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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 12-21-2017, 09:47 PM   #1
wvaherp
Hatteras island 2015

Just going through some old pics and found a few of some I found while staying in Buxton, NC a couple years ago on vacation. Enjoy!

First is this King that I had to move from under our rental house. Brought it over to the Buxton Woods Reserve to release it away from the road and hopefully where the typical tourists wouldn't find it and kill the "scary water moccasin that tried to kill them"...
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Old 12-21-2017, 09:57 PM   #2
wvaherp
Next one was a lifer for me. A glass lizard. This one was right next to our rental. I caught motion in my peripheral vision and it turned out to be this guy freaking out at the sight of me and flailing around. Had to educate our friend that came down with us that this was indeed, not a snake (she was pretty nervous about there being another "snake" there since she doesn't like them at all...).
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:08 PM   #3
wvaherp
And the last one was found after I let the eastern/obx king go while walking the road back out from the Buxton reserve. I believe this a greenish rat snake, another lifer for me depending on who's taxonomic standard you want to use for American rat snakes. It was pretty feisty until I was about ready to release it. It behaved like many of the black rats I've caught over the years when they're heated up and highly active.
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Old 12-21-2017, 10:16 PM   #4
wvaherp
Also of note, but no pictures, I did see a black racer that looked to be between 5 and 6 feet long crossing the road about 2 or 3 minutes before catching the greenish rat. It was way too quick for me to even get a picture of it. There were a few others I spotted as they fled my presence in into the swampier areas. From what I could see they were either water moccasins or water snakes, but I wasn't able to see enough of their bodies to get an ID on them.

I also spotted a couple green anoles on Ocracoke, but once again they were too flighty for me to even get pictures of them.
 
Old 12-22-2017, 03:12 AM   #5
WebSlave
Man, this brings back some memories!

When I lived in Maryland, I used to take fairly frequent trips down to Hatteras, especially looking for king snakes. At that time L.g. sticticeps was quite the rage, and after buying some from a local guy, I decided I wanted to try my hand at finding them myself.

So I did find quite a few kings in the Buxton area, but never saw one on Okracoke. Best I could do was to find a black racer on Okracoke, which kind of blew the original writeup by Barbour and Engle (sp?) claiming that sticticeps was the ONLY species of snake on that island. So I eventually became convinced that there really was no such thing as L.g. sticticeps at all.

But it was a pretty neat area. I think the area I spent most of my time at was what I see they are calling the "Old Doctors Rd" off of route 12. There were several trash piles back in there that were fun digging through, and I found several kinds there. In one instance in particular, there was an old car seat someone had dumped that looked promising, so I flipped it over to see if anything was underneath. Nope. So as I was flipping it back in position as I had found it, a big old gravid female king came rolling out from inside the seat.

I too found a yellowish rat snake out there, but that was the only one.

Saw several cottonmouths, which I thought were noteworthy because of their decidedly greenish coloration.

And at one time find a DOR canebrake rattlesnake a little north of Buxton right on route 12.

I'm actually surprised that that Buxton Reserve still exists. Back when I was frequentlng that area, there were already plans on the books to convert it all to a major golf course with surrounding condominiums and upscale houses. So I'm glad that plan got scuttled somehow.

Connie and I have been talking about going back to Hatteras for years now. We did pass through once on the way back from Delaware several years ago, and took the ferry route back to the mainland from Okracoke. We had the Jeep and I had wanted to run it out onto the beach, but those days of being able to do that for free are now apparently over with. I wasn't about to pay $50 just to take a one hour side trip onto the beach. I actually got pretty ticked off about that for quite a while. Now that I think of it, that incident that left such a bitter taste in my mouth afterwards is probably why we haven't really had a lot of incentive to go back there. Being able to freely drive on the beaches there without hassles and crap was one of the major attractions of Cape Hatteras. We used to just drive out onto the beach with our Bronco, drive until you could just barely see anyone else on the beach in either direction, and then plop ourselves right there on the beach. Heck, I wonder if I could even get back on that Old Doctors Rd any longer, as perhaps it is posted with NO TRESPASSING signs now.

