Florida - March 11-18, 2006

Day 1 - Friday, March 10, 2006
I left San Antonio around 1128 and headed west towards Lafayette, Louisiana where I was to meet Tim. He was driving down from Little Rock and we had decided Lafayette was a good midway point to meet. We met up at 1830 and dropped his car off at the long-term parking area of the Lafayette airport.
We decided to try and get as far east as we could that night we drove a few hours until we reached Hammond, LA. We checked a few hotels and found that there weren't any rooms available due to refugees from Hurricane Katrina occupying many rooms. We were told there would be nothing available until we got to Alabama. We checked a few other places en route, and as projected, ended up finding a room finally at 0030 in Tillman's Corner, AL.
Day 2 - Saturday, March 11, 2006
We got up a little late this morning after then unanticipated length of yesterday's drive. Once up I screwed around for about an hour in Pensacola trying to find a Walmart. As we left Pensacola we ran into a long traffic jam trying to get across a one lane bridge which was under repair. That cost another 45 minutes of our traveling/herping time. We decided not to stop and herp along the way and to try to get to a pond Tim knew about near Talahassee where we might be able to photograph some calling frogs.
We arrive at the pond at 1800. It was a shallow grassy pond in an area of pine forest. Immediately upon arriving, we heard the crik, crik, of dozens of Southern Cricket Frogs (Acris gryllus) beginning to warm up for their nightime chorus. I flipped a few logs in the waning light and discovered a couple of Ground Skinks (Scincella lateralis) and a young treefrog that looked like a Pinewoods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis).
As it got dark, we began to hear a few Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) adding their song to the nightime chorus.
A little later, Southern Toads (Bufo terrestris), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and a few Barking Treefrogs (Hyla gratiosa) would add their voices to the evening's symphony.
We spent the next few hours standing/kneeling in the mud and water taking photos of frogs.
There were lots of Southern Cricket Frogs around. You can see four in this unstaged shot.
Southern Cricket Frogs come in a variety of colors.
some of which were quite attractive.
No matter what color they were, all the males had one thing on their mind!
Here's another male making his presence known.

The other frogs weren't quite as cooperative photographically since they weren't in a breeding frenzy yet.

I found this Barking Treefrog hiding in some grass and moved it to a tree for photos.
"Please don't eat me!"
Tim found some Barkers calling, but never could get an action picture.
There were some Southern Toads calling here and there....
although most of them just appeared to be sitting in the water.
I watched this one for 20 minutes and it never would call again!
Darn camera shy toads!
There were a few Southern Leopard Frogs chiming in
and we heard the occasional peep out of the Spring Peepers, just not for the camera.
With all these tasty morsels in the pond, we found a few of these Florida Watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata) making the rounds.
We shot pics of anurans for a few hours then headed in to Live Oak for dinner, a shower, and a night's sleep.

Day 3

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