Sunday, February 10, 2008

Last Sunday (the 3rd of February) we went out scouting out in the western side of our area. We saw some impressive wetlands, but I was disappointed by the reach of suburbanization.

I can’t say I was surprised, and it makes perfect sense now that I think about it; the radius defined by how far I feel like driving to go herping will be the same as the radius defined by how far some people feel like commuting in a large metropolitan area.

What I’m getting at is that we saw a lot of well-groomed hobby farms and gated subdivisions, but not much in the way of collapsing barns or abandoned, overgrown fields. It may just be that there is nowhere like that within about an hour and a half of where I live (West Philly – close to Center City), because there are just enough people who are happy to commute about an hour and a half.

We did find some nice wetlands. Here are a couple shots – first of a big, open marsh. This is great habitat for lots of amphibians, turtles, and a few aquatic snake species.

The second is a large vernal pool that could be full of spotted salamander and wood frog eggs in a few weeks. I hope to come back and check.

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