(Originally posted on our 2011 Field Blog — by Chris Thawley)
As pictures are worth their weight in words, we’ve included a picture post to sum up our adventures in Tennessee and Arkansas as we’re now firmly ensconced at our home away from home at the Solon Dixon Center in southern Alabama. Below you’ll find pics and video of some of the locations we’ve visited and critters we’ve uncovered in our journey so far.
On a cloudy day at Burgess Falls State Park in Tennessee we explored the banks of the river and its waterfalls while looking for reptiles and amphibians in the nearby streams and woods.
Two views of the lower falls:
A video taken from the top of the lower falls looking down and out over the valley.
Salamanders were abundant in the small, steep streams leading into the river. There we found lots of dusky salamanders and this southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera):
While we focused on capturing fence lizards for research at our two field sites (Standing Stone and Edgar Evins State Parks), we came across many other creatures in our searches, including this black kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigrita) which appeared to be stalking a lizard we had just caught.
We also encountered a slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus), which are named for the sticky, slimy mucus that they secrete as a defense mechanism. Both Chris and Travis wound up with bits of the slime stuck on their hands for almost 2 days.
Lastly, as we were exploring some rocks piers that provided perfect basking sites for fence lizards, we noticed someone else making use of the warm stone and sunshine; a young cornsnake was poking its head and a loop of its body out of a gap in the rock!
Coming soon: An update on the lizards and setting up our first round of experiments in Alabama!