Final update - up to 6/6: My year so far.

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brick911
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Final update - up to 6/6: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » May 31st, 2012, 5:41 am

Hello Everyone,
I have been realizing that I haven't made a single field post all year. A lot of you know me already, but there are a lot of new members, a few of who(m) I will be heading out into the field with next week. That said, I wanted to post up what I've found so far. These will be very sporadic and may jump from February to May and back again. I have not been very organized with uploading my photos to a hosting site. I will be putting these up in chunks and may be updating this thread for the next few weeks until I'm caught up. Feel free to comment now, later, or not at all.
Bob

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NJ Chorus Frog, in case you can't tell with the positioning.

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This was a Cope's from MD.

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Not exactly as found, but about ten feet apart.

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This owl was on the road in front of me and took off with some sort of Ambystoma in its mouth.

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Roadcruised this. Couldn't get a shot off quick enough of it standing in the middle of the road looking at me like I'M the a-hole.

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All were put in the vernal. Don't give me crap about putting them in a bucket to get them off the road quickly. It is a method I use and I'm not afraid to admit it. :beer:

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I know there's a lot of peepers, but their variability is a bit interesting... and it will be June tomorrow, so its been a while since any of us have seen many peepers. So here's another...

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I rehabbed this one and she was successfully released just the other day. Woohoo!!!

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This one was flirty.

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First watersnake of the year did its best hognose impression. This was with Scott (bwaterburper).

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Here's a nice story. You can see a few of my kids up in the tree. Scott got a nice dose of what its like to herp with kids. My oldest son climbed to the highest point of this tree and accomplished something. I'll give you a hint... its between the numbers 1 and 3.

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Pure blue-spots. Don't ask how I know. I'm just cool like that.

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Leeches are always fun pals to let hang around. (That's Zach - he is my GF's son that I live with.)

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From left to right... Zach, Nate (mine), Wes (mine), the guy in the back is Scott in case you didn't know. He is a few pounds lighter nowadays and thinks he can beat me up.

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This is Julie, in case you didn't know. She is my live-in girlfriend. She is not immune to herping in 30 degree temperatures. I torture them all.

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At this point, you are wondering why you are looking at my pictures. I promise you I have found some cooler stuff. It just might be a few days before I post them.

If any of you are facebook friends with me, you would have seen that I visited a garter den that was perfectly positioned to the sun all winter long. I will eventually look back at my notes and figure out all the stats, but between the dates of 12-22-11 to March-ish, I saw garters out 30-something times. I went everyday at my lunch break as long as the sun was shining. I logged six different individuals in that time. Some were more reliable than others and one particular one was out every time but a handful. It was an awesome winter to keep myself busy at lunch break.

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They den in this rock wall.

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Oh... here's something somewhat cool.

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This is Lily, my daughter. Other than a pat on the head, this one was left in its spot. The one above was out and about. I love pine snakes, but do my best to leave any sensitive species alone if it is not fleeing.

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I started to learn some birds while visiting the garter dens. Don't worry, I'm not a birder. But figured it'd be nice to know some when I'm striking out on herps.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

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These hitchhikers took me a week to clean off.

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This weird milk snake was really beat up. I didn't get a good picture of it. Sorry. I have other weird milks coming with much better pics, so stay tuned...

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BenIsAlive
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Re: My year so far...

Post by BenIsAlive » May 31st, 2012, 8:04 am

I never really knew owls eat salamanders but im reading up on it and they can aparantly. Was that a sreech owl? was it a big or small owl? that picture is hard to tell.

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brick911
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Re: My year so far...

Post by brick911 » May 31st, 2012, 9:32 am

It was large. That's all I can tell you. I think I tried ID'ing it, but forget what I came up with.

will lattea
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Re: My year so far...

Post by will lattea » May 31st, 2012, 9:37 am

cool observation on the owl! seems like those red milks are turning up more often in Jersey these days... kinda reminds me of this one from PA from a couple weeks ago... except this one is actually a weird red milk ;)

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:beer:

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brick911
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Re: My year so far...

