Tuesday, August 30, 2005

At least I was in town last weekend. I’m done with flying and driving around the country for showers, bachelor parties, and weddings, at least until my own in two months. I had little time for herping, however. Jen is moving this week, so the weekend was for packing. I managed some volunteer trailwork in the Wissahickon, and although I got some good recommendations for salamander streams, I had no time for flipping rocks. There’s a three day weekend coming, though, and I’m looking forward to spending at least some of it hunting.

On Friday evening we did manage a little walk around Cobbs Creek. We found no snakes and no toads. I mention the toads because it seems like a place for American Toads. There are salamanders, two species of snakes, and bullfrogs; there should be toads.

The bullfrogs were out. We walked south of the environmental center around the wetlands they built at Naylor’s Run. There were actually people fishing where the tributary emerges from underground. With the smell and color of the water there, I pray that they were just doing catch and release.

Jen led the way (fifty yards?) along the stream to where it joined Cobbs Creek. I was starting to complain that we weren’t going to find anything – let’s just go for a walk and get some exercise – when there was a loud splash, like a brick launching itself into the water. I’ve been seeing and hearing so many green frogs lately that the sound confused me. It was too heavy. There was no ‘meep.’

It was a bullfrog (Rana catasbeiana)! I perked up. The trip was suddenly worth it. Jen spotted another one across the stream, sitting like a fat, round, chunk of mud on a rock. I’ll grant some grace to the green frogs with their thinner lines and pretty pattern, but the bullfrogs are just fat and green.

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