For this herping trip we stayed in Prescott and traveled to different locations each day. On the first day it was cold and rainy so we went looking for salamanders as many reptiles wouldn't be out in such conditions. We went to a place that I had been before however at that time we did not know about the small ponds there down a different path we had not previously ventured. The Red-Spotted Newts were of a neotenic population meaning that while most newt larvae metamorphosis into a land dwelling animal, these newts instead metamorphosis into an aquatic adult. We found a few larvae at this spot by dip netting and found a Leopard Frog and a few Green Frogs by the water's edge. The next spot for the day was at a river in the middle of a town. Under some rocks by this river we managed to find a Northern Two-Lined Salamander, rare for such an urban area. Finally the last place we checked on the first day was in the woods on an unmarked path on the side of the road. Under the first log we found a handful of Blue-Spotted Salamanders that had recently metamorphed. The second day was much warmer and sunnier so we headed out looking for my lifer; the Eastern Musk Turtle. We headed to one spot that was by a lake that is known to have Musk Turtles. On the way there however we unfortunately found two large adult Grey Ratsnakes had been hit by cars. Likely recent they must have come out onto the warm pavement to bask only to be run over and killed instantly. We did however find a small Snapping Turtle that started to musk as soon as we attempted to move it to the other side of the road. Once we got to the location we found no sign of Musk Turtles in the spots they regularly frequent but did manage to find some unusual looking snails and a half dozen Pickerel Frogs. We walked along the water's edge until we came to a Beaver lodge. Moving in the water was what I first though was a small Painted Turtle because of the lines around the head but as it continued to swim through the many logs of the lodge it was clear it was an Eastern Musk Turtle. It had unfortunately swam away before I could get a photo. We watched that water hoping to find another but after much time had passed something did move under the logs, I thought it was just a fish but Clinton had seen it and it was another Musk Turtle. We waited for some time after that but found nothing. This was an exciting find for me as it was my lifer but sadly I was not able to capture any photographs of it, this just means I have to go herping again to try to find this species as risk.
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.