Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My scouting trip got scuttled by last week’s storm. I had been thinking of driving two-lane dirt roads in either South Jersey or up in Northeast PA, where even the highways were impassable.

So, stuck in icy West Philly, I decided to try another kind of scouting. I posted on the forums. The Phillyblog site has been great for neighborhood news, so I figured I’d throw up a general request for info on the herps readers find around West Philly and see what people find in their backyards. I also posted to the Roxborough/Manayunk/East Falls forum to see if anyone might have any leads on the elusive milksnakes (Lampropeltis t. triangulum) of NW Philadelphia.

It wasn’t quite the avalanche of tips I’d been hoping for, but the postings generated some cute exchanges and filled in a few dots on the map in areas I haven’t explored yet. Brown snakes (Storeria d. dekayi) are truly everywhere in West Philly, it seems, and garter snakes (Thamnophis s. sirtalis) seem to be widespread in Manayunk, which I find especially interesting given the lack of bodies of water between the Wissahickon and the Schuylkill.

This weekend, I'm getting out, I swear it. Maybe not outside the neighborhood, but I'll be flipping something somewhere.