29 August 2006

Red River WMA - 8/19/06

Travis, Emma and I ventured back to Red River WMA. It was a "hot one". The only other human we saw was someone on a four-wheeler that sped by us. What we did not find were any more dung beetles. We hit the same exact spot; even saw the left-over piles of fish scales that had been bung piles two weeks before. It seemed like the otters had moved to another spot. We did try a few more areas but still didn't find any.
What we did see was three snakes, a flock of wild turkeys, a rabbit, five millipedes (which Emma picked up) and the back end of a wild boar.


06 August 2006

Red River WMA - 8/6/06 - Roller Hunt - Pt. 1

Part One: It's how you get there...

One of the long-awaited trips that I had planned to take this year happened yesterday. I picked Travis up at about 10:30 and we headed out. Stopped by Wal-mart but after a quick tour of the parking lot we decided it was much too busy for our needs and we went to Home Depot instead. Trav was looking for a medium sized shovel and we found one. He tried to have it sharpened but that didn't work out too well.
We took the Lebeau exit and headed toward the metropolis of Palmetto, LA. We stopped at a station, who knows where (I think Simmesport), and loaded up on gas, drinks and snacks. This was the last real stop before heading to nowhere.
There were lots of high bridges to cross, and lots of levee driving. In many spots you could actually, or at least almost, see the horizon without it ending in trees. At some point we passed by the road to the Angola Ferry.

Travis skillfully directed me to the entrance of the WMA where we filled out happy little cards about who we were and what we were doing. From this point it was all gravel and dirt, no more pavement. Some of the roads seemed to go on forever.

We traveled to the camp area where Travis has stayed before. I flipped a board and found some reptile eggs. Travis found a tiger beetle: virginica. We walked down to the river from there between clumps of horse-tail. Most of the bank had anti-erosion plates installed.

...continued in part 2


Red River WMA - 8/6/06 - Roller Hunt - Pt. 2

Part Two: Laissez Les scarabées Roulez

So, we drove a bit more (like, tons more) and got to some lake drainage thing (pic below) that I'll name when I look at the map again or Travis posts it.

After a short walk along the water I found the first "deposit" and under it was my first Canthon. Travis went off to talk to the mysterious humans in the woods. He found out that they were exploding dynamite for testing and we had proof of that soon after. Not too far along the trail Travis spotted two otters swimming and I saw my first actual "rolling" (pic below). We found 11 total.

This shot was not far from the bridge we walked from. Further down this road we hit "millipede alley" and found 9 or 10 Narceus americanus crossing the road.

Shot a pic of this nice field......

...and this nice serpent.

It turned out to be a very nice trip.