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by Mike VanValen
February 18th, 2015, 12:37 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Mississippi turtles
Replies: 11
Views: 2635

Re: Mississippi turtles

Awesome post. Turtles are my thing as well. I see some nice looking habitat in the background of those photos.
by Mike VanValen
February 18th, 2015, 11:20 am
Forum: FHF Image Lab
Topic: Canon SX50/SX60
Replies: 3
Views: 2812

Canon SX50/SX60

Anyone use these? I'm about to get a new P&S and these are very tempting. I've seen a lot of reviews, but none from field herpers.

I like the superzoom capabilities so I can catch basking turtles for vouchers. These look like great cameras.
by Mike VanValen
February 7th, 2015, 12:27 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Replies: 14
Views: 5944

Re: Living and working in Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Afri

I'll get there, someday. Until then I have Nick Evans posts to keep me dreaming. :beer:
by Mike VanValen
February 6th, 2015, 7:13 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: EOY Blue Iguanas, Pyros, and What a 6-ft Caiman is Afraid Of
Replies: 21
Views: 13515

Re: EOY Blue Iguanas, Pyros, and What a 6-ft Caiman is Afrai

:lol: I had to go back and look at the female iguana. The cow of the islands, I suppose. I'm glad you refreshed my memory of the jaguar pics. I believe you posted them on the in-situ facebook group? I can't really say much about your encounter. It speaks for itself. Yellow anacondas are one of my fa...
by Mike VanValen
January 26th, 2015, 3:27 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Turkey, april 2014
Replies: 7
Views: 3021

Re: Turkey, april 2014

What is the second turtle species? I love seeing these obscure herping locations, thanks for sharing.
by Mike VanValen
January 22nd, 2015, 12:07 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Any tips for herping in central Florida?
Replies: 4
Views: 1889

Re: Any tips for herping in central Florida?

I agree with Chris. Let us know a bit about yourself, a field experience, etc. You should also consider posting in the Southeast forum and getting to know those folks.
by Mike VanValen
January 17th, 2015, 10:33 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: East Central GA 2014 EOY with a couple AZ trips
Replies: 22
Views: 6917

Re: East Central GA 2014 EOY with a couple AZ trips

Great variety. I love those eastern kings and the canebrakes. How close were you to the pronghorn?
by Mike VanValen
January 12th, 2015, 6:56 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2014 EOY report...KS, MO, OK, TX...
Replies: 20
Views: 9592

Re: 2014 EOY report...KS, MO, OK, TX...

I really like that in situ bullsnake. That scene just screams "field herping" to me.
by Mike VanValen
January 5th, 2015, 12:48 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2014: The Year in Review . . . 4 Days Late
Replies: 8
Views: 2026

Re: 2014: The Year in Review . . . 4 Days Late

The Fowler's toad looks to be southern toad.
by Mike VanValen
January 2nd, 2015, 9:50 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Guyana-End of the Year wrap up (Warning LOTS OF IMAGES)
Replies: 19
Views: 8475

Re: Guyana-End of the Year wrap up (Warning LOTS OF IMAGES)

Awesome stuff! The boa on the edge of the waterhole :thumb: The pipa :thumb: And the inclusion of turtles and crocodilians are the cherry on top of an already great post.
by Mike VanValen
December 29th, 2014, 6:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The ABC's of 2014 - A-G, UPDATED 1/6/15
Replies: 6
Views: 2315

Re: The ABC's of 2014 - A-C

I got my lifer racerunner in a very similar manner. It was unexpected in SC, and I was like "Oh yeah, these live down here!".
by Mike VanValen
December 29th, 2014, 6:08 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: found a spotted turtle very sluggish near a river bed. help
Replies: 4
Views: 2493

Re: found a spotted turtle very sluggish near a river bed. h

The spotted will most likely return to it's overwintering spot. I hope you left it alone.
by Mike VanValen
December 17th, 2014, 10:18 pm
Forum: Board Line
Topic: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account
Replies: 69
Views: 71792

Re: Termination of my HERP and Herpmapper account

:beer:

I think there is a lot of over-reaction here. The data is what's most important, and I hope we can sort it out.
by Mike VanValen
December 16th, 2014, 11:22 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Northeast NAFHA accomplishments in 2014 - complete list
Replies: 18
Views: 5989

Re: Northeast NAFHA chapter accomplishments in 2014 - more i

I think several folks helped verify the presence of the new leopard frog species.
by Mike VanValen
December 14th, 2014, 11:27 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Copperhead Habitat in the Northeast?
Replies: 11
Views: 4202

Re: Copperhead Habitat in the Northeast?

