Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another Trip to St. Marks

We met some friends at St. Marks NWR who just moved into the area so we could show them around. Here are the highlights: a beautiful adult corn snake, a pig skull disguised as a turtle shell (admittedly we were in a moving vehicle and it was 40 yards off the road in the recently burned woods) and some atamasco lilies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Marks NWR

Busy packing and cramming outdoor stuff. Decided to hit up an old industrial site today N of Carrabelle. Aubrey found a racer under cover and a beautiful pair of broadhead skinks.

Yesterday we hit up St. Marks NWR over in Wakulla Co. Saw a nice bald eagle on the way. We are really going to miss baldies and box turtles. As a friend would say, both are as common as rats here. I would estimate we’ve had at least a hundred sighting of each over the past year. There are 54 eagle nests in Franklin County so undoubtedly we are seeing individuals multiple times. Still, it is a treat to drive a few miles to town for milk or an oil change and see 3 or 4 in 15 minutes time; walk outside the house or hit the trail and see / hear a pair soaring overhead. As far as Gulf Coast box turtles go, Aubrey has found as many as 12 in one day and it is not uncommon to see a couple a day when the weather is just right.
But I digress……St. Marks: A nice day with low traffic volume which made for lazy driving and parking wherever we wanted. Saw an otter crossing the road shortly after passing the visitor’s center. The usual birds were seen- anhingas, grebes, and great blue herons. Lots of yellow rumped warblers and mockers too. A few nice sized gators were out basking, 7 or 8 feet in length and the usual Suwannee cooters were out basking. Saw 4 more eagles, one soaring and a group of 3 (juvenile in nest and both adults in nearby trees). A good mix of ducks were seen (Redheads, Green-Winged Teal, Mallards, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, and American Wigeon). Lots of little blue herons, Lousiana herons, and Snowy egrets. We then decided to get off Lighthouse road for a bit. Aubrey came up with a nice score, her first (lifer) black swamp snake (Seminatrix pygaea) while flipping logs on the edge of a wetland. A good day all around, especially since we scavenged 36 sheets of tin from a couple of abandoned lots and roadside dumps for a friend who said he would pay us 5 bucks a sheet ($165.00). That ought to get us close to New Mexico. More later…


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here is the scoop.

Aubrey and I accepted 6 month professional contract herpetologist positions working for Charlie Painter (state herpetologist, curator at Musuem of SW Biology, co-author of NM Herp Field Guide) beginning April 1 and lasting through mid-October. We will be assisting with several ongoing long-term T&E studies, initiating a snake community study, and filling in species distribution gaps statewide. We’ll be “based” out of Albuquerque but we’ll be doing a lot of camping up to 10-12 days at a time. A lot of our time will be in the southern portion of the stat, in the SE around Roswell (I want alien photos to sell to the tabloids so we can buy a ranch in Florida) and in the SW around Silver City, helping conducting long-term studies which is great so I can duck into the Sky Islands of SE Arizona and do some of the Mexican birding. We will also be doing high elevation amphibian work during monsoon season, turtle trapping during the summer, searching for New Mexico ridge-nosed rattlesnakes in the Sky Isands, etc. Should be pretty damn fun.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Greetings Folks,
Thanks for taking the time to browse Fingerprince Prints Photography. Since we can often be found on the road, we thought we would try our hand at putting together a blog consisting of a few notes and photographs from our adventures. We hope you will visit often as we hope to post updates often.