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
SOUTHEAST
March 2006
 2 of 4
SOUTHEAST
March 2006
 2 of 4
Leaving Berkeley behind in South Carolina, Ron and I drive straight to the Florida Panhandle, where we meet up with Pierson and his girlfriend Kim.  Like any good herp hosts, they greet us with a snake, a lovely, light brown Gray Rat that we return to its home in a cabbage palm hammock. As one snake is released, another shows up in the same spot, something small gliding over a palm frond.      Returning to the rough dirt roads that transect the woods, Pierson dashes from the car to intercept this Moccasin that almost gets away.   Back on a paved road, we come across a female Soft-Shell who has hauled herself out of the water, looking for a place to lay eggs.  We shoo her off the street and back into a nearby pond.  For three days I’m haunted by the question, “Where have I seen that face before?” Ron, just for the hell of it, decides he wants a Racer a day, kind of like taking vitamins.  On Day One he found the first (although it slipped through his fingers).  Day Two was the juvie Coachwhip, which we decide to count as an upgraded Racer.  On Day Three, the ever-accommodating Pierson spots and grabs our third. Later we come to an old storage shelter in an oak hammock where I find my first Gray Rat Snake, a large adult.   Pierson also finds a younger one in the same area.       We then switch habitats to look for Scarlet Kings in the pines.   We are not disappointed:        This day produces one more lifer for me and Ron, a Glossy Crayfish Snake found near the water.  
Gray Rat Snake Elaphe obsoleta spiloides
Blue-Striped Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis similis
Florida Cottonmouth Agkistrodon piscivorous conanti
Florida Soft-Shell Turtle Apalone ferox
Southern Black Racer Coluber constrictor priapus
Scarlet Kingsnake Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides
Glossy Crayfish Snake Regina rigida