Search found 517 matches

by mtratcliffe
August 26th, 2014, 6:25 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Albuquerque Trip Report (Crosspost from Rocky Mtn Subforum)
Replies: 9
Views: 5106

Albuquerque Trip Report (Crosspost from Rocky Mtn Subforum)

I posted this on the Rocky Mountain Chapter subforum but also wanted to share it here. It was the most productive trip I've ever had for herping! -------- I am happy to say that I had a very productive trip to Albuquerque this month! While I was out there for work, I found plenty of time to squeeze ...
by mtratcliffe
August 26th, 2014, 3:13 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Trip Report: August in Albuquerque
Replies: 6
Views: 2036

Trip Report: August in Albuquerque

Hey everyone, Some of you may recall my request for information post about two months ago. I am happy to say that I had a very productive trip to Albuquerque this month! While I was out there for work, I found plenty of time to squeeze in some herping. I encountered 23 live species (24 counting DORs...
by mtratcliffe
August 23rd, 2014, 6:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Birds of southwest florida
Replies: 18
Views: 3741

Re: Birds of southwest florida

#10 looks like a Common Moorhen, not a Purple Gallinule. They are closely related, I believe.
by mtratcliffe
August 23rd, 2014, 5:57 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Love affair with the Pines
Replies: 6
Views: 2519

Re: Love affair with the Pines

Great shots! I need to make it back to the Pine Barrens one day.
by mtratcliffe
August 8th, 2014, 3:42 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Nicaragua - July/Aug 2014
Replies: 2
Views: 1277

Nicaragua - July/Aug 2014

Hey everyone! I recently returned from a trip to Nicaragua. The purpose of the trip was to build a house out of cement blocks in a rural, impoverished village. However, I looked for herps whenever I could, but Nicaragua is experiencing a drought right now, even though it's supposed to be the rainy s...
by mtratcliffe
August 7th, 2014, 8:23 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Turtle id
Replies: 7
Views: 1695

Re: Turtle id

Doesn't that turtle know it's supposed to have a red plastron? Sheesh.
by mtratcliffe
July 25th, 2014, 3:19 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?
Replies: 12
Views: 2541

Re: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?

Those burrowing toads sound like alarms going off! Crazy.

Also, that gopher frog audio may be one of the single greatest frog recordings I've ever heard.
by mtratcliffe
July 25th, 2014, 12:55 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2014 YOY Theme - Show us those kids for this year
Replies: 40
Views: 10599

Re: 2014 YOY Theme - Show us those kids for this year

Here's mine: Tropical House Gecko http://i.imgur.com/VuBocPh.jpg Young Florida Leopard Frog that was living under a downspout splashguard at my house until heavy rains rolled through last week. I hope my amphibian ally is doing well! It could be a yearling, but I really don't know. http://i.imgur.co...
by mtratcliffe
July 25th, 2014, 8:43 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?
Replies: 12
Views: 2541

Re: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?

My vote goes for spadefoots. Especially Scaphiopus couchii mixed with Spea multiplicita and/or Spea bombifrons. Throw in a few Anaxyrus cognatus just for good measure. A concert like that on a dark desert night with the smell of wet creosote bushes in the air and all is right with the world! Funny ...
by mtratcliffe
July 24th, 2014, 2:40 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?
Replies: 12
Views: 2541

Re: What's Your Favorate Anuran Chorus?

That's a really hard call to make. Individually, the call of a Southern Leopard Frog (L. sphenocephalus) is one of my favorites, due to the variability in call for each individual. Plus, I love the chuckling sound. As far as a chorus, I'm partial to that of the Eastern American Toad (A. a. americanu...
by mtratcliffe
July 22nd, 2014, 4:41 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pure Michigan
Replies: 9
Views: 3772

Re: Pure Michigan

Awesome finds and great pics! Did you find any Blanding's turtles? I regret not getting a photo voucher of the only one I'll probably ever see for a long time.
by mtratcliffe
July 21st, 2014, 2:02 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks
Replies: 16
Views: 7578

Re: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks

All of the Sceloporus records for Bernalillo County are for S. cowlesi, or Southwestern fence lizard. However, the guide book does not list this species, but does list S. undulatus (Eastern fence/Prairie lizard). Does S. cowlesi replace S. undulatus in New Mexico? What makes it really puzzling is t...
by mtratcliffe
July 20th, 2014, 5:12 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks
Replies: 16
Views: 7578

Re: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks

I have the Delorme atlas. It seems really good. Give Josh a shout. He knows that area. I mean he lives there but he also really, really knows it. I'm jealous. I wish I could make it down this year. Last year I cruised a hooknose snake which I really wanted to see. It even did the cloacal popping fo...
by mtratcliffe
July 19th, 2014, 12:56 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gopher Frog!
Replies: 5
Views: 919

Re: Gopher Frog!