Habitat looks good, though that doesn't guarantee they are there. I don't know enough about the historical populations in that area to comment, but you should probably research that. Starting in May they become harder to spot as they often bask partially in shade and in crevices. http://i61.tinypic....
by Mike VanValen
December 12th, 2014, 3:25 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2014 in Photography (mainly Northern California)
Replies: 30
Views: 13980

Re: 2014 in Photography (mainly Northern California)

The Giant Garter remains my favorite. :beer:
by Mike VanValen
November 21st, 2014, 10:23 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Snakes of 2014-Florida and Georgia - Part 1
Replies: 14
Views: 7074

Re: Snakes of 2014-Florida and Georgia - Part 1

I knew there would be some sweet AOR shots in the this post. :thumb:
by Mike VanValen
November 19th, 2014, 2:29 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Seasoning Boardlines
Replies: 38
Views: 43730

Re: Seasoning Boardlines

I happen to agree that laying new AC around on land that isn't yours is not the ethical thing to do, even if the dump sites already exist. Become friendly with landowners (private and public). Several years ago I got permission to lay boards out and survey a piece of public land by simply sending an...
by Mike VanValen
November 6th, 2014, 10:18 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida Herping
Replies: 22
Views: 7867

Re: Florida Herping

It's within normal variation for Florida cricket frog.
by Mike VanValen
November 3rd, 2014, 8:12 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Questions about herping records
Replies: 3
Views: 1295

Re: Questions about herping records

As has been pointed out, HERP was started for those very reasons (and more) with HerpMapper following suit. With herpetology being the way it is, don't ever expect something like eBird to take off. The old saying "herps can't fly" applies here. With few exceptions, herpers have always been a secreti...
by Mike VanValen
November 3rd, 2014, 1:57 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: November Species Counts
Replies: 4
Views: 2024

Re: November Species Counts

November 1st

New Haven County, CT

2 red-backed salamanders
by Mike VanValen
October 30th, 2014, 7:19 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Episode VI: Return of the Clarkii
Replies: 22
Views: 7790

Re: Episode VI: Return of the Clarkii

Yes, the dark turtle is a melanistic slider (T. scripta).
by Mike VanValen
October 28th, 2014, 7:29 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: October Species Counts
Replies: 2
Views: 1454

Re: October Species Counts

Today in Fairfield County, CT

7 eastern painted turtles!
by Mike VanValen
October 24th, 2014, 6:23 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Need trash or rocks
Replies: 41
Views: 9274

Re: Need trash or rocks

I pass no judgement, but normally, when someone is asking for specific trash sites, they have no real interest in the process of field herping. All they have an interest in is finding their target as quick as possible and getting that photograph. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? That's not for m...
by Mike VanValen
October 24th, 2014, 5:13 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Need trash or rocks
Replies: 41
Views: 9274

Re: Need trash or rocks

As I said 3 years ago, I'm sure someone probably came through on his request and brought him to a spot. The spot was probably someone's secret a long time ago, and then in due time they brought one person to that spot. See, they made that person swear to never tell anyone, but this person had no int...
by Mike VanValen
October 17th, 2014, 7:22 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: nafha shirts
Replies: 2
Views: 1186

Re: nafha shirts

Show the actual shirt and you might get a few buyers.
by Mike VanValen
October 16th, 2014, 8:25 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Alaska Frawgs
Replies: 18
Views: 6531

Re: Alaska Frawgs

Thanks for sharing. I believe those western wood frogs were considered a subspecies at one time?
by Mike VanValen
October 14th, 2014, 9:00 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Down under in the last millenium
Replies: 4
Views: 1798

Re: Down under in the last millenium

I've always been into Varanids, and I would have wasted a lot of time trying to pin down a Gould's or Lace. That Bell's phase Lace Monitor is gorgeous.
by Mike VanValen
September 29th, 2014, 1:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Leonard's Pipe Snake & Others
Replies: 13
Views: 5443

Re: Leonard's Pipe Snake & Others

Thanks for posting. I learned a new genera today! Congrats on seeing this guy.
by Mike VanValen
September 25th, 2014, 4:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo 2014
Replies: 13
Views: 5872

Re: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo 2014

What's the story surrounding your sighting of a mountain gorilla? :shock:

Really great post.
by Mike VanValen
September 14th, 2014, 8:48 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Wetland Documentary
Replies: 10
Views: 3062

Re: Wetland Documentary

I like it. I think the music was fitting and the overall direction was good. I do have a few thoughts : Any reason you decided to use Rana over Lithobates? There are a couple of spots where there is no audio at all. An overlay of frogs calling would have been good for those scenes, such as when you ...
by Mike VanValen
September 10th, 2014, 8:26 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Lizards of New York
Replies: 8
Views: 2432

Re: Lizards of New York

The eastern fence lizard is listed as "threatened" in NY state, therefore it cannot be collected without a special permit. As far as habitat protection, I do not know. At least one spot I know of is a protected county park.

This species only occurs in 2, maybe 3 spots in the entire state.
by Mike VanValen
September 9th, 2014, 5:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Lizards of New York
Replies: 8
Views: 2432

Re: Lizards of New York

The wall lizards seem to be spreading via the Metro-North Railroad system, and have been recently been found in Connecticut for the first time.
by Mike VanValen
September 8th, 2014, 7:35 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Chameleon exploration
Replies: 28
Views: 7332

Re: Chameleon exploration

biancacao626 wrote: if anyone knows about there secret location please message
Would you like fries with that?

