Third Eye - Herping Carter Caves 2010  
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On May 9 and 10th, 2010 I accompanied 16 Independence High School (OH) students who are members of the school's Biology Society to an outing in Carter Caves, Kentucky. The fist day was relatively cool and partly sunny, with the temperature perhaps reaching 60 degrees. On day two it was mostly sunny with a high temperature of around 65. We found a greater diversity of reptiles and amphibians than our last visit to the caves in 2007. Day one started with a tour of X-Cave and a hike on a nearby trail. The purpose of the hike was to scope out good herping spots for our return visit to the area that same afternoon.


X-Cave and Hiking Horn Hollow
Waiting "X" Marks the Spot
The students wait for their guide to take them on a tour of X-Cave - the most popular cave for visitors in the Carter Cave system, so-called for the two intersecting caverns that from the letter "X".
Cave Cricket
Cool Cricket
Cave crickets tend to inhabit dark, damp, cool places - like caves (and manmade habitats, such as basements and crawlspaces).
Spider Smart Spider
This spider built its web in a cave near a light - which attracts insects.
Skink Five-lined Fever
Northeast Ohio is a "lizard poor" area of the United States. For some of the students it was the first time they saw (and in some cases, caught) a wild lizard. This male Five-lined Skink was seen poking its head out of a hiding spot along the trail and with the temperature in the 50s, it was easily caught by Rachel.
Click here to see another skink photo
Rock Wall Wonderwall
While the inner workings of the caves get a great deal of focus and study, the outside of the caverns are rather scenic and worthy of attention too.
Click here to see another pic
Creek Creekside
Eventually we decided that we'd return to this creek in the afternoon to see what kinds of amphibians we'd find.
Green Frog Good Omen
This Green Frog was a hint at the good herping that was just around the corner.
Scarab Big Beetle
A scarab beetle was hanging out on a rock in the creek. The Egyptians immortalized the scarab beetle as sacred.
Megan Commander Salamander
On our return trip in the afternoon, Megan found this larval Red Salamander under a rock in the creek.
Click here to see another pic of a young Red Salamander
Click here to see Part 2