Nice finds! Are gopher frogs typically found wherever gopher tortoises are, or do they require a few more habitat specifics?
by mtratcliffe
July 15th, 2014, 2:10 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gilchrist County, FL
Replies: 13
Views: 3105

Re: Gilchrist County, FL

Just a friendly warning for Gilchrist County: If you see a watermelon field containing a row of porta-potties, don't go in it, herping. FWC has been using this field to raise baby Florida panthers - very environmentally sensitive and dangerous. The sign is almost too small to see but it identifies ...
by mtratcliffe
July 11th, 2014, 2:27 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks
Replies: 16
Views: 7578

Re: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks

Thanks for the great information so far, everyone! Bryan - thanks to you, I've got that book on order already. Found a fairly cheap used copy on Amazon. Do you have any specific recommendations for a gazetteer? I'm sure one will come in handy when I get to remote areas with little to no cell phone c...
by mtratcliffe
July 10th, 2014, 2:28 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks
Replies: 16
Views: 7578

RFI: Visiting Albuquerque For Three Weeks

Greetings All, My name is Matt, and I'm a current resident of FL and a member of the NAFHA Southeast Chapter. I will be in Albuquerque, NM for work from approximately August 4th through the 22nd. I have never herped in a desert before, so I'm very interested in seeing new species and learning the ro...
by mtratcliffe
July 7th, 2014, 4:32 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Report timber sightings to a reptile distributor? ....huh?
Replies: 6
Views: 2091

Re: Report timber sightings to a reptile distributor? ....hu

Looks more like curiosity and concern to me than a collection threat. Also, that page seems to be from 2005, which was quite some time ago, scarily enough.
by mtratcliffe
July 7th, 2014, 4:30 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Southeast Chapter Member Biographies (2014 update)
Replies: 31
Views: 14737

Re: Southeast Chapter Member Biographies (2014 update)

Welcome to the forums! Glad to hear that you rediscovered your passion for herping. I see that you like crocodilians - I'm assuming gators are on that list. I've found that kayaking FL's rivers is an excellent way to see gators that you otherwise would never find. I'm itching to get back on the wate...
by mtratcliffe
July 6th, 2014, 6:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping Across TN
Replies: 10
Views: 2587

Re: Herping Across TN

Great photos and congrats on the lifers! I hope to make it to the Smokey Mts one day - haven't been there since I was a kid. I am dreadfully short-handed on salamander encounters.
by mtratcliffe
July 6th, 2014, 5:46 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Squirrel Tree Frog Artwork
Replies: 6
Views: 1464

Re: Squirrel Tree Frog Artwork

Yeah, that is really awesome. Was it just moving about, or chasing down prey? I guess you could call them frog 'tracks'. It is really neat looking. Thanks for sharing here - I don't Facebook. I only saw it move once or twice - it basically did a sidestep/shimmy across the window. I think it was jus...
by mtratcliffe
July 6th, 2014, 8:55 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Squirrel Tree Frog Artwork
Replies: 6
Views: 1464

Squirrel Tree Frog Artwork

Some of you may have seen me share this on the NAFHA Facebook page, but this was just too cool not to share here as well. My wife and I went to a nearby nature preserve for a guided hike, and we found this squirrel tree frog clinging to the outside of a window on the Education Center as we were wait...
by mtratcliffe
July 6th, 2014, 8:46 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Swallow-tailed Kite Storm
Replies: 5
Views: 1373

Re: Swallow-tailed Kite Storm

That's a lot of kites! My wife and I went to a nature preserve yesterday and saw two ourselves, but only from a distance.
by mtratcliffe
July 4th, 2014, 4:15 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: My first official post- Brevard Cty, FL June to present
Replies: 19
Views: 3565

Re: My first official post- Brevard Cty, FL June to present

I've been here for almost a month. Haha my wife has stayed in NC for the past 6 weeks to finish up work up there so I have been living the bachelor life lately. It's given me lots of time for herping. Not bad for just a month's worth! I've been in FL a year and have yet to see some of the species y...
by mtratcliffe
July 3rd, 2014, 2:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Trip Report: Return to MD and DE
Replies: 3
Views: 2011

Re: Trip Report: Return to MD and DE

Thank you, both of you! I hope next time I'm up that way I can do some more herping and increase my wood frog sightings.
by mtratcliffe
June 30th, 2014, 4:30 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: NAFHA SE Fall Outing?
Replies: 29
Views: 6797

Re: NAFHA SE Fall Outing?

