I think the people here are probably the only people who can truly understand the pure elation and then utter horror I felt with this experience. The first weekend of June, Peter Paplanus and I decided we had been cooped up for too long. You can see that one side of the path was burned, while the other was not. Kangaroos cluttered the roads and grassy habitat at dusk. One of them held its ground in the road long enough for me to get pictures out the car window. Apparently these sometimes breed in hot springs, tolerating water up to 40 degrees. I refuse to believe it.) Something I love about the tropics is how many extra, unnoticed-at-the-time critters (usually but not always invertebrates) show up on photos.
The lizards were of course still out on the roads but better still, as I turned a corner I saw this. The trail then turned and headed into upland habitat giving us the opportunity to see Marbled Salamanders, skinks of all range and several Racers. Indeed, it was a Mulga Snake, aka King Brown Snake, the largest venomous snake in Australia, though this was only a medium-sized individual. Other beardies were soaking up the sun in the middle of the road, usually with their heads and tails elevated. Near the small cafe we spotted another Rock lizard living in a stone pile. Gorum_150603_2474 by Bill Gorum, on Flickr The turtle was more interested in eating the earthworm than it was in fleeing! We thought it might be a coral snake, as there are many species of coral snake in the area and some of them sport this color pattern.
But when I started fiddling with my camera, it ran toward me, then up my leg and my back until I felt it on my neck. This past summer some friends and I found ourselves up bright and early, and headed deep into the back-est of back woods Missouri in search of accessible caves. Many-ribbed Salamander (Eurycea multiplicata)…MAR 24…Hot Spring Co. 5 hours walk to enjoy the nocturnal lofe of the Guayacan reserve. This is closer to how we are used to seeing backgrounds in close-up shots (out of focus), but I’m not sure I like the effect. So it was a bit of a bust, but worth a shot. I also didn’t know anything about this species really and didn’t know about their temperament at all.
After that, we reached our destination for the day rather early in the afternoon. As soon as we got settled in our cabin we headed out to explore the ranch. Here’s a beautiful south Florida sunset to finish the trip. Now it had been smokey the day before, but nothing like this. As the night came to an end, I accepted failure as my destiny. The night was growing darker, the moon was still low in the sky. We start with the anurans.
Raven or Crow…? This one did show some signs of movement. As for amphibians, the resort is an excellent spot to find the Salva Vida frog (Duellmanohyla salvavida), which was named after the popular local beer by McCranie and Wilson. Bradypodion caffer – Transkei Dwarf Chameleon (Pondo Dwarf Chameleon) , Port St Johns Transkei. Within the frame of the photo above, we found 4 pygmys, and we found 3 more within a couple feet, because of a decaying spruce tree nearby that had dropped many of these flat, bark-like wood shards. The moment I got to the area I came across my 6th DOR for the state, but a couple hours later I finally managed to get a live yearling canebrake. On the road into the reserve, however, I saw a much more cooperative lizard.
I passed convoys of these often only travelling 20kph up the steep road. Although we were not part of the group that found the one and only indigo, we had the great opportunity of seeing it. Then came my favorite find of the day. One of my favorite helping experiences of tour- we spent the night at a seedy motel in the middle of nowhere in Connecticut. We stayed at four different lodges along the Transpantanal highway, staying from one to four nights at each one. The road to Tarfaya, our next stop in the very south west of morocco… Starting in 1984 Dick and I began making periodic reptile hunting trips to the Apalachicola National Forest and surrounding regions that were in addition to the trips we had already been doing all over south Florida.
Since southern California has gotten SOME rain, we thought it’d be as good a time as any to give it a try. Smallmouth Salamander – I came across a few of these. Black-spotted Sticky frog/ Red-sided Sticky Frog (Kalophrynus pleurostigma) . The road is long…