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some flipping finds

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Posted by: Lenrely at Wed May 22 17:27:41 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Lenrely ]  
   

Found the largest black rat I've ever seen and then a 3' kingsnake under the same piece of wood within days of each other. Last year the illegal dumping of debris along the trail left me only cover that stays moist (foam rubber, untreated wood and carpet) never material that gets hot, so I saw many worm snakes, ringnecks, salamanders, rarely a baby king or box turtle. Laying out wood and metal this year has increased the size and diversity of my finds greatly. Here some things I've observed...
1. The kind of ground under the cover determines whether an animal is actively foraging on top of leaves or in repose at the bottom of its burrow.
2. The amount of space underneath seems to decide whether the cover stays moist or dry more than the material itself. A lot of ringnecks were attracted to foam rubber at a specific spot where the ground is uneven, but I've almost never found one under the same cover as a worm snake.
3. Although small snakes were attracted to artificial cover on the trail much more than natural rocks and logs, they seem to favor rocks and masonry on particularly hot or wet days or out of season, so I have to go to mountain or river sites to find any before April.
4. The blacksnake and kingsnake were found under a large piece of wood where I'd never found anything in 2 years, and I've placed similar pieces that haven't yielded anything yet.
5. Although there are a lot of redbellies around here none were found under materials that attract other small terrestrials until I thought to go looking at night, and there it was.
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