I'm resolved to make it out to a chapter trip someday. Probably won't be this one, but NC has some very underrepresented areas on NAHERP.
by mtratcliffe
June 30th, 2014, 4:27 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Herping Maryland Series
Replies: 2
Views: 1354

Re: The Herping Maryland Series

Nice videos! I always enjoy seeing herps from my home state, especially since I no longer live there :?
by mtratcliffe
June 25th, 2014, 4:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Trip Report: Return to MD and DE
Replies: 3
Views: 2011

Trip Report: Return to MD and DE

Hey everyone. My name is Matt, and as a current resident of Tampa, FL, I'm a member of the NAFHA Southeast Chapter. However, I grew up in MD, and I also spent 8 years of my teenage and adult life in Delaware, which is also where my wife is from. Earlier this month, we took a road trip up north with ...
by mtratcliffe
June 22nd, 2014, 9:35 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: June Species Count
Replies: 6
Views: 1872

Re: June Species Count

I'm a member of the SE Chapter because I currently live in FL, but I'm originally from MD and spent the past two weeks visiting family in MD and DE. Thankfully I was able to squeeze in some productive herping! June 7 New Castle County, DE Site 1 (night) 3-4 Cope's gray tree frogs heard calling from ...
by mtratcliffe
June 21st, 2014, 2:46 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Gecko ID ?
Replies: 4
Views: 1161

Re: Gecko ID ?

Seconding Jake on H. mabouia. I've got a few of them living in my carport.
by mtratcliffe
June 14th, 2014, 5:09 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping DC area in July?
Replies: 2
Views: 1202

Re: Herping DC area in July?

The weather hasn't been too hot this summer, though that may change by July. For good parks to visit in that area, Mason Neck State Park and Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary may be good places to check out (I saw plenty of herps recently at the latter during a humid afternoon), but keep in mind that all a...
by mtratcliffe
June 3rd, 2014, 1:46 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida herping, catching up after my FHF absence
Replies: 31
Views: 8018

Re: Florida herping, catching up after my FHF absence

Awesome photos! I can't even comprehend how you even went about taking those underwater shots of the gators, let alone how you mustered the courage for that. Truly impressive - I'll have to make a point of spending a weekend down near Big Cypress and the Everglades once it gets cooler this year.
by mtratcliffe
May 31st, 2014, 4:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Union County, IL 2006 (repost from the Forum)
Replies: 5
Views: 1968

Re: Union County, IL 2006 (repost from the Forum)

Yup, that's a midland! The eastern and southern varieties have similar plastrons, but given the location, that's what it has to be.
by mtratcliffe
May 31st, 2014, 2:08 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Union County, IL 2006 (repost from the Forum)
Replies: 5
Views: 1968

Re: Union County, IL 2006 (repost from the Forum)

Nice pics despite the ancient camera! #20 is either a midland or western painted turtle, since Union County is in the intergrade zone. No way for me to say for sure without seeing the plastron, but I'm guessing midland. #22 is most likely an eastern fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus. There's appare...
by mtratcliffe
May 31st, 2014, 1:47 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

I'd probably go with gastrophryne then... It's hard to tell what the head shape is from the photos, but they look like narrowmouths to me, and a roadside ditch in Highlands would be too short of a hydroperiod for Barkers. That was my initial guess, but they had just laid eggs further down the ditch...
by mtratcliffe
May 30th, 2014, 4:57 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

Josh Holbrook wrote:
What was the microhabitat. It's hard to tell from the photo, but they don't look like Barkers to me.
A flooded roadside ditch that stretched uninterrupted for several hundred feet. Behind it was a treeline and a forest - mostly pines.
by mtratcliffe
May 30th, 2014, 8:28 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

Jordan S. wrote:The tadpoles are Barking Treefrogs.

-Jordan Schmitt
Great - thanks! That makes this my first sighting of them, though it's a shame I didn't hear or see any adults.
by mtratcliffe
May 28th, 2014, 5:02 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Are Vampire Flies Ruining Your Herping?
Replies: 15
Views: 3308

Re: Are Vampire Flies Ruining Your Herping?

