Under Blue Mountain

Horridus habitat

American Toad

Scaly Phaliota (I think)

Two-Lined Salamander

Place and Time:  Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania.  August 23, 2003

Weather:  Clear skies, humid and quite warm

On my way to a gathering of writers I stopped to camp for the night in at a state park in south-central Pennsylvania.  I pitched my tent and resolved in the morning to hike what was labeled the Rattlesnake Trail and see what I could see.  The sun was setting behind nearby Blue Mountain and dark came quickly down in the little 'holler' I was in.

Not surprisingly for a muggy August morning, no rattlers showed themselves, although I passed by some wonderful rockpiles that looked like superb hibernaculum spots.  I did have a pleasant hike, turning up a number of American Toads along the way, along with some nice fungi and a patch of Rattlesnake Plantain, an orchid I've known from Indiana and South Carolina.  I'd love to come back and hike this trail again in the spring or fall.

Back from the trail, I walked along a small woodland stream, with a particular salamander in mind, and as luck would have it I turned up a Northern Two-lined Salamander under the first rock I turned over along the water's edge.  A new one for the life list!  I found several more bislineata before it was time for me to head on my way.  It's always great to get a little herping in on trips here and there.

Herp Species Observed:

American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Northern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata)


Rattlesnake Plantain

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