Trip Details

Location: Hart and Jefferson Counties, Kentucky

Conditions: Cloudy, rainy, high in the low sixties

Time: Noon until dark

Herpers: Mike Pingleton, Jeff LeClere, Jim Scharosch

Yesterday was one of those days. Today, the weather turned on us. Clouds moved in, the wind picked up, and it started to drizzle. We decided to head back to the east, and maybe make a run at escaping the weather. We soon came to the conclusion that that wouldn't be possible. Looking back, we didn't have a chance as this weather pattern engulfed the entire central part of the country for the next week. We talked to Brian Baker about revisiting some of the tin sites he had showed us a couple days ago, and he opted out of joining us because of the weather.

At the first stop we made, we found this Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta).

It had just eaten something huge, and we didn't want to make it regurge it's meal, so we didn't mess with it too much.

A few tins later we turned up this nice Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis g. nigra).

It was an adult and it was cool to find another one.

We hit a few other unproductive spots and turned up just a few little things here and there. One was this Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis).

They sure make 'em pretty in Kentucky.

After this we decided to pay a visit to the some of the forested areas to look for more salamanders. Jeff wanted to see a mud sally, and hoped to find one himself. We worked a promising looking area, and Jeff found a sub-adult specimen. It had a light pinkish coloration, not like the bright orange of the one Mike had found days before. I didn't take any pictures of it, I wish now I had.

We decided to go back to the area where Mike had found his mud the other day, and believe it or not, after five days, it was still sitting under the same log where Mike had found it! While they were taking pictures, I wandered off thru the stream hoping to find one myself. I found a lot of two-lined salamanders under rocks with their eggs. After about fifteen minutes, I saw a streamside tire with a rock where the rim would be. I thought to myself that if I were a mud sally, that is where I would be, and when I flipped the rock, I saw the telltale red of a Midland Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus diastictus).

It was a darker red than the one Mike had found. It was more of a brick red color, and it was also a bit larger than Mike's. I'm thinking the colors may darken with age, but I'm no salamander expert.

That wrapped it up for the day. We hit a Mexican restaurant, which is one of my favorite things to do on these trips. Mike and I enjoyed the thirty-two ounce Dos Equis Dark, and Jeff his 32 ounce glass of milk. It was my birthday, so the boys picked up the tab. Thanks guys!!

This was yet another birthday enjoyed away from home, one of the casualties of a spring birthday for a herper. But hey, if I can't spend my birthday with my family, I can't think of anyone else I would rather hang out with than good herpin' buddies.

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