As I got to Peterborough I biked over to campus where I met up with Baz to see some moths. He had already set up the white bed sheet with lights shining on it to attract the moths. As we started I heard a Grey Treefrog calling from behind so I went over and sure enough found the little bugger (always a herper first) before returning to the moths. Baz has set up two of these moth traps in the hopes of attracting more species to the area. We were fortunate enough to find as many species as we did including my personal favourites; the Luna Moth and the Polyphemus Moth.
Because of the presence of Blanding’s Turtles I am unable to give the location of this herping trip as his species is at risk largely due to poaching. As I was hiking I stopped by a wetland I regularly go to where I often see Painted Turtles. As I was photographing a frog (with my phone as I forgot my camera) I noticed a branch move underwater. Often times that can mean there’s a turtle so I looked around and sure enough I saw a turtle under water but as soon as I saw the spots on the shell I realized it was a Blanding’s Turtle, a species I had never seen in that spot before.
The other day I headed on my bike to the rice lake area to see the unique wildlife there. The bike ride was roughly 50km long where I learned bikes are not allowed on the highway. Regardless I managed to see the beautiful black oak savannah along with a few species at risk unique to the area. I also found a Red-Backed Salamander and a Red-Bellied Snake both under cover. Got to finally see a Night Hawk after hearing them constantly in Toronto and another lifer the Eastern Blue Bird.
i met up with baz the other night to look for local moths in the hopes of finding a large Luna Moth. We got to Trent Campus and set up a large white sheet with UV lights to attract them. To give it time to work we went around the DNA building where other moths could be found.
The other day I headed back to my Milksnake spot which I’m now calling King’s Court due to the presence of King Snakes there. As soon as I got into the green space I saw an Eastern Garter poking its head out of the grass. I caught him for further inspection and saw how haggered he was. He also had a more blunt snout then most and a thick dorsal stripe. If I didn’t know better I would have thought it was a Butler’s Garter but sadly I am way out of range for that species. I then headed over to check the boards Eric and I had set up and found a half dozen Dekay’s Brown Snakes and a couple juvenile Eastern Garter Snakes. I then headed into the woods to see if i could find some Red-Backed Salamanders. I found a few along with a Predatory Flatworm which I was not expecting to find in the city. I flipped some more Dekay’s under some logs, ate dinner and met up with Christian to head to 3 Brewers to try their meter of beer.
On the way to the pet store to pick up some Axolotl food I decided to take the scenic route through the Don Valley so that I can herp as well. Hiking through a large forested area I was flipping cover in the hopes of finding a Red-Backed Salamander which I had found there previously. Sure enough under one log I managed to find two and as I did I was instantly swarmed by mosquitos. This made taking photos of the salamanders difficult so I let one go and photographed the larger of the two. I got only a few shots before giving up and heading out of the mosquito infested area. Back on the path there was not one mosquito but I did manage to get at least seven bites on my one arm from trying to photograph the salamander. Hiking to a wetland I managed to see some basking Midland Painted Turtles and a Red-Eared Slider. There were also two Painted Turtles trying to bask on some lilypads but had little to no luck in their endeavour. On my way out I photographed a large Snapping Turtle and headed to the pet shop.
I'm Mac Marzolini and I created this blog for a variety of reasons, the first of course is to open a window into what is happening in my life (cause my grandmother reads this), but also to help myself catalogue some of my favorite photos from my many adventures.