Showing posts from March, 2018

February Findings

When the sun comes out and the daily high is 14 or 15C for two days in a row, animals start to come up to enjoy the warmth, despite what month it is. And that's just what happened on February 27th and 28th. I had some free time and the weather was perfect, so I went out to a new location I had heard great things about to go for a hike, enjoy the warm sun, and hopefully see some reptiles and amphibians. I was not disappointed. Unfortunately, the first animal I came across was a deceased Thamnophis sirtalis (Eastern Gartersnake) that appeared to have frozen to death at the base of a tree. Thamophis sirtalis - Eastern Gartersnake. February 27th. But all of the animals to follow were very much alive, even though they were cold and lethargic. I managed to find my first Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamanders) of the year. And at the same time found my first Hemidactylium scutatum (Four-toed Salamander) of the year, which also marks my first Four-toed Salamander I

An Early Emergence

2018 started off with some intense weather fluctuations. By mid February we were seeing nights where the temperature would remain positive 5 degrees Celsius or more in the Hamilton-Wentworth Region. And some of these nights had large amounts of rainfall. Although it was only February, I knew that this weather would bring out some early rising amphibians. Particularly the Ambystomid species (mole salamanders). So on February 19th, when the weather was just right, myself and my friend Billy Olds grabbed our flashlights and went out into the night to look for amphibians. When we first arrived on location I was pretty confident that we would find at least 1 or 2 salamanders. But as we walked through the forest across an abundance of ice and snow and past vernal pools that were still completely frozen, that confidence started to diminish. We had even checked the pool where I often see Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamanders) and Ambystma jeffersonianum x laterale (Jefferson x Blue-spot