Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

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Josh Young
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Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Josh Young » July 29th, 2014, 9:45 am

This past week, I made a spur of the moment trip up to North Carolina to herp with my buddy Santosh (frogfish on here) before he moved to Maryland. I caught a ride with my friend Daniel and we made our 9 hour trip up to our mutual friend Ali's place. I have never herped in North Carolina before, but I have visited the state on 2 different occasions, so most of the herps were new for me.

We made a trip to the sandhills, even though the day we went was wet, but that was good for amphibs, and one of my main hopes for the trip was a Pine Barrens treefrog.

We cruised for a little bit at and after sunset, lots of frogs were on the road. Among all the frogs was this guy, a red-spotted newt eft. My first time ever seeing an eft, and a new newt for me as well.

ImageEft stage of a red spotted newt. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Also got to see another of these guys, only my second ever. Red-bellied water snake.
ImageRed-belly water snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

We wrapped up our cruising and decided to try our luck with the Pine Barrens treefrogs. It was about a 2 mile walk in, since we were in Ali's car and we didn't want to get stuck back off the trail.

We weren't disappointed, we managed to see 2 males calling, and we heard several more but did not find them.

ImagePine Barrens treefrog. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImagePine Barrens treefrog. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

I was also interested in seeing carpenter frogs for the first time, and there were quite a few seen, but not many were willing or in range for photographs.

ImageCarpenter frog. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

Pinewoods treefrogs were also out in force, and while I've seen my fair share, I still couldn't resist photographing at least one.

ImagePinewoods treefrog. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

After that we headed back to Santosh's to spend the night and drop him off. We poked around the next day here and there, mostly looking for the more common stuff that I haven't seen before. I wasn't too disappointed, as I picked up a few more lifers.

ImageBlack rat snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageFowler's toad. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageEastern worm snake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

That night, we set out in hopes of a mole kingsnake. After a few hours of cruising and seeing mostly copperheads, we finally got our target. It was a handsome snake to boot!

ImageMole kingsnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageMole kingsnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

After that, we helped Santosh with his move to Maryland, and the trip there and back was plagued by horrible traffic on 95 and didn't leave such a warm impression on me of the area. We thought about going to the NJ Pine Barrens, but we opted to head back south and try our luck at rainbow snakes instead, thankfully. While we didn't get a rainbow, I did get a white whale of mine, finally. While flipping rocks along a bridge in the coastal brackish marsh, I caught a glimpse of black and white as it disappeared further into the rock outcropping. I had to call Ali and Daniel over to help me find it after that, as it could have gone anywhere, and Ali was my savior and spotted it, and we both extracted it from the rocks without injury.

ImageMe with the eastern kingsnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

ImageEastern kingsnake. by Joshua W. Young, on Flickr

It was a great trip, and it ended on a pretty great note with the kingsnake, and now that I have one under my belt finally, it'll make way for finally finding one in my home county here in Georgia. There were other lifers I got but didn't get photos of, like pickerel frogs and northern waters, and there were still a few things I didn't get to see. That just means I get to go back, and I look forward to that very much.

Ecto Hunter
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Ecto Hunter » July 29th, 2014, 10:17 am

What a trip! Ya'll cleaned up on the frogs. Glad you finally got a king. Remember me telling you about rocks and bridges?


-Robb

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Josh Young
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Josh Young » July 29th, 2014, 10:36 am

Ecto Hunter wrote:What a trip! Ya'll cleaned up on the frogs. Glad you finally got a king. Remember me telling you about rocks and bridges?


-Robb
Frogs were pretty much my focus point, especially the Pine Barrens treefrog. I wished I had gotten a photo of one of the several pickerel frogs seen, but that'll have to wait till I see one next time. And yes, I remember. I've walked several areas just like that one here, and have always struck out, I have 2 really nice areas not far from my house that I hope will eventually give up a king.

kwross
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by kwross » July 29th, 2014, 10:57 am

Great assortment of reptiles !!! And great pictures :thumb:

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Noah M
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Noah M » July 29th, 2014, 1:37 pm

A lot of nice stuff in here. it's always fun to head to other parts of the country and see what you can turn up. The pine barrens alone would have been nice, but adding to that a mole king, a worm snake, and the getula makes it awesome!

frogfish
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by frogfish » July 29th, 2014, 4:42 pm

<33333333

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InfantryVeteran
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by InfantryVeteran » July 29th, 2014, 4:53 pm

Awesome post! That mole king is stunning!!!!

Carl D. May
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Carl D. May » July 30th, 2014, 3:01 am

Agree with everyone else--great finds. That mole king is a beaut!
Oddly, many of the bridges right on I-95 hold loads of eastern kingsnakes--especially near the border of GA and SC. The granite boulders under the bridges are a good bet at mid morning in the spring before the vegetation overgrows them.
It's weird to see basking kings right out in the open as cars and trucks go thundering by above you.

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umop apisdn
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by umop apisdn » July 30th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Last time I was under a bridge in GA (innocently photographing a salamander), I was greeted after a short while with "show me your hands" and a gun pointed at me. Try to convince an officer that's all you're trying to do and he's gonna have a real hard time believing you.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Josh Holbrook » July 30th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Good all around, Josh. So, are there really places on the coastal plain where mole kings are target-able, huh? Pretty cool.

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Josh Young
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Josh Young » September 5th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Josh Holbrook wrote:Good all around, Josh. So, are there really places on the coastal plain where mole kings are target-able, huh? Pretty cool.
I guess they are a bit more targe-table compared to the Florida varieties. We spent 3-4 nights looking one and finally got one the last night we looked for them. Their numbers are also in higher numbers and they're a bit more common up that way too though it seems.

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Nshepard
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Nshepard » September 9th, 2014, 2:48 pm

Not bad! You got Pine Barrens on just about the last breeding push for the year. See any barkers while out that night?

Josh Holbrook wrote:Good all around, Josh. So, are there really places on the coastal plain where mole kings are target-able, huh? Pretty cool.
They can be fairly "common" in a good portion of the Piedmont and upper coastal plain. But are found throughout most of the state.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by Josh Holbrook » September 9th, 2014, 5:42 pm

Nshepard wrote:Not bad! You got Pine Barrens on just about the last breeding push for the year. See any barkers while out that night?

Josh Holbrook wrote:Good all around, Josh. So, are there really places on the coastal plain where mole kings are target-able, huh? Pretty cool.
They can be fairly "common" in a good portion of the Piedmont and upper coastal plain. But are found throughout most of the state.

Good deal, thanks.

HerpMan ATL
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Re: Spur of the moment trip to North Carolina.

Post by HerpMan ATL » September 10th, 2014, 12:29 pm

Looks like a great trip. Love that mole King.

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