josh Holbrook wrote:Could be, I'd check the ditches for clarkii though, they will often colonize freshwater ditches/retention ponds. Easier habitat to search than the mangroves.
I'll have to snoop around out there more often. Are they more active at night?
by mtratcliffe
April 8th, 2015, 3:43 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Re: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

There are several, and one is very close to this spot. Also lots of ditches that drain to the back inlets. These ditches are filled with both fresh and brackish water, depending on the rains and tides. Think they might be hybridizing with N. f. pictiventris?
by mtratcliffe
April 7th, 2015, 4:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Re: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

Thanks for the ID help, everyone! This is a highly variable species when it comes to appearances and it may take me a while to develop an eye for them. There's a ton of mangrove habitat beyond where this snake was found, and it bums me out that I'm unable to kayak back into there due to restrictions...
by mtratcliffe
April 7th, 2015, 4:08 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Water Moccasins Ahead!
Replies: 19
Views: 5146

Re: Water Moccasins Ahead!

Side note: I'm pretty sure your smaller cooter is a male chasing a large female. I was wondering if that was what was going on. Mike - thanks for the ID. Based on the above, I assumed they were likely the same species. I've noticed that Florida Red-bellied Cooters do tend to have less striping on t...
by mtratcliffe
April 7th, 2015, 2:05 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)
Replies: 14
Views: 3707

Snake ID Request (Warning: Messy DOR)

Good morning! I did some road cruising around base last night after a short rain shower. This was the second night in a row it had rained here in Tampa. I found a DOR snake that I am not quite able to identify and could use some help with. But first, let me prepare you all with some pictures of very...
by mtratcliffe
April 6th, 2015, 4:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Water Moccasins Ahead!
Replies: 19
Views: 5146

Re: Water Moccasins Ahead!

BillMcGighan wrote:Many "Florida Crackers" believed red headed, male skinks were "scorpions" and were "poisonous".
I've read this before about skinks - it never made sense to me. Was it something to do with the orange heads on males?
by mtratcliffe
April 6th, 2015, 4:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herp Societies
Replies: 8
Views: 1868

Re: Herp Societies

I am disappointed that captive care/breeding seems to be the focus for most Herp societies. I believe our very own Josh Holbrook was involved in the South FL Herp Society, and that group was field herping-focused. We also have a few chapter members living down that way, if I'm not mistaken.
by mtratcliffe
April 5th, 2015, 6:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herp Societies
Replies: 8
Views: 1868

Herp Societies

This is a topic I've wanted to bring up for a while... Is anyone a participant in a regional Herpetological Society? I was curious to see how many of us are connected to one and how positive the experience has been. Here in Tampa, there is the Suncoast Herpetological Society. I've only had the time ...
by mtratcliffe
April 5th, 2015, 1:29 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Water Moccasins Ahead!
Replies: 19
Views: 5146

Re: Water Moccasins Ahead!

I agree Beth. I have found that even highly educated, smart, well read, clever, respectable people who are extremely knowledgeable in all sorts of things in life can be dumber than a bag of hammers when it comes animal identification. And movie preferences! Another common ID mistake I hear a lot in...
by mtratcliffe
April 1st, 2015, 5:25 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: ID Help? I think it's a slider...
Replies: 10
Views: 2850

Re: ID Help? I think it's a slider...

Now that's something you don't see every day! Congrats on the find - that thing is a beast!
by mtratcliffe
March 30th, 2015, 4:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Water Moccasins Ahead!
Replies: 19
Views: 5146

Water Moccasins Ahead!

"Oh yeah, I see Water Moccasins here all the time. In fact, there are three of them further down the boardwalk here. Look on your left in the vegetation. Definitely Water Moccasins. I have some in the pond near my house - found one in my yard the other day and I killed it!" "I remember that, daddy! ...
by mtratcliffe
March 29th, 2015, 6:09 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Heading to southern Florida for Memorial day
Replies: 7
Views: 2117

Re: Heading to southern Florida for Memorial day

Sounds like a great trip! How far are you willing to drive? I honestly don't make it down to South Florida that often, but you do have the Everglades and Big Cypress available to you. Between those two, you could easily fill up four days. If you want to kayak, check out the Loxahatchee River - it's ...
by mtratcliffe
March 27th, 2015, 1:11 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Man dies on the trail - be careful out there
Replies: 11
Views: 4614

Re: Man dies on the trail - be careful out there

That is a haunting story. Good advice to keep in mind - our lives are worth more than any shot. This also applies to other thrill-seeking activities that are inherently more dangerous than herping.
by mtratcliffe
March 25th, 2015, 4:22 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Your most significant find in 2015
Replies: 51
Views: 17199

Re: Your most significant find in 2015

Lifer Florida Cottonmouth found in Hernando County, FL on a spring-fed river while kayaking. I saw a snake swimming, noticed the head raised out of the water, and immediately knew what it was. Turned my kayak around and began to paddle against the current, paralleling the snake to get some photos. W...
by mtratcliffe
March 24th, 2015, 5:44 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Dream find, GABOON!
Replies: 18
Views: 7656

Re: Dream find, GABOON!

