Anyone else ready for warmer weather? I know I am. I enjoyed the snowfall we had last month but I'm ready to hear some peepers peeping and the chorus frogs chorusing. I thought I heard my first upland chorus frog near Lake Raleigh earlier this week. CASP route listening windows opened last month and I was hoping for a warmer evening before I ventured out to run my first route of the year.
On warmer, sunny days (ha!) last month I tried out some new binoculars on the brave basking turtles in and around Lake Raleigh. They have since disappeared. I'll be waiting for my slimy, hopping, crawling, and swimming friends to emerge in the near future. Until then, keep warm!
Be sure to check out our events calendar for LOTS of herpy events in the near future! The Museum of Natural Sciences' Reptile and Amphibian day is just one of many great events on the horizon.
Herpy New Year to you all! I had lots of computer problems this year that results in slow updates to the web site. I hope those in the in past and 2010 will have lots of new and cool things to visit on the web site.
Congratulations to this year's NCHS election winners. Melissa Reynolds will be our new Vice President and Lori Williams will continue on in her third consecutive term as Secretary. Thank you to Jeff Humphries for two years as our last VP!
2009 was a year of one of my coolest herp firsts. I finally met my first hellbender with the help some strong men with the willpower to lift up a small slab of concrete in a creek near Black Mountain, NC. Jeff Humpries was our fearless leader:
Me, sick as a dog, but not wanting to miss any of the action:
What a great joint meeting we had with NCPARC and SEPARC! I hope you all will join other society members at this year's annual NCARC meeting. We won't be catching hellbenders but there's always a good herp experience or two to photograph while you're there. There will be other herp-related events in the coming year including Reptile and Amphibian, FrogFest, and Scails and Tails. See our calendar for more information on these herpy events!
Saturday-Sunday, 25-26 April 2009, at Morrow Mountain State Park, Stanly County, east of Albemarle
Once again, we had a great spring meeting. Some people arrived on Friday for a bio-blitz of a private landowner's property that was supposed to be full of timber rattlesnakes. They didn't find any rattlesnakes but had a good time trying. I ended up with a goat on my car and a new member got to see her first wild mole kingsnake:
A lot of people camped out at the park and road cruised together that evening. Good thing we did because some of our members got to see these beautiful snakes out and about:
Saturday was full of informational speakers with subjects ranging from effects of larval dragonflies on the morphology and behavior of larval salamanders to historical and present day information on the Uwharrie Mountains. Did you know that the Uwharrie Mountains are some of the oldest mountains in North America? They are actually older than the Appalachian mountains and occur in the Piedmont region of the state.
Saturday afternoon/evening had too many critter sightings to mention them all but there are some of the highlights:
barred owl babies!
Video on YouTube that I made of some frogs and toads calling:
Sunday morning was our field trip day and we headed out in search of more herps! Here's some of what we found:
The world's largest spotted salamander larva for April!
The turkeys scared us to death as we walked through the thick underbrush. Here's a nest one female left behind:
All in all, it was a great weekend with many more critter spottings than I have time to post here. I encourage all reptiles and amphibian enthusiasts to join us at our next meeting this fall. You might be surprised at how diverse our membership is and how much fun can be had wandering through the wilds of NC. I hope to see you there next time!