Wednesday, November 19, 2008

[From the end of September into October I've racked up a backlog of herping trips/posts. With the barren heart of winter still to come, I'll keep posting these fall trips and look forward to posting some of the posts about my travels once I run out.]

I'm a little worried these brown snake (Storeria dekayi) posts are getting repetitive, but I'm still having a good time with them. The later in the season this brown snake thing goes, the more fun it gets, since the end of October isn't supposed to yield much. October 25th is my birthday, and usually it's a chilly day, when I wish my birthday were sometime in April or May.

The weather on my 32nd birthday was windy and wet. Even with the high of 65 or so, it didn't look great for much besides salamanders. Still, when we ran by the Mill Creek Farm for some veggies, I couldn't resist flipping a few pieces of cover. The first snake I turned up was a baby, a Young of the Year (YOY) as we like to say. I had no equipment with me, so I just took note of where I'd found it and let it go. I tried another piece of cover, and this time found an adult female. She was pretty calm, and Jen shrugged when I asked if we could take her home to mark her, my thinking to bring her back on Wednesday. Here she is in our temporary holding container (she's now set up in a small cage for her four day stay at our place):

With my luck at Mill Creek, I figured why not try the cemetery. Here's another view of the overgrown graveyard, downright spooky with low, spitting clouds and a hard, whistling wind blowing leaves around.

I found one little redback salamander (Plethodon cinereus - what else is new) but I also found this little YOY brown snake. It was too small to mark (or I just lack the nerve to take a cautery to such a tiny snake), but I was able to measure it, and it's always nice to find another snake this late in the season.