The longest running Amphibian Community on the Internet.

Tags Register FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Caudata.org Store

Notices

Field Herping Accounts Share your field herpetology experiences with accounts/articles, photos, and advice.

Reply

 

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 29th January 2018   #1
Jefferson
Member
 
Jefferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 139
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Jefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and information
Default Sunday on the York Peninsula

Early this morning (yesterday morning now, I suppose), a good friend and I motored across the Blue Ridge from college, bound for Virginia’s low country, its more genteel, aristocratic section. First, we stopped in the Piedmont to go to church and pick up my girlfriend Bethany, then headed east to Richmond and on past it into the Coastal Plain to the sounds of Genesis and George Strait. After a quick lunch, where the drink machine ran out of Hi-C orange halfway through my cup filling, we found the beginning of the trail, parked, and headed into the pines and oaks, umbrellas unfurled.

The weather was cooperative, for salamander-hunting that is–55 and rainy. Perfect. After flipping logs unsuccessfully and chatting for the better part of a mile in marginal habitat, we finally came upon a series of marshes and sinkhole ponds reputed to have our target species: the Mabee’s Salamander, Ambystoma mabeei, threatened in Virginia and present from the York peninsula south to the Savannah River on the Atlantic Coast. These chunky, elusive salamanders breed in late winter and early spring in vernal pools, marshes, and swamps, their larvae undergo metamorphosis later in the summer and become adults. The first thing we happened upon at a series of sister woodland pools, though, was this Southern Leopard Frog, found hopping about on the forest floor way before breeding season.

Then, as Hayden and I finished photographing the frog (say that ten times with rapidity), Bethany yelled something enthusiastically from the adjacent twin pond, but her exact words were muffled by the sound of light rain on the forest floor and oak trees above. All I picked up was “got one!” Upon reaching Bethany, we found her with a two-toed amphiuma, albeit a dead one! Perhaps it emerged too early in the winter, or perhaps it had been wounded by a predator but escaped temporarily. Whatever the cause, our lifer, exhilarating though it was (for both Bethany and I, it was our first full–aquatic species), it would have been much better alive.
*

After a Cricket frog, another few hundred yards of slogging through rough terrain, and a broken umbrella, we came upon another set of ponds buried deep in a deciduous section of the woods, where pond acidity was likely to be lower. Here, we made hay, scoring three Mabee’s salamander adults in short order, all of them gravid females!!! Bethany flipped the first two, whilst I got the last one before we headed back to the car in absolute euphoria over the day’s momentous herpetological success. What better way to start the year off than to nab two awesome lifers before January even ends? Incredibly, though, the day wasn’t over.
*
From here, we went to see the battlefield of Yorktown, where Lord Cornwallis was defeated and the British lost all practical hope of maintaining their American colonies, thus allowing the birth of the United States. Walking the battlefield through some heavy fog, we saw the impressive victory monument, erected at the behest of the first Congress in 1781, the British inner defense lines and earthworks, and “Cornwallis’s Cave,” which is not so much of a cave as a small rock outcrop along the York River. The fog impeded our view of the river emptying into the Chesapeake Bay, but the drive home was still sweet.
Pictures are below. Hope you all enjoyed the post! Happy herping!
Jefferson
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3164.jpg
Views:	27
Size:	189.4 KB
ID:	52512   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3171.jpg
Views:	205
Size:	605.5 KB
ID:	52513   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3168.jpg
Views:	43
Size:	692.8 KB
ID:	52514   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3224.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	371.4 KB
ID:	52515   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3227.jpg
Views:	175
Size:	371.5 KB
ID:	52516  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3208.jpg
Views:	41
Size:	769.1 KB
ID:	52517   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3193.jpg
Views:	48
Size:	636.7 KB
ID:	52518   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_3216.jpg
Views:	37
Size:	860.8 KB
ID:	52519  



__________________
"I did not inherit this earth from my ancestors; I borrowed it from my children."
Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2018   #2
Skeeter
(supergrappler)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Nationality:
Posts: 154
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 8
Rep: supergrappler has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing.



__________________

supergrappler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st February 2018   #3
Jefferson
Member
 
Jefferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 139
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Jefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and information
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Thanks, but my photography skills are horrendous usually! For once, I got a near-stationary salamander to photograph!



__________________
"I did not inherit this earth from my ancestors; I borrowed it from my children."
Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd February 2018   #4
Blackbun
Member
 
Blackbun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Nationality:
Posts: 298
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Blackbun has given consistently excellent advice and informationBlackbun has given consistently excellent advice and informationBlackbun has given consistently excellent advice and informationBlackbun has given consistently excellent advice and information
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

I found your photos very interesting. The monuments makes you reflect on the lost lives and what they died for especially now that you have a president intent on destroying the very values of the Founding Fathers.



Blackbun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2018   #5
Seandelevan
(seandelevan)
Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 78
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: seandelevan has shown reliable knowledge
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

As a resident of the Piedmont district in Virginia I enjoy reading about your adventures. I hope I can do my own herping here in a few weeks. Nice big ice storm rolling through tonight though...sigh



seandelevan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17th February 2018   #6
John
Founder
 
John's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 7,843
Gallery Images: 204
Comments: 118
Rep: John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)John has maxed out Caudata.org's Reputation System (we are not worthy!)
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Great account and photos!



__________________
John's flickr photos of Salamanders and other Amphibians
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18th February 2018   #7
Otterwoman
Administrator
 
Otterwoman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 6,084
Gallery Images: 58
Comments: 71
Rep: Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11Otterwoman goes to 11
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Sorry for being stupid, but what species is in the pictures next to the frog?



__________________
Please become acquainted with the forum rules.

Useful Links: Caudata Culture | Species Accounts | Care Articles | Newt and Salamander FAQs | Axolotl.org | Axolotl FAQs | Forum Functions | My Blog
Otterwoman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd February 2018   #8
Nativenewt
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 41
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Nativenewt is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Jefferson said it was a dead two toed amphiuma.



Nativenewt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th February 2018   #9
Jefferson
Member
 
Jefferson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Nationality:
Location: [ Members Only ]
Posts: 139
Gallery Images: 0
Comments: 0
Rep: Jefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and informationJefferson has given consistently excellent advice and information
Default Re: Sunday on the York Peninsula

Indeed you are right that it is a dead 2-toed, sadly. Not sure on the cause of death, but it could have been fooled out of aestivation by the couple really warm days the middle of that week and then been killed when the temps got back down into the 30s the night before our visit. It definitely looked well-preserved, so it likely died within a few days of our visit. Found at edge of pond.



__________________
"I did not inherit this earth from my ancestors; I borrowed it from my children."
Jefferson is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads

Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NY expo this Sunday monkeyfrogman28 General Discussion & News from Members 7 25th January 2010 23:14
Great Sunday blckkeys Field Herping Accounts 8 14th May 2008 23:48
Icecream Sunday mark Anura: Photo Gallery 2 30th May 2006 22:34
Sunday brunch cynthia Axolotl Gallery 9 11th August 2005 21:10


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:24.