Anyway, thanks for bringing back the memories for me.
 
Old 12-22-2017, 07:15 AM   #6
wvaherp
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
Man, this brings back some memories!

When I lived in Maryland, I used to take fairly frequent trips down to Hatteras, especially looking for king snakes. At that time L.g. sticticeps was quite the rage, and after buying some from a local guy, I decided I wanted to try my hand at finding them myself.

So I did find quite a few kings in the Buxton area, but never saw one on Okracoke. Best I could do was to find a black racer on Okracoke, which kind of blew the original writeup by Barbour and Engle (sp?) claiming that sticticeps was the ONLY species of snake on that island. So I eventually became convinced that there really was no such thing as L.g. sticticeps at all.

But it was a pretty neat area. I think the area I spent most of my time at was what I see they are calling the "Old Doctors Rd" off of route 12. There were several trash piles back in there that were fun digging through, and I found several kinds there. In one instance in particular, there was an old car seat someone had dumped that looked promising, so I flipped it over to see if anything was underneath. Nope. So as I was flipping it back in position as I had found it, a big old gravid female king came rolling out from inside the seat.

I too found a yellowish rat snake out there, but that was the only one.

Saw several cottonmouths, which I thought were noteworthy because of their decidedly greenish coloration.

And at one time find a DOR canebrake rattlesnake a little north of Buxton right on route 12.

I'm actually surprised that that Buxton Reserve still exists. Back when I was frequentlng that area, there were already plans on the books to convert it all to a major golf course with surrounding condominiums and upscale houses. So I'm glad that plan got scuttled somehow.

Connie and I have been talking about going back to Hatteras for years now. We did pass through once on the way back from Delaware several years ago, and took the ferry route back to the mainland from Okracoke. We had the Jeep and I had wanted to run it out onto the beach, but those days of being able to do that for free are now apparently over with. I wasn't about to pay $50 just to take a one hour side trip onto the beach. I actually got pretty ticked off about that for quite a while. Now that I think of it, that incident that left such a bitter taste in my mouth afterwards is probably why we haven't really had a lot of incentive to go back there. Being able to freely drive on the beaches there without hassles and crap was one of the major attractions of Cape Hatteras. We used to just drive out onto the beach with our Bronco, drive until you could just barely see anyone else on the beach in either direction, and then plop ourselves right there on the beach. Heck, I wonder if I could even get back on that Old Doctors Rd any longer, as perhaps it is posted with NO TRESPASSING signs now.

Anyway, thanks for bringing back the memories for me.
Glad I could provide a little nostalgia. After checking that king out, I'm not entirely convinced it was unique enough compared to the costal localities of l. g. getulus to be it's own subspecies, myself. My dad (also from Maryland) used to field collect in the 70's/80's and supposedly found a couple specimens in the piedmont region of NC that were much more morphologically different than the one I found on Hatteras. Believe it or not, he still to this day claims he found striped easterns in that region, but I have yet to confirm that in any way. He's been not only out of the hobby for close to 30 years, but on the other side of the country try for about 20 and won't tell me where (his ideas on field collecting changed drastically after running a pet shop in the 80's).

Funny that you mention the old doctor's road though. That's where I went to release the king and where I found the rat snake. It was still some prime herping ground, but I didn't want to push my luck too much with exploring and actually herping since I believe they've gotten fairly strict about disturbing the wild life.

It pissed us off about the $50 beach driving permit too. We did pay for one the year before these pictures, just for the novelty of it. Gotta tell ya, you get some looks taking a late model jeep liberty limited out there on the beach. Lol. Not exactly a "hardcore wheeler" even without the fancy 18" rims and running boards that one came with, but we did fine and laughed at a couple "better" 4x4's that were buried in the soft stuff. Next time we go, I know we're gonna bite the bullet for another permit. Mainly because we want to cruise in the Rubicon with the top down. Lol!

Sent via an android carrier pigeon using the robotic pony express.
 
