Sunday, May 16, 2010

Herps of the Arboretum

Yes I've been home for two weeks now, but I thought I'd share one of the last days I spent in Montreal as a student.

My friend and I went to the Arboretum, the largest green space on the island. We didn't expect much, as it was a chilly day, still quite early in the spring. We were pleasantly surprised!

I'll start with the herps.
Under the first log my friend flipped, she found a blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale). They're one of my favorites. Didn't get out the camera til we came to a small pond, and we couldn't resist getting a few shots of the eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens) we kept catching. They were rather sluggish due to the cool water.
Newt butt!

Green frog (Rana clamitans)... also known as "Mr. Frog", eluded us for a good half an hour before I caught him. It seems I was much better at catching frogs when I was younger, even though I know much more about technique now. Maybe because I was simply smaller and quicker? The pond was also full of tadpoles, ranging from toads to bullfrogs. Red backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were abundant, of course. It was fun to see two color morphs together under one rock. This little wood frog (Rana sylvatica) rather startled us, as we were trying to photograph the red backed salamanders above. He almost made it down to the pond in the quarry, but I still have *some* frog catching prowess left in me. Just when I was thinking "this day could only get better if I found a snake"... after photographing the wood frog, we turned around to see a garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) sitting only a few feet behind us! It musked me a bit, as garters tend to do, but was otherwise rather docile. We also saw some great invertebrates that day, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

Ted C. MacRae said...

Good stuff - you should consider submitting this to the next issue of House of Herps.