Saturday, July 11, 2009

I struck out on milk snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum) again. I’m not sure how much more of a post is justified than that, but I feel like an addict reporting that he fell off the wagon. I could have been looking for more turtles in Cobbs Creek. I could have been scouting more brown snake and garter snake spots in West Philly. I didn’t have a heck of a lot of time Monday (July 6th) night, but I suppose I could have been scouting map turtle basking locations on the Delaware or flipping brown snakes (Storeria dekayi).

Instead I drove once more to the upper end of the Manayunk Canal Tow Path, parked, and again hacked through lots of clinging, thorny vegetation to find nothing, again.

For reference, I am looking specifically for a milk snake within the city limits of Philadelphia. I can find milk snakes elsewhere – for example I found two in Chester County this spring, but Philadelphia is a bigger challenge. I found one in 2005 in the Wissahickon, which is actually what inspired Phillyherping, but I have not been able to find another milk snake since in spite of a whole lot of time, effort, sweat, and, now that I think about it, a bum knee (my current knee flare-up followed two days in a row of herping, day one fruitlessly searching for milk snakes, day two on the timber rattler - Crotalus horridus - of a lifetime. Why blame the rattlers I did find when I can blame the milk snakes I didn't?).

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