Trip Details

Location: Powell County, Kentucky

Conditions: Sunny, mid seventies

Time: 11:00 am to dark

Herpers: Mike Pingleton, Jeff LeClere, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

After an awesome Campmaster Mike breakfast, we headed west. We ended up in Powell County. This area was a lot more mountainous than the area we were in previously, and we were ready for whatever we would find. We were on our own now, armed with some suggestions we had gotten from Will and Phil the night before.

We started off looking for a few of the areas that the guys had told us about. The first was a tin site along a creek. The tin didn't produce much, giving up only a couple of ring-necks and a water snake. I didn't stop for any photos.

We started to work some of the stream rocks for sallys, since the snakes weren't biting.

We turned up some Dusky Salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus).

We also found Two-Lined Salamanders (Eurycea cirrigera).

At one point, we reached an area where the forest canopy really closed in, and I saw a little cave off to the side of the trail. When I walked over there and found this really cool fungus on an old log.

While I was looking at the fungus, Mike mentioned how much this area looked like green salamander habitat. It wasn't more than fifteen seconds later that he called out, "Got one!" It was a beautiful adult Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus).

Mike and Jeff salamander fishing...

It was a lifer for all three of us. After shooting pics, we started poking around the hillside, and I found another smaller adult, and Jeff and I each found a tiny juvenile. This is the one I found, I didn't work to hard at pictures.

While we were on the hillside, Jeff found this really pretty Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica).

On the way out, Mike found another new species for the trip, and another lifer for all of us, the Black Mountain Salamander (Desmognathus welteri).

I also found an Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens). It was a lifer for me, but I didn't manage to get any decent pictures, it just wouldn't sit still.

We hit another tin site, and turned up three big gravid Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis).

They were all sitting under the hot tin, keeping the babies inside warm. It was cool to see, but we had hoped for more at this site. That pretty much wrapped it up for the day.

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