Friday, July 15, 2016

Slimed: The Herp Adventures of 2k16

Once we returned from hellbending, we took a trip with April Claus over to Bousson Preserve to find some additional herp species. When we arrived, we started overturning every rotten log and wet rock we could find in search of salamanders, frogs, and whatever else was hiding underneath. It was much easier to catch little salamanders than the massive, well-muscled hellbenders-- instead of grabbing their throats and hanging on for dear life, it was only a matter of gently guiding some unassuming slimy guys into little plastic cups (even though some of them were pretty evasive).

We found astonishing success. One of the campers was able to capture a spotted salamander, black with striking yellow spots, which April hadn't even anticipated would be above the ground this time of year. We also found multiple Northern Red salamanders, a gaudy scarlet species, and redbacks, which unsurprisingly had dark red backs. Others we caught were dusky salamanders, slimy salamanders, one stray pickerel frog, a wasps' nest, and countless slugs.

Though we didn't find any snakes or spring peepers, I saw more amphibians in one night than I'd seen all year. I'm definitely going to be more careful stepping on random rocks in the future.

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