I call them deerflies - are we talking about the same bug? Either way, I've had a few bite me in the past two weeks. One was in a swampy area and it would not stop hounding me. I had to run at a good speed for a few hundred feet before I felt safe. I swear these things are stalkers!
by mtratcliffe
May 26th, 2014, 3:44 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: From NJ to S. Florida
Replies: 11
Views: 2281

Re: From NJ to S. Florida

Great pics! I'm going to say that your frog is a squirrel tree frog, based on the lack of a distinct white line down its side. Plus, in a way I really can't describe, it just seems shaped more like a squirrel tree frog.
by mtratcliffe
May 24th, 2014, 9:07 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Meteor Shower Bust
Replies: 4
Views: 1308

Re: Meteor Shower Bust

Great shots of the night sky! When we were in the Keys last November, we took our telescope down with us, planning on going out one night to one of the remote keys (Sugarloaf, perhaps) for some stargazing. Unfortunately, it was a crazy week of weather down there, and it was mostly overcast. I hope t...
by mtratcliffe
May 22nd, 2014, 3:04 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida
Replies: 14
Views: 3471

Re: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida

Hey everyone, I've got an update. This past Saturday I kayaked the Myakka River with a friend. We saw more than 50 gators, but frankly, I had hoped to see more. Even though it's not yet the rainy season here in mid-Florida, the river water level was a good 1-2 feet higher than it was during the wint...
by mtratcliffe
May 22nd, 2014, 1:37 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

Thanks for the comments everyone! Shame to hear about how PP isn't as productive as it used to be in the past. Still, I hope to make it up there someday. It's starting to get hot during the day down here in FL, so I'm a bit bummed that I probably won't see much for a while unless I go out at night. ...
by mtratcliffe
May 20th, 2014, 5:54 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

Trip report time! Based on the advice given above, I chose to drive to Highlands Hammock SP for the day, with a stop at Lake Wales Ridge State Forest along the way. It was a beautiful day, with morning temps in the mid to upper 60s, with the afternoon highs in the upper 70s. My first stop was to get...
by mtratcliffe
May 17th, 2014, 2:44 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Story of Susan - Florida Keys Part I
Replies: 4
Views: 1126

Re: The Story of Susan - Florida Keys Part I

I'm jealous that you got to attend a release! My wife and I loved touring that place. I suggest you "like" their page on Facebook (if you use it) - they share info on new arrivals, surgeries, and releases all the time!
by mtratcliffe
May 14th, 2014, 1:55 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida
Replies: 14
Views: 3471

Re: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida

Silver River is one of my favorite paddling rivers in the state. Lots of snakes, turtles and alligators. Also rhesus macaques live out there. The whole river is just really impressive. The clear water allows you to see what's going on below you too. If you want pictures from the area just ask. Isn'...
by mtratcliffe
May 9th, 2014, 1:37 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida
Replies: 14
Views: 3471

Re: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida

Here are some more pics from some other rivers, though these are mostly non-herps. Little Manatee River - not a whole lot of wildlife seen on this river. This river did not have a floodplain like the Hillsborough, thus the river water was faster moving. Didn't even see a gator! Scenery http://i.imgu...
by mtratcliffe
May 9th, 2014, 12:26 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park
Replies: 27
Views: 5407

Re: Payne's Prairie Preserve or Highlands Hammock State Park

I'd choose anywhere but Payne's Prairie if you are wanting to see herps. It is an outstanding place to see mammals and birds, but herps (other than the ubiquitous alligator or Florida watersnake) are scarce. I've frequented that park for over 13 years. I go to photograph other things, besides herps...
by mtratcliffe
May 9th, 2014, 2:36 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida
Replies: 14
Views: 3471

Re: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida

Are limpkins really rarely seen? They're quite common in South Florida from what I have experienced. Love the night herons, one of my favorite herons. It depends. I've probably seen close to a dozen in the past year, but I only encounter them in nature preserves/state parks/or other wild areas. I'v...
by mtratcliffe
May 8th, 2014, 5:22 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida
Replies: 14
Views: 3471

Pics from Kayaking Trips in Florida

As I mentioned in my bio, I love to kayak. There are some great places to paddle all across FL, and doing so offers access to some very pristine environments. It's also a great way to see turtles and gators in their natural environment! Below are some herp, non-herp, and habitat shots from several o...
by mtratcliffe
May 7th, 2014, 9:34 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: FL Keys Trip - Any suggestions?
Replies: 19
Views: 2122

Re: FL Keys Trip - Any suggestions?

I really only saw invasives while down there, but then again I wasn't there to herp. We hiked at Curry Hammock and saw a Madagadcar giant day gecko, which was neat. You can see iguanas almost everywhere, too. As far as herping natives, try Big Pine Key. It's got rocky longleaf pine habitat, which is...