My free time during the first part of September was taken up with preparations for a birthday
party for my mother-in-law. Family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday. She is still living at home with assistance.
I don't think I found any live snakes during September, except a Black Rat Snake that I ran over while mowing a field at the farm.
Actually, I did find the snake alive, but was lead to it by the Turkey Vultures that found it first. I did find a few turtles on the
road during my commutes: a Musk Turtle, Mud Turtle, several Box Turtles, and an
old male slider on a street in the middle of Abbeville.
I have not been able to make a definite identification of its species. Logic says it is a Yellowbelly, but it has no head markings
and looks most like a Redbelly Slider. As far as I know, we do not have breeding populations of Redbelly Sliders in the area. Win reported
finding several Box Turtles in the drying creek beds at the farm. He brought me a hatchling Box Turtle for photographing.
In October, a few more snakes were seen. I found only one live snake myself, a large Copperhead. Win brought me a Brown Snake
and a neonate Copperhead for photographing. Win and Hope also found a large Black Rat Snake and an Eastern Kingsnake near their house. I saw
at least one DOR Eastern Kingsnake and Win and Hope saw a couple more. This year we saw an unusually hign number and percentage of Kingsnakes.
Win also brought me an adult Gulfcoast Spiny Softshell Turtle for photographing.
In mid-October, on the coldest morning yet of this Fall, I accompanied Win on one of his survey runs on Lake Russell. I did not expect to
see any herps and was not surprised. It was a beautiful, bright-blue morning. We saw juvenile Bald Eagles, Ospreys, American Coots,
Common Loons, Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons, and others.