Post by brick911 » May 31st, 2012, 10:22 am

:lol: Will... That owl was the same night you were out.

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Mike VanValen
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Re: My year so far...

Post by Mike VanValen » May 31st, 2012, 11:57 am

It's a Barred Owl.

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paturtlelover
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Re: My year so far...

Post by paturtlelover » May 31st, 2012, 2:01 pm

Great post. The 2nd spotted salamander pic is awesome!!!!

herper1
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Re: My year so far...

Post by herper1 » May 31st, 2012, 2:43 pm

I always love your posts, and always thought your pics were very good but I think they are getting even better. Some really great ones there !

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melissaisdown
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Re: My year so far...

Post by melissaisdown » May 31st, 2012, 3:44 pm

Great post. The garter den is a cool find. Far into my running trail there's a garter den and I think they share it with water snakes? Do those two co-habitate? Either way the garters were more common in April and earlier and now I'm seeing water snakes mostly.

dragoncjo
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Re: My year so far...

Post by dragoncjo » May 31st, 2012, 4:45 pm

Damn that corn is in horrific shape, nice photos.

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kirbyl4
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Re: My year so far...

Post by kirbyl4 » May 31st, 2012, 5:01 pm

awesome pics. love the spotted's but I am gana give you some guff about putting them in a bucket to move them along. Only because you lied to us, that looks more like a Tupperware container.

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brick911
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Re: My year so far...

Post by brick911 » June 1st, 2012, 5:58 am

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Neat observation. I went cruising up North and saw about 100 Jeffs and 50 spotteds (approximately). The Jeffs - about half were heading toward vernals, the other half were coming from vernals. The spotteds - EVERY one was heading toward the vernal. That proved a lesson to me about who's earlier.

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I accidently stumbled upon a population of the "new" Leopard species that will be described soon. It hasn't been assigned a name yet as far as I know, but its not a Northern or a Southern. Unforunately, I heard a few calling in the woods, this single specimen AOR, and about 50 DOR's.

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For millside...

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Pine Warbler (I think)

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Wasn't so friendly with Wes...

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The best looking snake I've seen all year:

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Same snake...

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I don't care if I ever see another Fowler's Toad again in my life.

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Rebecca - My 13 year old, GF's daughter.

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She's actually really good with herps which is weird because she's scared of her shadow.

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Four Southern's under the same cover.

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This was cool. I heard a call that wasn't a love call or release call and investigated.

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Recently discovered that these are invasive. Four petals = Dame's Rocket. Five petals = Phlox. I've already revoked by man-card, so no clever comments necessary.

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A springhouse I frequent had been taken over by teenagers and they dumped all their campfire stuff in the water. I found like 6 dead adult reds. I notified the park service. I haven't followed up, but I know they checked it out.

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PA State Threatened

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My one spot always does good for browns early in the season, then I never see them again til the next year.

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I heard a woman scream and went to investigate. It ended up being a man who found this...

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We moved it since he had drawn attention and being a big fishing spot, didn't want to see this turn into soup.

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More on the way...

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brick911
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Re: My year so far...

Post by brick911 » June 1st, 2012, 7:22 am

Mike VanValen wrote:It's a Barred Owl.
Thank you sir.
paturtlelover wrote:Great post. The 2nd spotted salamander pic is awesome!!!!
Thanks Tom.
herper1 wrote:I always love your posts, and always thought your pics were very good but I think they are getting even better. Some really great ones there !
I'm trying. I really enjoy the photography portion of it.
melissaisdown wrote:Great post. The garter den is a cool find. Far into my running trail there's a garter den and I think they share it with water snakes? Do those two co-habitate? Either way the garters were more common in April and earlier and now I'm seeing water snakes mostly.
Yes, they can share. My garters started disappearing in March. They disperse sooner I guess.
dragoncjo wrote:Damn that corn is in horrific shape, nice photos.
Thanks Chris. Yeah, that thing was beat up. :lol:
kirbyl4 wrote:awesome pics. love the spotted's but I am gana give you some guff about putting them in a bucket to move them along. Only because you lied to us, that looks more like a Tupperware container.
I'm a horrible example. Don't anyone do what I do!

