Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This isn't exactly about herping, but Grid has run another article of mine, this one a look at six different spots around Philadelphia where you can go for a nature walk along with a small piece focusing on the Heinz NWR and their bald eagle family.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's only fair that I post about some of the trips on which I don't find very much. Forums like Field Herp Forum and blogs like this one can give the impression that every time we go out we're tripping over rattlers (Crotalus horridus) or pulling spotted turtles (Clemmys guttata) out of the mud every time we wade into a marsh, when we generally strike out more often.

Last Friday I tried out another rocky Pennsylvania ridge I had scouted early in the spring. The weather was perfect and I was on time - the day didn't heat up very fast, so I arrived when any snakes would likely still have been basking. I was expecting the best.

I found nothing. Actually, I did find something:

I found one tiny (yearling?) garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) hiding under a rock, sort of a split flake of a boulder on top of the boulder. In Eitan's immortal words, it wasn't a snakeless day.

I covered a lot of ground, wading/hacking my way through underbrush, hopping from boulder to boulder, each moment expecting to see one of the target species (black rat snake - Pantherophis obsoleta, copperhead - Agkistrodon contortrix, timber rattler) , but finding only a really good workout and a few new scrapes and bruises.