Long time, no see!

Last weekend, I visited the creek near our home and started poking around some rocks in a new stretch of river. I didn’t find too much, but I did find a Northern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus)!

The Northern Slimy Salamander was recently split into 13 different species that pretty much look identical to each other and are best distinguished by range.


The ranges of the many species formerly considered P. glutinosus. From caudata.org.

This sighting was my first of P. glutinosus since I found several with my friend Matt in Ithaca, NY back in 2009! Needless to say, I was pretty excited, even if it wasn’t a lifer.


Northern Slimy Salamanders are much more terrestrial species than the salamanders I’ve been finding lately. I was surprised to find it so close to the creek.


Impossible to see here, but this guy was missing most of his tail!

I dutifully returned to the creek this weekend, but I failed (not surprisingly) to find a Northern Slimy Salamander. Instead, I found a young Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)! I hadn’t seen a Wood Frog since April 2008 when one was singing near our first apartment in Ithaca, NY! Again, while it wasn’t a lifer, it may as well have been.

Unfortunately, I was theoretically at the creek to fish (I caught several Common Shiners and Fallfish), so I didn’t have a good camera with me. The few photos I took ended up being out-of-focus. Luckily, we had an opportunity to return to the creek this morning.

Surprisingly, a Wood Frog (presumably the same) was beneath the same rock I found one under (and returned it to) yesterday afternoon! Since I had my good camera this time, I reeled of a few shots.


Wood Frogs can be tough to spot when they hunker down.


This guy was not the most cooperative frog I’ve ever encountered.


Now that I know where to find these guys I can’t wait to get back next Spring to hear them sing. I think they sound like mutant turkeys!

I also worked my way much farther down the creek this weekend and found incredible habitat and lots of cover to check in the future. I’ve also found a few trails that lead away from the creek, boosting my hopes of finding a Wood Turtle later this year!

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