Awesome find, and congrats! I feel like I would never see that snake laying there in the leaf litter like that.
by mtratcliffe
March 24th, 2015, 2:33 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

Great line up of "in situ". The first shot of the cottonmouth swimming is a still of a herp in action. It shows how high out of the water the swim when traveling. Very, very good. :?: question: Was the crayfish in a slurpgun, or just took up residence in a narrow bottle? or neither? Thanks Bill. Th...
by mtratcliffe
March 23rd, 2015, 6:48 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Georgia Winter 2015
Replies: 7
Views: 3335

Re: Georgia Winter 2015

Awesome finds, Noah! Thanks for sharing - seems like you had a very productive winter.
by mtratcliffe
March 23rd, 2015, 6:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

This past Saturday, I took my sister, who was visiting from Oregon, kayaking down the Weeki Wachee in hopes of finding a manatee for her. Unfortunately, temps have been steadily in the 80s lately, and most manatees have moved back out into the Gulf, as the water there is already in the mid-to-upper ...
by mtratcliffe
March 22nd, 2015, 5:05 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: More Frogs on my Trunk
Replies: 1
Views: 750

Re: More Frogs on my Trunk

Is your hood good at not reflecting the flash back at the camera? I find some roads harder to photograph on at night than others because of that. Good finds and photos! I hope to find Barkers and Pinewoods out this year.
by mtratcliffe
March 17th, 2015, 1:01 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

Great shots! Nothing says early spring (to me) like logs loaded with turtles warming up for the season ahead. The turtle in question that you asked about may be an inter-grade/hybrid or whatever with a peninsula cooter. That part of the state is sort of the blurred area of their respective ranges. ...
by mtratcliffe
March 16th, 2015, 8:27 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

BethH wrote:I love the picture of the turtle UP in the tree. Some folks just gotta have a view!
That one was a good four to five feet above the water and was among the largest turtles we saw. I can't recall seeing one that high up before.
by mtratcliffe
March 15th, 2015, 8:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Skipping Spring
Replies: 5
Views: 1239

Re: Skipping Spring

Awesome find! It really has warmed up here in FL, especially over the past week. It was only a week or so after when temps dipped down to near freezing here that I heard Southern Toads, Spadefoot Toads, Oak Toads, and Squirrel Treefrogs breeding.
by mtratcliffe
March 15th, 2015, 8:36 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

You don't know what a shot in the arm this post is to us back further in winter. :thumb: :thumb: If you haven't already, I might also suggest hitting Alexander Springs, Juniper Springs, Ichetucknee Springs as spring runs that have fewer reminders of civilization. I hope to visit more springs during...
by mtratcliffe
March 15th, 2015, 6:34 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

At the suggestion of Noah, I've decided to start a new thread for my kayaking adventures since the last one was filling up with photos. For my first post in this new thread, I'll be sharing photos mostly from a short paddle on the Rainbow River on March 7, 2015. I launched less than a mile downstrea...
by mtratcliffe
March 14th, 2015, 3:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Forest
Replies: 64
Views: 16247

Re: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Fore

Regarding the success with the indigo hunts, we're subject to what the weather delivers and the vagaries of animal activity. On 28 Feb we found one indigo and under less than ideal conditions. We were back on the following weekend, 7 March and the weather appeared ideal, sunny and in the 70s. The o...
by mtratcliffe
March 13th, 2015, 4:10 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: January in Peru (lots of pics)
Replies: 17
Views: 8418

Re: January in Peru (lots of pics)

Excellent photos! I'm glad you had a great trip to Peru - thanks for sharing.
by mtratcliffe
March 12th, 2015, 4:45 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: SSS - Snake Season Started
Replies: 19
Views: 3942

Re: SSS - Snake Season Started

Great start to the season! Did you set up your own drift fence?
by mtratcliffe
March 9th, 2015, 4:08 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Forest
Replies: 64
Views: 16247

Re: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Fore

Jake has a good reputation here and I know he wouldn't be careless to leave destruction like that. It's a shame that it happened, but hopefully it wasn't anyone from the Indigo search party.
by mtratcliffe
March 5th, 2015, 2:12 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Forest
Replies: 64
Views: 16247

Re: 2015 Eastern Indigo Snake Search - Conecuh Naitonal Fore

Nice Indigo! I'm glad you all were able to find one. And I'm also amazed at how calm that Racer appears to be.

It's a shame about the logs and the dead newt and anole. Were the log flippers from this group?
by mtratcliffe
March 4th, 2015, 5:00 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: South Africa Herping
Replies: 4
Views: 3090

Re: South Africa Herping

Awesome finds - thanks for sharing! I always enjoy seeing posts from Africa.