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Mdarius
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New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 21st, 2012, 1:57 pm

Hello! I'm new to the forum and relatively new to field herping as a formal hobby. With boys, it seems you do it every time you walk out the door though.

I live in the Salt Lake area in Utah and I get out with my family as much as possible.

Thanks for all your great posts and threads, I'm learning a lot just browsing. I figure I'll start off with my best contribution. These are from June of 2011 near the University of Utah. I hope to have many more.

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I like this one as a wallpaper.
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KingCam
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Re: New to the forum

Post by KingCam » February 21st, 2012, 1:59 pm

Very nice! :thumb:

Welcome to the forum, we're glad you decided to join us! I'm looking forward to your future posts.

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Kevin Price
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Kevin Price » February 21st, 2012, 5:19 pm

Welcome to the forum.

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azatrox
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Re: New to the forum

Post by azatrox » February 21st, 2012, 7:31 pm

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting! I'd stay away from geo-caching in that wall if I were you. LOL Nice pics.

-Kris

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Mdarius
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 21st, 2012, 8:18 pm

azatrox wrote:Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting! I'd stay away from geo-caching in that wall if I were you. LOL Nice pics.

-Kris
Yeah, that'd be a thrill! It's a pretty cool area. They have signs up warning people to be aware of rattle snakes and interpretive signs, and have landscaped it to welcome the local wildlife, obviously inlcuding snakes. I think we've seen them there every year for the last 4 years straight.

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Dell Despain
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Dell Despain » February 21st, 2012, 9:05 pm

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your interesting post. I hope this doesn't feel like I'm picking on you, because you've documented an interesting observation, but I gotta say...

I went to the U of U, and damit if the University didn't plant those buildings right in the migration path of those Crotalus going to and coming from their hibernacle. We used to ride mountain bikes on those trails, and hike back there to see this migration, over a number of years. I find it ironic that the University put their new Natural History Museum right on top of those snakes. They had to knock some of those hibernacle's down to put the Natural History Museum where they did.

But what are you going to do? They haven't killed off all the snakes. Try and get back behind the Museum in the spring and I'll bet you find many snakes doing just fine. Sorry for my little rant, and thanks for posting the photos, it's fascinating to see how quickly the snakes adjusted to the change, and it's nice to hear that the University acknowledges the snakes, by putting up signs warning people to be aware the Crotalus are there.

-Dell

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Mdarius
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 21st, 2012, 10:14 pm

Yeah, it's not all bad. I think it helps people see that you can live with the great feared deadly viper without dying. I'm pretty sure any envenomations on campus would result in a news report, haven't heard any. And I've lived here for (yikes!)...I'm not saying. Long enough to be a Utah-rd.

The thing is, the developers in the area (all along the Wasatch front) have done the same thing. My brother-in-law catches juveniles in his driveway/window wells/garage every spring and takes them back up the hill. He's got 2 kids under 6 that are very curious. He's good about it, and good at teaching his kids, but a lot of people aren't. Seems there aren't a lot of studies done when the $$'s start talking.

This could turn in to a rant. I imagine that on this forum I'm preaching to the choir. Best thing to do is embrace it and help others do the same, since neither the school nor the development are going anywhere. I guess.

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azatrox
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Re: New to the forum

Post by azatrox » February 21st, 2012, 10:19 pm

While I'm certainly not a proponent of destroying hibernacula and basking spots for the sake of erecting a few buildings, I do have to say that it's encouraging that the people have learned to coexist with the snakes (at least on some level). I wish more people learned to.

-Kris

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » February 22nd, 2012, 12:52 am

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for your post!

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: New to the forum

Post by chris_mcmartin » February 22nd, 2012, 2:25 am

Dell Despain wrote:They had to knock some of those hibernacle's down
You misspelled "high barnacles." :crazyeyes:

And Kevin Price, I like the avatar..."serious gecko is serious."

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Dell Despain
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Dell Despain » February 22nd, 2012, 8:09 am

chris_mcmartin wrote:You misspelled "high barnacles."
The new Museum looks like a "high barnacle" on the hillside they built it on. ;)

I know lets build a museum right on top of all these animals, get the people inside, damit! What are they doing hiking and biking on those trails. Let's get them inside our museum, make some money, and teach them about all kinds of different animals, with videos, and pamphlets, "inside" the museum. We can tell them about how Rattlesnakes used to migrate right here where the museum is now.
I know, I'm a cynical "insert profanity here".

Actually, to be fair the new Natural History Museum is really cool looking, and blends into the hillside pretty well.


Mdarius, do you know what the old Natural History building is being used for?

-Dell

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Mdarius
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 22nd, 2012, 1:26 pm

Dell Despain wrote: Mdarius, do you know what the old Natural History building is being used for?

