All text copyright  Eitan Grunwald.  All photographs copyright  Eitan or Ron Grunwald  except photographs by others are copyright per photo credits.  All rights reserved.  Terms
NEW JERSEY
Highlands
 2 of 2
NEW JERSEY
Highlands
 2 of 2
The Highlands also hide Northern Copperheads, which are not commonly found in New Jersey.  After living many years in the state, I came upon my first, a DOR, at night on a mountain road.  The next year some friends found another recently-killed Copperhead at virtually the identical spot, so one week later we returned to cruise the same stretch at the same hour, and waited.  And sure enough, as if keeping an appointment, this beautiful snake showed up right on time.      My friend Danny lives in this part of the state, and occasionally we check out the woods and fields near his house.  On one hike we’re seeing nothing but baby Wood Frogs . . .   . . . and then Danny spots a baby of a different kind.  While the doe is out foraging, this newborn fawn avoids detection through a combination of camouflage, lack of scent, and an extraordinary ability to remain perfectly still, even when a scary creature is only inches away. Closer to home, Danny has a board line on his property that religiously produces garter snakes, and on special days, blesses him with a beautiful Milk Snake.  Here he is praying the rosary (herper’s version). On a rainy-day summertime hike with another Highlands herpin’ buddy of mine, Scott spots this handsome Garter motionless in the grass.  Deeper in, the woods bordered wetlands where tiny froglets climbed bushes to hide among the leaves. Nearby is a pretty little pond, and hidden beneath the rocks around its grassy shoreline, are pretty little snakes.       Amphibians can also be found there under cover . . .        . . . or out in the open (even if a bit camouflaged).   But the jewel of this special spot is a snake rarely seen in our state, not only because it’s uncommon in New Jersey, but also because of a brilliant shade of green that renders it nearly invisible in the low-lying shrubs and tall grasses where it lives.
Smooth Green Snake Lioclonorophis vernalis
Northern Copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen
Wood Frog Rana sylvatica
Eastern Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum
Grey Tree Frog (juvenile) Hyla versicolor
Northern Gray Tree Frog Hyla versicolor
Northern Ringneck Snake Diadophis punctatus edwardsii
Northern Slimy Salamander Plethodon glutinosus
Northern Redbelly Snake Storeria occipitomaculata gray and brown phases