Old 12-22-2017, 12:28 PM   #7
WebSlave
We bought a 2015 Wrangler Sahara. I looked hard at the Rubicon, but when I did a comparison list of what was standard and what was optional as far as what features I wanted in the Jeep and how much it would cost for each model to get them, the Sahara came out on top.

In the Bronco we had, I bought it with positraction front and rear, as you could do that back in the day when the manufacturers and dealers didn't get lazy and just offer packages that combined things that people would want with other options that they didn't (but too bad for you). It did fine in the sand, but there was once when I didn't think I was going to be able to get out of a gully that had formed that backed right up to the Atlantic. It took several running tries to finally be able to top the ridge and get out of that. I was sweating it for a while. Back in those days, it was quite common to see half submerged vehicles that had gotten stuck and the owners obviously abandoned them as the tide came in.

I guess if I were going to be on Hatteras for a week, I would spring for the permit, but I just couldn't swallow that for the brief period when we were just passing through. But I guess every state with a coastline is putting up toll booths at the access points for vehicles getting onto the beaches. If they are allowed at all. It's rather sad looking at the "land of the free" and seeing just in my lifetime how many things you are not allowed to do now compared to when I was younger. Does not bode well for the generation now growing up, I suppose.

But I predicted years ago that sooner or later everyone will be prescribed an official manual from the government that will list everything you are ALLOWED to do. Anything NOT on that list will be forbidden. Mark my words on this, it is definitely heading in that direction.
 
Old 12-22-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
wvaherp
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebSlave View Post
We bought a 2015 Wrangler Sahara. I looked hard at the Rubicon, but when I did a comparison list of what was standard and what was optional as far as what features I wanted in the Jeep and how much it would cost for each model to get them, the Sahara came out on top.

In the Bronco we had, I bought it with positraction front and rear, as you could do that back in the day when the manufacturers and dealers didn't get lazy and just offer packages that combined things that people would want with other options that they didn't (but too bad for you). It did fine in the sand, but there was once when I didn't think I was going to be able to get out of a gully that had formed that backed right up to the Atlantic. It took several running tries to finally be able to top the ridge and get out of that. I was sweating it for a while. Back in those days, it was quite common to see half submerged vehicles that had gotten stuck and the owners obviously abandoned them as the tide came in.

I guess if I were going to be on Hatteras for a week, I would spring for the permit, but I just couldn't swallow that for the brief period when we were just passing through. But I guess every state with a coastline is putting up toll booths at the access points for vehicles getting onto the beaches. If they are allowed at all. It's rather sad looking at the "land of the free" and seeing just in my lifetime how many things you are not allowed to do now compared to when I was younger. Does not bode well for the generation now growing up, I suppose.

But I predicted years ago that sooner or later everyone will be prescribed an official manual from the government that will list everything you are ALLOWED to do. Anything NOT on that list will be forbidden. Mark my words on this, it is definitely heading in that direction.
On the nanny-state bs, I fully agree. It's a shame and I don't see it getting any better for us little guys. Maybe for big companies, but that's not the same thing.

My wife actually just traded up on her wrangler. I have been joking that she's not allowed to go to the dealership without a chaperone since she traded a more basic '16 Rubicon unlimited with super low miles for an '18 Rubicon unlimited that's completely loaded. I mean I can't really complain since she did really well on the trade (go figure since she's the epitome of a real jeep girl... not one of these silly ones that just thinks they are because they bought one) and I do really like it. The new one actually has some nicer options than the sahara, but with the features of the Rubicon and even a few upgrades over a normal one of those. Should be fun at the beach whenever we get to go again!

Sent via an android carrier pigeon using the robotic pony express.
 
Old 12-27-2017, 04:59 PM   #9
JCCS
I haven't found a king on Ocracoke but did find a plethora of herps. On one short walk we found enough southern toads to last a lifetime, a six-lined racerunner, and the largest eastern hognose I've ever seen in my life. Obviously it was enjoying the southern toad population. Beautiful animal, bright yellowish orange and black.
 

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