Category: Regions

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, 13 May 2020

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, the Dusky pigmy rattlesnake; Volusia county, Florida (13 May 2020). A little zoom action on the ridiculously tiny rattle of the Dusky pigmy rattlesnake. The rattle is so small, you can barely hear it. At best, it sounds sort of like somebody’s flying a…

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, 13 May 2020 (with video)

Sistrurus miliarius barbouri, the Dusky pigmy rattlesnake; Volusia county, Florida (13 May 2020). I’m always happy to stumble across a Dusky pigmy rattlesnake. This small (and, yes, venomous) species is quite abundant throughout Volusia county — in both the interior and the flatwoods adjacent to the salt marshes near the coast….

Atlanticus gibbosus, 11 May 2020

Atlanticus gibbosus, the Robust shield back; Volusia county, Florida (11 May 2020). One of my favorite ‘hoppers, this is a Robust shield back, a wickedly savvy little katydid of Family Tettigoniidae. Very distinctive and in contrast to its larger, greener katydid cousins. Learn more about…

Pontederia crassipes, 11 May 2020

Pontederia crassipes, the Common water hyacinth (presumably); Lake county, Florida (11 May 2020). I really dug this shot when I stumbled across it. Some hyacinth growing within and alongside a small creek in Lake county — with a few cypress knees jutting up right at the…

Kayaking the Edge of the Tomoka, 09 May 2020

The Tomoka Basin Salt Marsh; Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). And so it was: Four Nerodia watersnakes, one Pantherophis rat snake, and one Ophisaurus glass lizard in about four hours on a kayak. Not a bad paddle, right? The good news: This is about fifteen…

Ophisaurus ventralis, 09 May 2020

Ophisaurus ventralis, the Eastern glass lizard; Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). I’ve got one more here to post from the salt marsh kayak trip on May 9th, 2020: a glass lizard! I think this is an Eastern glass lizard, though at first I was hopeful…

Pantherophis guttatus, 09 May 2020

Pantherophis guttatus, the Red rat snake (Corn snake); Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). Another profile shot of a Corn snake photographed along the edge of the Tomoka Basin in Ormond Beach, Florida. Check out the figure-ground contrast on those labial (lip) stripes! Learn…

Pantherophis guttatus, 09 May 2020

Pantherophis guttatus, the Red rat snake (Corn snake); Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). Ventral u-coil shot of a Red rat snake photographed along the edge of a Tomoka Basin salt marsh. Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.

Pantherophis guttatus, 09 May 2020

Pantherophis guttatus, the Red rat snake (Corn snake); Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). Macro scale study for lateral/dorsal color and texture. Corn snakes have such sheen! Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.

Pantherophis guttatus, 09 May 2020

Pantherophis guttatus, the Red rat snake (Corn snake); Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). An angled profile shot of a Corn snake I spotted from my kayak along the edge of the Tomoka Basin salt marshes. Breeders can breed all they want; they’ve got nothing compared…

Pantherophis guttatus, 09 May 2020

Pantherophis guttatus, the Red rat snake (Corn snake); Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). Nerodia watersnakes aren’t the only species of serpent to take up residence in brackish and salt marsh habitats. Featured here is an absolutely beautiful Red rat snake, Pantherophis guttatus, aka the Corn…

Acrostichum danaeifolium, 09 May 2020

Acrostichum danaeifolium, the Giant leather fern; Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). The Giant leather fern has grown into one of my favorite plant species in Volusia County. I see these –somewhere– nearly everytime I hit the Tomoka River or Tomoka Basin, and they always look a…

Ardea herodias, 09 May 2020

Ardea herodias, the Great blue heron; Volusia county, Florida (09 May 2020). Of course, those four Nerodia weren’t the only organisms I observed and photographed on my little Tomoka Basin kayak sojourn on May 9th. Feature here is the seemingly-omnipresent Great blue heron, Ardea herodias,…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part X (09 May 2020)

Part X: Fasciata Attitude, Fasciata Spunk Though I have more photos of this individual, we’ll wrap up right now with this shot. Nerodia watersnakes, like all snakes I’ve encountered in Florida, are simply not aggressive by nature. They sometimes will, however, vigorously defend themselves when they…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part IX (09 May 2020)

