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A few days in the Great Smokey Mountains

christopher law

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So, this was a typical herp trip...no plan, just a couple books and a destination in mind.

The 14 hour drive down was tough...the I-79 was littered with road kill remains (6 vehicles written off because of deer and bear collisions).

We got too the park and were instantly ANNOYED with the max influx of people going to the smokies...not what we expected. When we got to the visitor center we asked for a remote campsite and we were directed that way. Chugged two beers, ate a can of cold ravioli and out we went.

We cleaned up the mid elevation caudata we were looking for, so the following day/night we hit up the higher elevations. Flipping logs and rocks at 6300 ft was EXHAUSTING and we only got 1 of our 4 targeted high elevation species..so off to another part of the park.

This part of this epic journey was the only time I really thought "anything goes wrong and we are dead". A single lane dirt road (if you can call this a road) takes us to our destination. With a heavy rain and fog and no guard rail to prevent us from plummeting to our death we decided to start up the mountain. Little did we know the 9 mile drive up was all sharp S-bends and would take us over an hour, but with no place to turn around, we were..how would you say pot committed. We eventually got to a point where we couldnt see the road anymore. We parked the car, got out to see where the road was going and to our surprise the road was right in front of us but even more interesting was that the sign to the right of us informed us that we were at our destination (good thing we got out or we would have been driving for hours longer).

The drive home was unpleasant to say the least...6 hours of driving through the mountains during a snow storm (started snowing in west Virginia and didnt let up until Pittsburg). So 3528 Kms on the car, 13 species of salamander and 1 frog.

Plethodon_serratus_fb-1.jpg

Plethodon_glutinosus_fb.jpg

Gyrinophilus_porphyriticus-fb.jpg

Eurycea_wilderae_fb.jpg

Eurycea_longicauda_fb-1.jpg

Desmognathus_quadramaculatus_fb.jpg

Desmognathus_monticola_fb.jpg

desmognathus_conanti_fb.jpg

Desmognathus_wrighti_fb.jpg

Desmog_conanti_fb.jpg

ohh wait, I think Im missing a photo or two
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ahh, here it is
Cryptobranchus_alleganiensis_fb.jpg

Cryptobranchus_alleganiensis_fullbody_fb.jpg
 

Black leaves

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Beautiful pictures.. thank you for sharing, from above picture no 6, what is that kind of salamander, it have really frog face look, what species is't? :D
 

Logan

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I can't believe you found a hellbender. I believe I spent many an hour in or near freezing cold waters looking for one. Great photos
Logan
 

Nathan

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Sounds like you had a good time! Unfortunately you managed to hit the Smokies at peak tourist season- people love to come see the fall foliage there. It's less crowded in spring and summer, and nearly empty in winter.
 

Nshepard

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Way nice on the D. marmoratus. Very difficult species to find....way better find than a hellbender!
 

Justyn

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Hellbenders....I'm quite jealous right now. Congrats on seeing that many species in such a short time period. It looks like I might need to make a trip at some point.
 

Molch

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hey, for the Plethodont virgins like me, I wonder if you could tell us which species the pix show - I think I know some of them but not all....
 
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    she should be ok as axolotls can regenerate limbs, the only this i would say is to mabey feed the male more as this type of behavuor is uslay down to hunger.
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    hey, anyone know how long bloodworms can stay in an axolotl tank before they begin to rot and cause an ammonia spike?
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    I think it is always best to get them out asap but probably two days or so.
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    its around 3 small pieces in the tank. Since i've just moved homes, my axolotl is still at my old house. Yesterday i fed him bloodworms and he missed a few. I couldnt get them out without a turkey baster and decided to let them sit because i was gonna move him to the house tomorrow. But now its late and I dont have a car and my dad wont drive me. Will he be fine?
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    I would think so i would just try to get them out tomorrow
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    yeah, im heading over tomorrow morning to move him to this house and feed him. Thanks for the help!
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  • Shane_Yogurt:
    So my axolotl tank cycle just crashed and while i was in the middle of a water change my bucket overflowed and spilled water all of the ground in my brand new home. This is going super well 👍
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    do the classifieds still exist?
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    nevermind! off my game tonight
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    Im so frustrated right now. My axolotl WONT eat and my tank still isnt looking too good. Some extra stress i needed.
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    Sorry to hear that Shane. Did you post about it?
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    No, I havent. Im not really sure why he wont eat. Hes in a 1 gallon tub and still a juvenile. When i offer food he swims away from it. Does he need some extra time? or is this something I should be worried about.
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    Hello everyone! I’m new in this world and i need some advices please! I have 2 axolotl babies and currently the water from the tank is from bottled water ( all parameters are good) but i want to change 50% of the water with city tap water. My question is how to change it? Do i need to get axis out, do the change, add the prime, wait (how much?) until its dechlorinated or i can add the tap water directly into the tank with axis in it, and add the prime conditioner? Thank you!!
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    1. You dont need to take them out of the tank to change the water as long as you pour it in slow as to not rattle them around too much
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    2. add the prime to your tap water, for most conditioners the consensus is 5 minutes of waiting time
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    3.After 5 minutes it should be safe to add
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    Thank you so much !!
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    I private messaged you a bit clearer instructions just in case
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    Where can I get blackworms?
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    Ebay or Eastern Aquatics
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