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MattSullivan
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by MattSullivan » June 1st, 2012, 10:41 am

nice! i love the pinesnakes i've still never seen one. and that shot of the water snake striking is awesome!

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brick911
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by brick911 » June 1st, 2012, 11:45 am

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...two bird pics back to back. Sorry.

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I stumbled upon this den and was able to count 16 different garters confidently in a very small area.

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Here's probably the best looking spotted I saw this year, but of course this is from like 100 yards away and it dropped in the water. :|

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I successfully called milks here early in the season.

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Here was where I thought we'd set up our Milk shop.

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I pulled one the males off. There was plenty of love to go around...

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Annnnd..... Her first big milk bite. (Hardly got her.)

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I've actually found PA Wormsnakes in three different spots now, ranging 42 miles. I'm the king of lame!

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If you look closely, you will see an upside down female, and a male to the right amongst the vegetation. He hit and quit it just as I was in the neighborhood. I uprighted the female and gave the boy a stern talking to about how to treat a lady before releasing them, this time both on their feet.

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It makes for a lot less arguing when you can find one for each to play with for a few minutes while you go check a good-looking possibility for copperheads. :)

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The female never came out of her shell, so here's the other male.

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Dang... Nobody told me it was gonna be that kinda partaaay.

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Lily was a little sketchy after her milk bite, so I found a racer nearby the next day and figured I'd get her back up on the horse. Any good Dad would do it.

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This was the first box turtle I found all year on my lunch break hence no decent shots. I didn't have the time to deal with a turtle closing up.

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Odd pickerel... Had me get excited for half a second.

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And here's the milk, as promised. No that's not a snake hook. It is a cheap Las Vegas back scratcher I picked up in the airport for one of the kids. :)

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I have done well with Kings so far this year, netting three. I never found more than one in a year, successfully finding just one in each of the last four years.

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Weird turtle... like it grew up with a six pack holder wrapped around it.

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I successfully roadcruised a living Cricket Frog in my home county of Bucks. It only took 6 years of driving the same roads practically every time it rained! PA State Endangered.

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Ok, so maybe I had a little help...

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Phew. I take too many pictures. More to come next week...

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Darnell Brister
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by Darnell Brister » June 1st, 2012, 12:37 pm

Looks like a good start to your year Brick. Kings and easterns, but no coastals? hah

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BenIsAlive
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by BenIsAlive » June 1st, 2012, 1:02 pm

the warbler you called a pine looks like a palm warbler to me. nice photos. so many photos it freezes my computer constantly

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PNWHerper
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by PNWHerper » June 1st, 2012, 2:55 pm

Bob,

This is an excellent post! I had to view this one several times to take it all in, so many good and interesting photos. :beer:
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This photo is a heart-breaker. I think, though, that this is the kind of stuff that I want to include to some extent in the Herp Tracking book, because it tells a story of how carelessness kills herps. Do you want to contribute any pics to the book?

Also, what are your thoughts on what killed the salamanders? Was it a swift change in pH from the ashes, or some kind of other chemical leeching from the garbage they threw in there?
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That is an awesome capture! :thumb:
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Hahahaha! :lol: Awesome.

Keep the amazing photos coming!

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pete
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by pete » June 1st, 2012, 3:23 pm

Lots of great shots there!!! Your season start will kick my whole seasons ass :lol: :lol:

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intermedius
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by intermedius » June 2nd, 2012, 12:41 pm

sigh... my generation sucks sometimes.

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brick911
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by brick911 » June 5th, 2012, 5:43 am

Ok, lets see if I can finish this up...

Took Lily here for her birthday.

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Looked for wood turtles to no avail. They have been my biggest failure this year, by the way.

