photos & report by Charles Paxton

The Earth Day morning walk at Black Bayou Lake NWR went very well despite being a bit windy on the lake. We saw a nice lot of herps!

About 35 hikers came out. We were interviewed by a KNOE journalist. BBLNWR volunteer Jim opened up the education center and showed off the Louisiana Pine Snakes and the ‘gator, turtles and an unusual Corn Snake native to north Louisiana and southern Arkansas. Professor Emeritus John Carr of ULM was a massive help.

Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) and an egg mass in the lower left.

The Scouts were delightfully perky and sparky, full of questions and observations. Amy Ouchley kindly read out a special Earth Day letter from Swamper* to us and we all loved it!

Among us we saw at least 2 sliders (turtles), 2 bronze frogs, 8 broadbanded watersnakes, multiple skinks and anoles, a leopard frog, a cricket frog, a rough green snake and a cottonmouth viper.  Kimmie Paxton saw and photographed mating prothonotary warblers. Her pictures are amazing!!

Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)

We heard bullfrogs, bronze frogs, leopard frogs and green treefrogs. We weren’t bothered by mosquitos.  I shot stills and videos of the herps. Some of my shots are ‘my bests’ too: bronze frog and rough green snake. The conditions were excellent!

All in all, it was a great trip!

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