-Dell
Nope. I just know it's a nice area to see purty critters.

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Brendan
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Brendan » February 24th, 2012, 9:48 am

Awesome photos of a really unique situation and some very attractive lutosus. It's encouraging to know that people are able to coexist with these guys and not feel the urge to have to remove them. Long term it will be interesting to see how they fair. Being that you are seeing then in June I'd guess they are probably females using those walls as a gestation site. Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

B

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DMong
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Re: New to the forum

Post by DMong » February 24th, 2012, 11:08 am

Awesome stuff there man!,..........boy!, ya sure want to be careful where you place your feet and hands around there..LOL! :lol:


~Doug

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jayder85
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Re: New to the forum

Post by jayder85 » February 24th, 2012, 2:48 pm

Welcome! You will enjoy it. A lot of very knowledgeable people here!

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DaveR
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Re: New to the forum

Post by DaveR » February 24th, 2012, 3:37 pm

Welcome to the FHF. This place is the BEST. No better site to see awesome photos and be exposed to tons of information and opinion. I learn something every time I visit.

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Jeremy Westerman » February 24th, 2012, 8:23 pm

Welcome Mdarius. Nice shots. Dell I feel your pain I was watching those sites too. still at least 3 hibernacula in spitting distance of the Bonniville trail in that area, will be interesting to see how the snakes adjust. Haven't heard anything unusual about increased neighborhood activity downhill.

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Mdarius
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 25th, 2012, 8:28 am

So, I'm curious. Do you guys know about the hibernacle locations because of:
1. Personal experience through hobbying (searching and finding)
2. Personal Experience through educational/professional pursuits (Research projects)
3. Pass along information (My buddy told me, or as part of the Rocky Mountain Chapter we went and scoped this out...)
4. "Frommer's guide to better hibernacles of Utah"
5. Hibernacle witching (similar to water witching, but different. If you don't know how it's done, I can't tell you.)
6. "If you don't know how it's done, I can't tell you."

Not that I'm going to jump on my mountain bike with a pillow case and go looking or anything, it just amazes me how much local knowledge is in these groups. I feel I am on the path of the Padawan.

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Dell Despain
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Dell Despain » February 25th, 2012, 2:53 pm

Sometimes it feels like you need to witch a spot out to find the specific target species, even when you believe your in the right habitat. How do you do that snake witching again?
BTW, I used to work for a company in my early twenties that put water pumps down wells, and I've seen that witching thing done before, and it's gotta be one of the weirdest things to watch I've ever seen. But indeed it works.
Mdarius wrote:So, I'm curious. Do you guys know about the hibernacle locations because of:
I found out about that spot, (way before I was into herps and herping) because I used to hike and Mountain bike back there, and we'd see a Crotalus every now and then, which we thought was cool. Then one day a friend told me he'd done a ride back there, and there were hundreds of snakes out. I went right up there after the call, and couldn't get over how many snakes were on the move. Not a hundred by any means, but, I don't know.... a lot. So every spring after that I'd try and hit that emergence.
Jeremy Westerman wrote:Dell I feel your pain I was watching those sites too.
Thanks Jeremy, I was starting to feel like a whiny cry baby, who brings down a new members first post.
It will be interesting to see how the snakes do, and any updates you guys can give would be greatly appreciated.

-Dell

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Jeremy Westerman » February 25th, 2012, 4:50 pm

I keep tabs on several hibernacula (plural) hibernaculum (singular) along the Wasatch front. Funny that they call them that at all because snakes are not true hibernators, rather they brumate or go into brumation which is a temperature dependent torpor. The best way to find a brumation site is to GPS snakes when you see them, over time you get preferred basking sites, denning sites and ambush locations. It doesn't hurt to know what exactly to be looking for. Some species use rocky crevices, some just rodent burrows, etc. It seems like most joggers and bikers so far are oblivious to the close proximity of some snake sites along the new section of trail. I really worry about unleashed dogs and unsupervised young kids.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: New to the forum

Post by chris_mcmartin » February 25th, 2012, 10:35 pm

Jeremy Westerman wrote:I keep tabs on several hibernacula (plural) hibernaculum (singular) along the Wasatch front. Funny that they call them that at all because snakes are not true hibernators, rather they brumate or go into brumation which is a temperature dependent torpor.

Brumaculum.

Or torparium.

Take your pick, but just credit me every time you use either of those words. :lol:

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Mdarius
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Re: New to the forum

Post by Mdarius » February 27th, 2012, 1:20 pm

Thanks! I would guess that either way the information is sensitive. I'd hate to see torphibrumaculum pillaged.

(I get endnote credit for that one!)

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