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This was actually the first place I found PA Wormsnakes. Lily and I turned up 11 in total.

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Nobody ever takes pictures of me, but my daughter loves to. So here's a rare shot of me in action. I actually flipped a black rat right there.

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Our largest and smallest PA native snakes, perhaps?

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Just so people don't get the wrong idea, I DID take my daughter to other things for her special birthday outing, but I had to wait for them to open.

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And she made her own pottery in downtown Lancaster.

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I thought about cooking the eggs she was sitting on. There's way too many Canada Geese near me.

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I've really kicked butt with box turtles this year. Better than I've ever done. This male is pictured en situ.

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Milk bait

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After a morning of striking out on Wood Turtles, I drove by the river and noticed how low the water was. I ended up hand catching four map turtles by hand and was pumped to see these good looking turtles up close, instead of blurry blotches from 500 yards on my camera.

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The personalities of these turtles were very different. As you might expect, the one on the top was like a rambunctious six year old while the other small one and larger one were too scared to come out of their shell.

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I released those three and was heading out when I spotted what looked like a huge turtle from a distance.

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I made the trek across the slippery rocks (injuring my back and putting me out of commission for a week), just to have her slip in the water. I was disappointed, but after a 3 minute search I was able to turn her up! It was like I was a pro. :lol:

There she is showing off her club foot.

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American toads seemed to be breeding everywhere I went. I even found unhatched eggs just two days ago.

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For five points... You have a bb gun and can shoot one turtle. Which one do you shoot? First response wins!

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One of my only lifers this year. These turtles are impressively large! They also look like they have a stick up their butt.

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Ok, two subspecies of invasive. Woohoo.

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That's more like it. Bask proud old buddy.

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Huh.... I think that might be a map turtle. I just noticed this.

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Can't fault their spunk.

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Ok, check this out. This watersnake was literally nose to nose with the bullfrog. (I missed the incredible shot.) I guess it decided it didn't want to tackle such a large meal and I snapped the pic as it moved on. I went to look for longtails nearby and Julie and I were getting ready to leave. I said hold on a few while I see if I can find that watersnake as I knew toads were breeding nearby. Sure enough, I got lucky again with my second witnessed predation this Spring. I was super pumped!

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New springhouse. I found like 4 new ones in Chester County this year and every frickin' one had reds in it.

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Looked around this abandon barn for milks, to no avail, but I'm not giving up yet.

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We found absolutely nothing here but two redbacks in the surrounding woods. Doesn't he look thrilled with the walk.

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brick911
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Re: My year so far... New pics added 6/1

Post by brick911 » June 5th, 2012, 6:50 am

I'm not done yet. I apologize for clogging up anyone's computer. I shouldn't have waited so long.

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My first Jeff eggs ever. Check out the larvae ready to hatch.

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My favorite garter all year. Hardly any stripe at all.

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This spot is loaded with Nerodia.

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Male or female? For two points.

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Found this garter stretched on a path by the below pictured creek (the kids are swimming in it at 62 degrees - I don't think kids feel cold). I was praying for a hognose, but I'm still shooting a blank on them this year.

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Garters are neat snakes. I found this one at 49 degrees, overcast, and obviously wet.

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This truck gets me everywhere. I have never been one to fall in love with a vehicle, but this thing makes it possible for me to get to places I couldn't otherwise.

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Another neat find... you see what the weather looks like above. Found my first female boxie of the year out in cut pictured above at 57 degrees. En situ.

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A fresh from the water tiger I flipped quite accidentally. It was really early in the year and kinda weird.

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Crappy pic. The next one I find, I'll have to take my time with. I've seen like 8 so far too. I'm getting lazy.

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Basking...

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I'm cringing as I post this.

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As flipped, male in shed.

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A few PBTF's:

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I'd say this is the biggest improvement I've had in spotting them this year. I can triangulate them pretty quickly. I was sadly bad at it a few years ago.

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As flipped...

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My favorites!

