What's Your Nature?

Become a Nature Up North explorer to share your encounters with wild things and wild places in New York's North Country. Post your wildlife sightings, landscape shots, photos from your outings, and even your organization's events!

Encounters

During our Herpetology trip to Higley Flow, I found several wood frog egg masses in a marsh next to the beaver pond. These eggs are about 1 week from hatching, and I could see the developing tadpoles moving around. The weather was a bit chilly (about 50F) and cloudy.

Found this small spotted salamander underneath a piece of old firewood at Higley Flow State Park during a herpetology class field trip. It was very active and quickly returned to hiding under its log. Someone else found a second one of similar size in the same area under a different log.

The day was overcast, with some spotty sunshine. The temperature was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and I found this Red-backed salamander under a rotting log while herping with some classmates at Highley Flow State Park.

I was walking with my friends in the afternoon. It was fairly cloudy and cold. We originally went out looking for salamanders, but as we were looking we came across this snake! I was with some beginner Herpers and they were pretty alarmed to come across something other than a salamander, but I assured them it was a herp nonetheless.

Perfect timing for Hepatica! Thousands of flowers in white, pink and blue.

On Monday, in my herpetology class, I found this wood frog (Rana sylvatica) egg mass in a vernal pool along with a few others at Glenmeal State Forest. Typically there are many more wood frog egg masses in this particular vernal pool by this point in the season, so hopefully more will be there soon!

Found this red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus, adult) in Glenmeal State Forest, under a log.

Visited Glenmeal State Forest for Herpetology lab where we were recording the number of egg masses at each vernal pool. Spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) eggs are recognizable by their smooth, uniform jelly shell! This compares to frog eggs in which each egg is individually covered and creates a bumpy appearance.

One thing I’m curious about are the small flecks of red located in the membrane of the coating. A potential egg predator?

While out trying to find some salamanders that prefer to live in fast moving streams in my herpetology class I found this little crayfish. Surprisingly the little guy didn't pinch me, but was not happy at all to be out of the water. I named it Mr. Pinchy.