SC Reptile and Amphibians


November & December 2006

Gene's Notes:

During November we experienced sporadic warm and cool temperatures. In the first part on the month I cruised local roads on a particularly warm night following light rainfall. I found Leopard Frogs and Upland Chorus Frogs on the road. Unexpected, I found a small Redbelly Snake AOR. I first drove past it, judging it to be an earthworm. On second thought, I decided I had never seen an earthworm lie still and hold its head off the ground. Personally, this was a great find. All the images I had of Redbellies were old and of poor quality. I had not found one to photograph for several years.

Following an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday weekend with my family, I visited with Barbara Foster, herpetological cureator for the Greenville, SC Zoo. Barbara is working, with others, on preparing a booklet on common snakes found in the SC Piedmont. I took some images of species that she was lacking for the publication. While I was there, she showed me the herpetological facilities and collection. I was greatly impressed by one specimen that had been found locally and brought to the zoo. It was a leucistic, adult Black Rat Snake. The snake was in great shape and about 5 feet in length. It was totally white except for the black eyes. Beautiful!

In early December, we experienced a few days with temperatures dropping into the 'teens (F). December ended with tempertures after dark in the 60s F.

We decorated early for Christmas. I decided that I would give a trail camera to Win and myself as a present. It arrived in mid-month and we started setting it out for pictures. We first put it along a trail that is heavily traveled by deer. We got some decent images of deer and turkeys. Later I moved it to more remote locations on the farm. I was hoping to get images of coyotes, skunks, bobcats, otters, and beaver. No such luck yet. I am still learning the best way to set the camera. On one stakeout, I succeeded in getting over a 100 images of rainfall.

On a particularly nice day in mid-month when two of my grandchildren were visiting, my wife and I took them out looking for salamander larvae. At a pool in the riverbottom sandpile we found them, plus tadpoles and various insects. At another wetland, we found a Red Eft (Red-spotted Newt) that apparently had recently returned to the water but still retained its red coloration.

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday season. I took some time off from work. We celebrated three birthdays also.

We wish all our friends and website visitors a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Gene Ott


January 05, 2007
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