Last Sunday (8/26/07) Jen and I headed out for a quick local herping trip. I wanted to eat first. Jen pointed out how late it was, but I was hungry and overoptimistic about how quickly I could eat dinner. So, we were a little pressed for sunlight by the time we got to my favorite post-industrial fields in the Parkside area of West Philly.
As usual we headed out Parkside from
We turned off of Parkside and made our way into my local brown snake (Storeria d. dekayi) fields. I had hoped to see some of the year’s new babies, but not much was going on under the boards and other trash.
I found one snake, this yearling, before we called it quits.
I was thinking we’d weave through the car show out on Parkside and head home, but Jen pointed to one of the ponds inside the park on the other side of Parkside and asked why we’d never been over there. I once saw a bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) in a neighboring pond, but I’ve always written them off as not very interesting.
We had nowhere else to go, however, and although the sun was setting, we could still see. We parked, this time a block away from and with a good view of all the bikes and cars. We followed the edge of the pond, and sure enough we heard a few splashes with accompanying “meep” calls from bullfrogs.
To the other side we spotted feet sticking out of the open door of a car parked in the grass just off the street. Huh? We kept glancing as we walked by. The sneaker soles were pointing down, and then they moved. Both of us figured out that there was someone else underneath the sneakers’ owner, and we did our best not to look anymore.
The light was getting lower, so there wasn’t a lot we could see to the other side in the pond. We called it a night and quietly, cautiously made our way back to our car and home.
Totals (high humidity and temperatures in the mid 70s):
1 brown snake
One last thing – Eitan emailed me a beautiful photo of the wood frog he and Scott found on our outing on August 11th. These can be pretty frogs, and there’s something cute about the masks on their little faces.