Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I was back out at the Mill Creek Farm this afternoon (September 24th). I only found one brown snake (Storeria dekayi), and it was L14R0, the one whose photo is at the end of the September 10th post. Of course I was trying to find and mark more snakes, making the single snake a bit of a letdown, but it was really cool to find a snake I could recognize like that. Instead of another anonymous brown snake, this is now one that I can follow around throughout the year as it moves around (or doesn't move) its habitat.

On Sunday (September 21st) Jen and I took a morning copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix)trip. The weather was great (70s, sunny), the location was perfect - rocky wooded hillside, the snakes previously observed by the landowners, but we saw nothing. I'm a little bummed about that, but Jen did uncover a handful of redback salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Of course falling temperatures, the crisp air, and leaves turning colors are all signs of autumn, but so are redback salamanders. They tend to stay deep underground in hot, dry weather, but as it cools down they come to the surface, and soon we'll be finding them under every log and rock in the Delaware Valley. I hope they're enough to get us through the winter.