Looking back: Herps

With the closing of the year it’s perhaps time to look back and see what we’ve observed on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop. Below, in the appropriate segments, I give totals for some of the species seen since January of last year.

Following a week of relatively warm, cloudy, misty, and drizzly weather, a Yellow-bellied Turtle was seduced by the bright sunshine of December 21 into basking on a rock in the Wetlands. Unfortunately for the turtle, the sunshine did little to stop temperatures from falling to the thirties by day’s end. On the 28th, when the temperatures reached the low 70s there were 5 of those hardy turtles basking on the rocks and logs of the Wetlands, as well as 1 Painted Turtle.

Also taking advantage of the warm weather on the 28th was a Ground Skink. I caught a quick glimpse of one of these small skinks as I was watching the Cloudless Sulphur (above) perch on the leaf litter alongside the path on the back side of the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop.

Turtles seen by me in 2008 on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop included 4 species. I saw 2 species of skinks and 6 snake species. The tally for frogs and toads came to 13 species, a good sign of a healthy Wetland.

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