Today we visited cousin Chuck's place north of Toronto. There we saw tons of birds including Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, American Goldfinches and two Red-Breasted Grosbeaks. I was originally going to look for salamanders but found non because of the drought. Instead I checked out the frog pond which was filled with American Bullfrogs, Northern Green Frogs and some tiny Wood Frogs. I was delighted to also find a Mink Frog and an axanthic Green Frog. Axanthic is a pigment mutation where the individual is unable to create yellow pigment resulting in blue coloured green frogs as the yellow is needed to mix with the blue to create green. The Mink Frog was also a big surprise as I had never seen one before. They get their name because when threatened they release a smell that mimics that of a mink or weasel.
I'm back volunteering as a zookeeper at Hands On Exotics, after a long school year I thought I may as well go back while I'm spending my summer in Toronto.
After a day of rattlesnakes and Spotted Turtles I was surprised to have a weekend of herping where I still found new species. Yesterday I got back from a trip to the Thousand Islands region with Matt and Clinton where we checked out a bunch of herping spots. On the first day we did a show where Matt brought his salamanders and I brought Boe my Horned Frog. This was Boe’s first show and he was less than impressed. After the show we went herping and found a Spring Peeper and some salamanders. The next day we set out and found lots of shrimp in a pond but as we released them a frog ate them… oops. In the same spot we also found a large Garter Snake eating a frog. Just up the road we found more salamanders and a dried our vernal pool. This year we have experienced a large drought where many vernal pools have dried out killing many amphibians. Under some logs in the extinct vernal we found a Yellow-Spotted Salamander larvae and a Spring Peeper metamorph. As we were leaving the spot I came across a juvenile Grey Ratsnake (a lifer for me). Next we checked out the last spot for the day and found a big Milk Snake along some Green Frogs while trying to find an Eastern Newt in its aquatic stage. Upon returning to Toronto I found out that we had made it onto Eastern Ontario Network Television in a video that can be found here!
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.