We interupt our regularily scheduled program temporarily...
I have been in the field a bunch this month searching out various herps, canoeing, and even "gasp", herping the name sake Buckeye State. On other free days we have been doing some house hunting here in Michigan. The weather has been dismal at times and I have been doing a bit more birding on some of the slower days. I am fairly ignorant when it comes to feathered herps, but I have enjoyed photographing a few species and hope to share them soon.
So please pardon a few bird (they are herps anyway right?) pics here and there!
male Kirtland's Warbler singing
As cool as seeing a bunch of these birds up close was, none of which landed in a Jack Pine, I would have been 100 times happier with a MI Kirtland's snake!
I hope to finally finish up Hawaii and share some of my April and May exploits soon!
One would think Hawai'i should be covered with frogs. It is a warm, lush, tropical paradise that gets ton of rain a year. Seems perfect for frogs right? Like other herps, there are actually no native Hawai'ian frogs. A few have been introduced over the years, and while they thrive, by no means are they the most common herps one will encounter. I was suprised by the relatively small numer of species that could be found on the islands.
First and foremost for me, I spent much time looking for poison-dart frogs. In Hawai'i? Yep. Back in the day (early 20th century) these frogs were released as an attempt to control mosquitos. This of course failed miserably, but the frogs still persist in pockets and were fairly easy to find, in the right places.
Green and black poison dart frog - Dendrobates auratus
I had seen one of these animals in their native range in Costa Rica and was pretty excited to try for them again. I spent numerous days hiking a bunch of different trails that they turn up on without anything to show for it. With an awesome tip though, I found tons in a relatively disturbed area.
Clean the darn buggers off...
I went big early though, and unfortunately, the rest of the frogs leave much to be desired...
Cane Toads Bufo marinus we saw frequently on Kauai and Oahu. I have some strong distaste for them though and only took marginal pictures at best.
These frogs are invading the world. They are responsible for an epidemic in Australia and can be found in Texas, Florida, and many other tropical areas. They are virtually impossible to eradicate and have the potential for doing great harm to other native animals.
The last frog I saw is the Greenhouse Frog Eleutherodactylus planirostris. One of my co-workers showed my pictures of them at his house so I went out to check them out. I have seen these before in Florida.
These frogs are pretty tiny but were easily found after dark. His kids proved excellent at finding these and turned up 3 or 4 after a few minutes.
I never did hear or see the ubiquitous Coqui frogs that everyone on Hawaii is complaining about. I also unfortunately missed out on some other cool frogs, primarily the wrinkled toad from Asia.
This is from last Tues. Filled up with regular to $4.29. I was running low after a long day of herping in the 99 Explorer. I love her for the dogs, the high clearance and the ability to lug tins/boards/camping equipment/trailers. When you are herping alot and filling up every 1-2 days though, it really starts to hurt. Luckily, prices have come down a bit since then. I don't have the cash to just trade her in, but when she finally dies (hopefully not soon!) I am looking forward to picking up something with much better gas mileage. She is still going strong with around 140k and I hope to get over 200k.
I spend as much time outdoors and viewing wildlife as often as possible. While pursuing these activities, photography has grown into a passion of mine. The Buckeye Herps Blog is my attempt to chronicle my adventures which started in Ohio, continue in Michigan, and take me all over the country and the world.