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Not only this picture hilarious, you can see that the gorgeous milk snake above is not a juvy. It is a sub-adult (I would say) and STILL holding that amazing red. *Check out Zach's face as the big one chomps on him. :lol:

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Dalton Lund
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by Dalton Lund » June 5th, 2012, 3:04 pm

Wow, awesome photography, and awesome find. Glad you're getting snakes, I have had zero luck with snakes this year. Lots and lots of toads though. And Red backed sally's. But if I didn't know better, I'd say that those were the only two herps native to RI.

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brick911
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » June 6th, 2012, 6:55 am

Ok, here's some more for anyone who is still paying attention:

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One of my many personal projects has been searching for PA Broadheads. I am currently striking out.

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This was my third spot for PA Wormsnakes. It's kinda ridiculous.

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Only yielded a few ringnecks...

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This female boxie I couldn't stick around for as I had to get the kids to their baseball games.

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Another day of striking out for Wood Turtles, but the kids had fun.

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We did find a snapper that temporarily had me excited until I realized it was in fact a snapper. Here's Julie touching her first snapper... :roll:

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Finally, a win for the home team...

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What do we do when we see potential... we run to it. Yes, that is how dorky and obsessed we are. Only so much time in a day...

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Big girl... Not very cooperative.

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My first living Barrens Northern Red. And it would NOT sit still.

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Polyphemus Moth

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All the specs are Fowler's Toads.

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A nice, gnarly well-patterned watersnake.

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Ratsnake en situ

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Another one around the corner that I flipped under some siding. - Which I usually don't have luck with.

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Cool shot of the chin of the rat above. I don't know if you noticed, but in its defense, it got a piece of wood lodged in the back of its mouth on it's right side. So I had to remove it. It was my fault it was there.

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Double flip - actually there were four Fowlers under this log. Stupid toads.

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Turtle #2 as found. So nice to see living DBT's.

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What do you see? I may have missed it if it didn't move.

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Ok, I think I only have a few more pics...

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Jeffreyrichard
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by Jeffreyrichard » June 6th, 2012, 9:24 am

Man ... your kids don't know how lucky they are! Awesome outings (take me with you next time!!!) :thumb:

What's up with the Corn comment?

Love the Kings

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brick911
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » June 6th, 2012, 9:47 am

That pic started a war in one of the facebook groups I'm a part of. Lol. It was a joke... hopefully. All's said and done for now over there. I love the kings too. I've been lucky this year.

heavenscloud
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by heavenscloud » June 6th, 2012, 2:43 pm

Awesome post, Bob. We're tied on kings so far this year. :beer:

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brick911
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » June 6th, 2012, 4:37 pm

Oh snap. It's on! I have one more update but no kings so you're safe.

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spinifer
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by spinifer » June 6th, 2012, 4:53 pm

Waiting to see these entered into the database....

Tamara D. McConnell
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » June 6th, 2012, 6:37 pm

PHENOMENAL post! Much to love...the DBTs, the PBTFs, the terrific photography, and the humor. I agree with an earlier poster who said that your second salamander shot is wonderful. I enjoyed this post very much.

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brick911
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » June 6th, 2012, 6:53 pm

spinifer wrote:Waiting to see these entered into the database....
Don't you worry about my entries. They'll be just fine.

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brick911
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Re: June 5th Update: My year so far.

Post by brick911 » June 7th, 2012, 8:04 am

Ok, this should be the last update.

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Caught this one yawning... Three are here.

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There's actually three here as well.

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Corn #4 for the year.

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I've taken better pictures. But this king started moving and I decided to watch it. Once it hit the water, I thought I could get a cool shot of it swimming across the surface. Much to my surprise, it headed all the way down to the bottom and swam away. It was awesome!

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This worries me as these spots were on almost 50% of the Fowler's I saw at this spot. I'm currently discussing it with an amphibian pathologist and may be sending him a sample.

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As flipped...

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Two racers...

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Bad pic, but I was rushing...

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Again... same morning. :)

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And that's it for now! Thanks for following along.

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