Ah yes...gotta love the era of social media herping.
by Mike VanValen
September 5th, 2014, 8:31 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: To Alabama for msuk turtles
Replies: 9
Views: 2427

Re: To Alabama for msuk turtles

Awesome! That's my kind of herping. I would love to see pics of the depressus, as well.
by Mike VanValen
September 4th, 2014, 7:16 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Why are Herps Awesome?
Replies: 28
Views: 13077

Re: Why are Herps Awesome?

I think the evolutionary path that led to modern herps is often overlooked, and totally awesome. From the ancient amphibians (which were not really like modern amphibians), to giant ocean-going reptiles, pterosaurs, etc.
by Mike VanValen
September 2nd, 2014, 9:38 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise?
Replies: 15
Views: 2918

Re: Hypermelanistic Gopher Tortoise?

To counter the point about soil staining, you would still see evidence of the lighter color underneath showing on the leg and neck skin, particularly in the neckpit and armpits, where the skin is softest. But the skin that shows is smooth and black, leading me to believe it is a super dark individu...
by Mike VanValen
September 2nd, 2014, 2:01 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Do milk, garter, ring-necks leave nesting spots about now?
Replies: 4
Views: 1903

Re: Do milk, garter, ring-necks leave nesting spots about no

I don't think the OP said anything about these snakes being babies, other than using the words "nesting spots". Snakes use AC until they have a reason to not use it any longer....food is gone, too much disturbance, change in weather, etc.
by Mike VanValen
September 1st, 2014, 6:22 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Weller's Doom
Replies: 24
Views: 13385

Re: Weller's Doom

Ribbit wrote:
Maybe they have mutated into giant man-eating salamander monsters. One never knows.

John
Or perhaps they got jobs at Google?

Good luck, Billy. These are the kinds of obscure herp trips I love.
by Mike VanValen
August 29th, 2014, 2:12 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: August Species Count
Replies: 7
Views: 3578

Re: August Species Count

08/27 @ Middlesex County, CT

3 bullfrogs
1 green frog
1 fowler's toad
1 northern copperhead
1 northern watersnake

08/29 @ Fairfield County, CT

1 green frog
4 northern dusky salamanders
1 northern watersnake
by Mike VanValen
August 22nd, 2014, 4:45 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Birds of southwest florida
Replies: 18
Views: 3621

Re: Birds of southwest florida

I agree about it being a red-shouldered...perhaps you should post in the bird forum???
by Mike VanValen
August 22nd, 2014, 3:43 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Turtle ID--Red Ear/Melanistic Red Ear?
Replies: 5
Views: 2427

Re: Turtle ID--Red Ear/Melanistic Red Ear?

Depends on how much of the pattern is diffused. YBS often has a pair of spots on the forward part of the plastron, although in some cases the spots are absent. It is usually a safe bet that they are red-ears when you are outside the range of both species (such as Maryland). In South Carolina, where ...
by Mike VanValen
August 21st, 2014, 8:54 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Turtle ID--Red Ear/Melanistic Red Ear?
Replies: 5
Views: 2427

Re: Turtle ID--Red Ear/Melanistic Red Ear?

Yes, melanistic red-eared sliders, and yes, they can breed successfully for many years. Melanism is just a color change.
by Mike VanValen
August 21st, 2014, 1:37 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Part I: Pawnee, IN
Replies: 5
Views: 1844

Re: Part I: Pawnee, IN

The second green frog is actually a bullfrog.
by Mike VanValen
August 21st, 2014, 8:29 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: European species overviews - restored
Replies: 5
Views: 2010

Re: European species overviews - restored

Ah, yes. The amazing European posts. Thanks for digging them up. :beer:
by Mike VanValen
August 12th, 2014, 6:47 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Another little taste of AZ
Replies: 13
Views: 5501

Re: Another little taste of AZ

Great sampling. Was that prairie rattler in-situ in front of the tents?
by Mike VanValen
August 7th, 2014, 9:41 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Color and Pattern Variations in Eastern Garter Snakes
Replies: 43
Views: 17903

Re: Color and Pattern Variations in Eastern Garter Snakes

I thought this guy had some nice colors. Fairfield County, CT.

Image

...and this one seemed to glow. Fairfield County, CT.

Image

Classic striped. Middlesex County, CT.

Image
by Mike VanValen
August 6th, 2014, 7:40 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Turtle id
Replies: 7
Views: 1632

Re: Turtle id

Old and smoothed-out, but yes, nelsoni.
by Mike VanValen
August 6th, 2014, 4:26 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Salamanders as Environmental Quality Indicators?
Replies: 8
Views: 2358

Re: Salamanders as Environmental Quality Indicators?

I can only speculate that ruber would be at least as sensitive to stream scouring because of the preference of the larva (heavy vegetation and mud bottom). I can't be 100% sure, though. Hopefully someone will come along who has more experience with them (you might want to cross post on the main foru...