Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Allegany Nature Pilgrimage" (frogs, salamanders, and snakes) 5-31-08

A quick post here, to show you some more pictures from my Allegany weekend. Actually all these pictures are from the all day hike I went on led by Tim Baird, it's his hands holding the slimy salamander and the snake. We were walking right along and this little guy almost got stepped on in the dirt road, so well he blended in with the leaves and dirt! It's a Wood Frog, I had to really move quick to catch some pictures of him! What I love is his 'robbers' mask and the way the stripes on his legs line up when he's crouched, it breaks up his body form so he blends into the ground better. It sure works! I'll definitely be doing a painting or drawing of him.

I'm pretty sure this is an Eastern Newt, the adult stage of a Red Eft, the common little red salamander you see in the moist woods. They are a very important part of the food chain in the forest and I think protected, at least in some states. I think everyone should be aware of them and try to keep them from harm to help keep their numbers up.
Here Tim is holding a tiny Ring Necked Snake, it looked like a bit of wire laying on the road, he's got good eyes! The belly of this snake was a pale yellow. I looked it up in my "Audubon's Familiar Reptiles + Amphibians of North America", it says that it grows 10-30" long and can have a yellow, cream or orange neck ring and a yellow to red belly. I'd love to see a full grown one. It's a docile snake that will curl and show it's belly when frightened, also emitting a foul musk.
Well, only one more entry to go about my Allegany weekend, until then I hope you're enjoying the pictures! I did a few little paintings yesterday and today and will put them up soon.

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