Saturday, January 24, 2009

Scouting does help. I can't say it's completely satisfying to hike around in the mid 30s through marshy creeks and bushwhack through briars and saplings to vernal pools in the middle of the woods, but it was a hell of a lot better than sitting around at home staring at the rain or snow. I think some part of what I get out of herping is the enjoyment of the outdoors, hiking through something besides concrete and asphalt, smelling something besides car exhaust or whatever my apartment smells like, seeing trees and other vegetation all around me.

This was a spot I had initially scouted back in the summer. This came of some satellite image scanning. I had spotted what I thought were vernal pools and a marshy creek running through forest and some fields on Google Earth. I wrote down the coordinates, and while on another trip this summer I had taken a quick walk out to check it out. At the time I found it not quite worth the effort to hack my way around for a better look, so I put it on the winter back burner.

Scott and I made it back out recently, and although the cold temperature and time of year meant that we wouldn't see any herps, they also meant we had less vegetation to hack through and we could see farther through the forest than we could in the middle of summer.

We wandered around a little, but I checked my GPS unit against the coordinates I had written down, declared that we would walk "That way!" into the forest, and sure enough we popped out a couple minutes later at the edge of a large vernal pool. We repeated this a few times. Not all the pools were so big or so promising, but we now have a great network of pools and a stream to check out in the spring.

I feel better, although of course now I want to do it again the next weekend.

1 comment:

Robby said...

These are great ideas as I am planning for my biggest herping year ever.