On Saturday (10/20/07) afternoon with sun and temps in the high 60s, Jen and I decided to explore another section of
We spotted a mystery turtle basking at the edge of one of the ponds (note all the algae on the pond) and a bunch of mystery frogs (Rana species) hopping in around us. I’d like to think the turtle was a redbelly (Pseudemys rubriventris), but it was just as likely an exotic, invasive red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans).
Then on Sunday I did some volunteering up in the Wissahickon. I don’t want to come off as self righteous about this, but I’d like to encourage everyone to do something to support the public lands you use for herping. I used to be a more regular park volunteer, but I still try to get out a few times a year to plant trees, pick up trash, maintain trails, and hack at the exotic invasive plants in Cobbs Creek and the
Anyhow, after a few hours of hard labor, I spent a couple hours seeking after the ever-elusive eastern milksnakes (Lampropeltis t. triangulum) of the Wissahickon. I know they’re back there and some day I’ll find them, but Sunday (67 and sunny) was not the day.
I did find salamanders on a little side trip – a few redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and then a little surprise. I looked under a board near an old springhouse and turned up a couple longtailed salamanders (Eurycea longicaudata). These were youngsters.
They aren’t exactly rare, but they’re not the most common of our salamanders – their cousins the two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata) are what you find a lot more often, so the longtails are always a little special for me.