Part IX: Lateral Mid-Body Scaling A macro study of the banded’s mid-torso/lateral-dorsal scaling and texture. A good, strong keeling coupled with some fantastic patterning and darkened figure-ground contrast. I also learned it’s a bit tricky to get a clear macro shot of dark scales…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part VIII (09 May 2020)

Part VIII: Ventral U-Coil Shot A ventral u-coil reference shot of the Nerodia’s mid-torso. Again, this is a fairly classic Nerodia fasciata pattern. It just blows my mind I found this snake in the thick of a coastal salt marsh hanging out on a muddy…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part VII (09 May 2020)

Part VII: Ventral Head Pattern A ventral reference shot of the banded’s head/lower jaw. Again, this is fairly typical for Nerodia fasciata, though that base cream/yellow tone was really striking. There’s a smidge of alignment in the picti patterns behind the jawline, but the pattern was not…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part VI (09 May 2020)

Part VI: Lateral/Dorsal Scaling and Patterning Florida banded watersnakes are extremely variable in color and pattern, but this individual was (beautifully) par-for-course with our local Bandeds in Volusia county. Dark dorsal base tone with muted dark red bands, and dark red pictis on the ventral pattern. This…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part V (09 May 2020)

Part V: The Obligatory Profile Shot I’ve been taking macro profile shots of Nerodia watersnakes throughout the Floridian peninsula the past fifteen years or so (minus my four years in Alaska). This is a fairly standard Nerodia fasciata pattern — strong, vertical striping on…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part IV (09 May 2020)

Part IV: Score! Bam! I have to admit, this was a glorious catch. It was my first one-handed Nerodia catch while floating in a kayak in a salt marsh on a windy day. Heh. It was a close call, but the catch was made indeed,…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part III (09 May 2020)

Part III: The Fourth Salt Marsh Banded Part III brings us to Nerodia Number Four. Yes, I skipped one. There was actually a third salt marsh banded watersnake before this one, but I failed to get a picture entirely. I also failed to get…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part II (09 May 2020)

Part II: The Second Salt Marsh Banded, the Second Miss Though I was a bit bummed I didn’t get my hands on that first Nerodia, I was at least thrilled to have gotten a modicum of a clear reference shot. And then? Bam! I spotted a…

Salt Marsh Bandeds, Part I (09 May 2020)

Part I: The First Salt Marsh… Banded On the May 9th, I took the kayak out to the Tomoka Basin to paddle around and look for signs of salt marsh snakes. Volusia County has dwindling populations of the Atlantic salt marsh snake (Nerodia clarkii, ssp. taeniata), a non-venomous watersnake…

Papilio glaucus, 07 May 2020

Papilio glaucus, the Eastern tiger swallowtail; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). A fairly swell Eastern tiger swallowtail doing its early summer bidding. Honestly, I have much sharper photographs of swallowtails in my arsenal, but I really liked this moment.  Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.

Tillandsia setacea, 07 May 2020

Tillandsia setacea, the Southern needleaf airplant; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). One of our many airplant species, this is a Southern needleleaf airplant. Learn more about the species at iNaturalist.org.

Calopteryx maculata, 07 May 2020

Calopteryx maculata, the Ebony jewelwing; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). Not a great shot, but I admit I generally lack the patience needed to photograph these jewelwings. They actively dart about in shaded habitats adjacent to water lines this time of year.  Learn more about this…

Alligator mississippiensis, 07 May 2020

Alligator mississippiensis, the American alligator; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). The seemingly ubiquitous and omnipresent American alligator, doing what it does — vegging out before it explodes on some hapless vertebrate.  Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.

Heart Island Creek, 07 May 2020

Unnamed creek in the Heart Island Conservation Area region; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). This is one of my favorite habitats in Florida — dense dark water creeks cutting through the thick of Floridana and all its shadows.

Gambusia holbrooki, 07 May 2020

Gambusia holbrooki, the Eastern mosquitofish; Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). Ever-present and ever-tiny Eastern mosquitofish often loiter about wicked-shallow and relatively-clear waters of otherwise-tannic freshwater systems in Florida.  Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.

Procyon lotor (tracks), 07 May 2020

Procyon lotor, the Raccoon (tracks); Volusia county, Florida (07 May 2020). A few raccoon tracks strewn about the muck of a tannic creek line. Learn more about this species at iNaturalist.org.