This past weekend I was visiting my grandmother in Cameron. I’ve been going to the small hamlet of Cameron all my life which helped spark my passion for wildlife and nature. As I little kid I remember catching frogs in the nearby creek and finding snakes with my uncle. Not much has changed as I still go up periodically and look for frogs, snakes and turtles but now I try to only catch them through photography. The first day I got there I went on a hike down the road to where there are some wetlands. I managed to see a DOR bat and a large Bullfrog. I also found my birding lifer; Merlin as I watched as four of them were flying all over a residential area. Walking back it was dark and I managed to road cruise three separate species of frog; an Eastern American Toad, a Northern Green Frog and a Northern Leopard Frog. All were just sitting in the middle of the road absorbing the heat from the asphalt. I headed the same way the next day and ended up seeing some turtles, removing a plastic balloon in the shape of a 0, a few frogs and an Eastern Garter Snake that escaped me. The following day I went on a large hike to a relitively close by green space where I saw a DOR Northern Water Snake, some more American Toads and my first Wood Frog of the year.
I went on a few hikes both during the weekend and after work where I’ve managed to see my first toadlets of the year. Small toads that have recently metamorphosised from tadpoles. I also managed to see a wide array of turtles in another area of the city along with a yawning Northern Green Frog. The Green Frog could have been yawning for a variety of reasons such as increasing its surface area when basking, having just eaten or shed or even as a threat display to other frogs.
While working at Pawsitively Pets, the kids got to go on a field trip to Mountsberg Consetvation Area where they got to see the raptor rescue and got to go dip netting for frogs and aquatic insects. The kids managed to find many Northern Green Frogs though with the heat not many other reptiles or amphibians were out except for one turtle of unknown species basking in the middle of the reservoir. After work I headed to one of my herping spots to see what I could find. I ended up finding two Dekay’s Brown Snakes under the first board, one brown the other more grey. The second board yielded nothing but the third had a beautiful Dekay’s Brown Snake with a brilliant white stripe running down its back. Before going home I quickly visited my Red-Backed Salamander spot but while I did not find any salamanders, I did flip a few Eastern Garter Snakes for some reason.
Having my turtle; Hammond, in Toronto I thought I would take him out one day and get some more “natural” looking photos for my website as I edit the page on Yellow-Bellied Sliders. Sliders are native to the southern United States but have been bred all over the world for the pet trade where they outgrow their families and often times end up getting released into the wild. Hammond was found in the pool in my back yard and likely got stuck in there after following the Don River to the house. I took him to the back yard to get some photos of him in part of the Don River.
In Toronto I went to a few different spots doting the Greater Toronto Area. I am not at liberty to saw the exact spots as posting spots can increase the amount of people going to the spots which can increase the likeliness of an animal becoming trampled, it can increase the stress caused to the animals and may encourage poaching or the senseless killing of innocent animals. Of the animals I did see however the frogs were just out and about close to water, turtles were all insitu out basking or swimming by the water’s surface, Brown Snakes were under my boards while the Garter Snakes were under rocks in my salamander spot. Red-Backed Salamanders were found under logs while the last Garter Snakes were oddly found under a recycling bin.
For Canada Day I headed to Cameron to visit my grandmother and where I first started herping many many years ago when I was catching frogs in a nearby creek. I went on a hike down the road at night and managed to find a small American Toad and unfortunately two more that were run over by cars. The next night my mom and I went in the paddle boat looking for frogs. The water was still and the air was silent. The only sound we’re the calls of Green Frogs and Bullfrogs and we watched as fire flies danced in the reeds. As we continued we got to the part of the marsh where there is a large population of Bullfrogs and we managed to get photos of both males and females. Males can be differentiated from females by the bright yellow throat and the much larger ear drum on the side of their heads.
With work I have not had the time to sort through my photos and unfortunately have not been posting recently. Last month I went to a couple different places in Toronto looking for wildlife and was not disappointed by the amount of reptiles and amphibians within city limits. There were a large amount of introduced Red-Eared sliders which compete with native species and introduce patheogeons and many native species of all different colour morphs such as the Red and Lead-Backed Salamanders.
While in the Peterborough area I went to a number of different sites to see what wildlife was plentiful. I saw a number of Painted Turtles and Green Frogs in ponds and even got to see my lifer Eastern Musk Turtle. I was walking by the water’s edge when I saw a little bump in the water. Often times a little bump is a turtle head, usually a Painted Turtle but as I zoomed in with my camera it looked like some strange Snapping Turtle and then I realized I was looking at a Musk Turtle. I’ve seen this species previously in the Thousand Islands region however it was only for a split second and nowhere long enough to get a photo. So now having a photo I count this as a lifer that I can prove rather than just a lifer for myself.
I’ve also gotten lazy when it comes to posting so while not everything will have the correct date it will all be in order with some backlog.
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.