Search for sirens, baby sea turtles, and other highlights

I recently went with my friends John and Brandon on a long and intense day-long search for 5-6 siren species in the Florida panhandle; most of which I hadn't seen. The weather was hot, and our efforts involved hauling what felt like tons of water and swampy muck and vegetation up onto the bank, followed by meticulous searching through all of it to look for anything long, slimy, and wriggly. To make a long story short, we traveled hundreds of miles to about half a dozen sites, drank gallons of fluids to replace all that we sweat, and physically wore ourselves out with no sirens to show for all our efforts...

until we were at our last site and about ready to give up. John said "one more scoop," and in the thick fluffy mud that was oozing out of his dipnet was a tiny movement that caught John's attention first. He yelled out and tried to grab it, only to have the mud shift and obscure the object of our intense interest. Brandon and I joined the frenzied search and after a couple more brief glimpses, I cupped a double handful of mud in my hands and dumped it into a net and sifted through it. To all of our delight there was our target in all it's tiny glory.

undescribed "Least" Siren (Siren cf intermedia (dwarf))

Sarah and I like to see baby sea turtles. We've gone to see them a few times since living here, and had a chance this weekend to see a species we hadn't seen yet.

Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)

My friend Dave caught this snake

Florida Pine Snake (Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus)

and this frog, which I had only seen in tadpole stage!

Carolina Gopher Frog (Lithobates capito)

While out scoping a seepage bog for skippers and flowers with my friend Mary Ann, I found something I had never found before in the middle of the day.

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

I just liked this photo.

Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)

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