Time to Catch Up: Fall 2018 - BC and Greece!

Spring and summer of 2018 were amazing. I saw some incredible herps within Ontario, which you can see in my previous blog posts on the 2018 season. Fall was slightly different. There were still amazing reptiles and amphibians seen, but they were not from Ontario! Travels took me to the west in Canada and all the way to Greece where I had the privilege of observing some of their native herps.

In early fall, I travelled to British Columbia for the Canadian Herpetological Society conference. A group of friends and I were scheduled to be there for the weekend, but headed out to the province a few days early to try and do some hiking and herping of our own before the conference started.

After landing in BC, we headed straight for the Okanagan Valley. Probably the coolest observation of the trip was on our drive, and it wasn't even a herp. It was a MOUNTAIN LION! The big beautiful animal was sitting on the edge of a major highway and all our passengers in the car got to catch a glimpse of the magnificent cat as it took off back into the forest. Unfortunately, we did not get any photos.

What we did get photos of, however, were the first herps from later that night. Also on the roads. It was raining, so we knew amphibians would be out crossing. We drove for a couple hours and managed to find a few Great Basin Spadefoot Toads, some young Tiger Salamanders, and a couple Pacific Treefrogs.

Great Basin Spadefoot

Great Basin Spadefoot

Tiger Salamander

Pacific Treefrog

Pacific Treefrog

After a late night, we hit the sunny hillsides the next day to find the scaly animals we came to see. With some searching, and previous scouting of another friend, we were able to turn up several Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes and a couple neonate Great Basin Gopher Snakes.

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Great Basin Gophersnake

Snake Habitat

Snake Habitat

During the days of the conference, our group managed to find a bit of free time which we, of course, used to look for more snakes. This time, we met up with some local herpers that helped us find a few targets. We got to see more Gopher Snakes and Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes, in addition to over half a dozen Western Yellow-bellied Racers and a Long-toed Salamander!

Western Yellow-bellied Racer

Western Yellow-bellied Racer

Western Yellow-bellied Racer

Long-toed Salamander

Great Basin Gopher Snake

Two Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes basking together

Neonate Western Yellow-bellied Racer

The (amazing!) conference came to an end, and it was time to travel home. Along the way we made one last pitstop in southwestern BC to try and find a few other species. We were successful and got to see a couple Western Red-backed Salamanders, a Northwestern Garter Snake, a Valley Garter Snake, and a Northern Red-legged Frog.

Western Red-backed Salamander

Valley Garter Snake

Northwestern Garter Snake

Northern Red-legged Frog
 
Not a month after being back from BC, I flew east to Greece. I spent the majority of my time on Santorini, where herps are in very limited supply, and I only spent one day in Athens. Depsite the circumstances, I was able to observe a few Greek Tortoises in the city, and more Erhard's Wall Lizards then I could count.

Erhard's Wall Lizard

Erhard's Wall Lizard

Greek Tortoise

Greek Tortoise

One day I will have to return to both BC and Greece to find some species that I missed out on while I was there. But, for now, I am very pleased with the memories and photos that I was able to capture of the incredible herps that I did get to see while visiting these beautiful places.

And with this post, that is a wrap to my recap of herps in 2018! 

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