Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter is here

First real snow of the year was falling when I went to bed around midnight. Already a couple inches had accumulated. It could be a rough morning, luckily I don't need to get up for a while.

In Ohio, Carl and I have gone on a few "snowmandering" trips. Some of the stream species such as twolines, duskies, springs and pseudotritons can be turned up with effort. Sometimes it means busting through the ice to dipnet a pool, or prying that frozen rock out of the stream bank. The spoils are small, but at least you get to dust off the boots.

Winter also makes for a great time to scout. Although laying tin would be pretty cold on the hands, you can see through the (lack of) foliage better and catch good looks at rock faces and seepages from afar.

I just can't seem to dig up the energy to do much of either here in Michigan. We don't really have any of the stream salamander species, and there aren't really rock faces to scout. I guess I could get minnow traps out for mudpuppies, but the thought of "ice fishing" doesn't quite get me as excited.

So cheers to southern Ohio with the phenomenal salamander diversity and more temperate climate...

I unfortunately can't find any pictures of the animals found under snow, but to prove we did actually get out once or twice...


  1. I feel bad about winter too, but I guess at least we don't have snow yet - it makes the cold-mandering a little easier. I will second the comment about scouting, though, and maybe in MI you can shift the focus to vernal pools? There's nothing like hacking through to a pool you spotted on a topo map or satellite image (until the spring when you hack through and find turtles there).

  2. Yeah I meant to mention the vernals. I honestly have been lazy. In Ohio the vernals were a bit more exciting because you usually could dipnet up some marbled larva. I guess I should be out there trying for tigers though and scouting for the spotted turtles. I need to get out of this funk.