West Riverside County today and last week or so

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bennydog
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West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by bennydog » April 2nd, 2012, 6:52 pm

So Ive been out herping almost everyday this last week, going out around 5pm to sunset... Loads of lizards, rabbits, birds, field mice but NO SNAKES!! I cannot seem to find any.. I am fairly new to herping so I guess it just takes time, But it gets frustrating, but heck It is beautiful and good exersize.. anyway enough yapping here are some pics!


snake food, but no snakes
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Ross Padilla
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by Ross Padilla » April 2nd, 2012, 7:24 pm

How exactly are you looking for snakes? Maybe we can help you.

RobertH
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by RobertH » April 2nd, 2012, 7:58 pm

What Ross is getting at is that this time of the year, you won't find much or anything just cruising around and looking for snakes on the crawl. That's because they are not on the crawl (yet). They are mostly thermoregulating under natural cover, such as logs and rocks, and under artificial cover (AC), such as discarded plywood or mattresses. As ugly as it is to the eye, AC can be extremely productive, especially if old and plentiful. Many of us also put out our own board lines and check them starting in spring of the following year.

One important caveat: Always replace any cover you flip, natural or artificial, exactly as you found it. This will preserve the microhabitat (including the key ingredient - moisture!) of snakes living (in burrows) under the cover and also make it more likely that you will encounter snakes there the next time.

One other important caveat: Never post locations or revealing shots of AC spots.

I hope this will help a bit.

Robert

bennydog
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by bennydog » April 2nd, 2012, 8:51 pm

Thank you for the advice. I have been looking under some AC that I have found and always putting it back. Also in a spot i found a bunch of plywood in a stack I took it and placed it so like you said It might produce something later. I dont know much on when snakes are out (time of year ect..). or how to find them at perticular times so any advice would be helpful. I will keep on trying as I enjoy the time outdoors and love taking photos, and if anyone ever wants a newbie to tag along let me know.. :thumb:

ramblon
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by ramblon » April 3rd, 2012, 12:03 pm

It's really dry out your way to be seeing much under cover, but the combination of dry/warm weather in the coming weeks will start to create situations where you'll see animals on the crawl. Especially during the times you've been searching. Find a good, low traffic road to cruise and you'll start to see stuff.

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rpecora
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by rpecora » April 3rd, 2012, 4:21 pm

What a great shot Ramblon! Nice boa too.

RobertH
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by RobertH » April 3rd, 2012, 7:44 pm

It's really dry out your way to be seeing much under cover
Not really, someone on this forum found 22 snakes under AC and NC in Western Riverside on a single day only about a week ago. You just have to have some good spots and know when to check them.

Robert

ramblon
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by ramblon » April 3rd, 2012, 9:26 pm

about a week ago
Hmm, you mean right after it rained (for the last time this spring)? :roll:

You can call it what you like, but it's about as dry and crappy as I've seen it out that way in a long time, no green, no wildflower bloom. Well below average rainfall.


Thanks Mike, great shots of your own on the other site! Got the blood pumping.

RobertH
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by RobertH » April 4th, 2012, 8:32 am

Ramblon, the day was 3-29.

You're probably right that there was some rain in the days prior, although I can't remember anymore. But there has been more rain since then, last weekend. That doesn't make this a good season, of course. It's a very dry year, just like you said.

My point was simply that there are certainly snakes to be found under cover right now, even in Western Riverside County - if you have good spots and check them at the appropriate time.

With the relatively dry conditions, "good spots" means that, in total, you have something like a hundred good pieces to flip. Several hundred is better, of course. Checking them at the appropriate time means you check them shortly after a rainfall event or at least when conditions are somewhat moist (strong onshore flow), and not at the end of the day when humidity is down and snakes are done thermoregulating, but rather at the beginning of the day.

I have absolutely no doubt that if I flipped exactly the same pieces of AC that my friend did on 3-29, I'd find a good number of snakes. Maybe not as many, but certainly some. And, btw, he flipped a very good variety, including Tantillas and Nightsnakes. So we are not talking about "just" gophersnakes, helleri and rubers here.

The problem with this season is that it will be very short and also that on any given day, snakes probably aren't under cover as long. That greatly reduces the odds of finding them. Which is why you need to flip a LOT of AC on any given day, and you need to do it soon.

Just to be sure: I am not trying to be argumentative with you, Ramblon. My original reply to the OP as well as the one to you were simply intended to let the OP and other newbies know that, yes, they can find snakes in Western Riverside under AC right now. Hopefully, our little discourse will have spelled out for them a bit more just what is involved. It's really not rocket science, but you need to understand the basic dynamics and also the (currently bad) odds. Flipping 5 pieces of AC in the late afternoon unfortunately isn't going to do it this year.

Robert

ramblon
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by ramblon » April 4th, 2012, 10:51 am

Not quite 1/3 of an inch on 3/25, .05 inches during the "rain" last weekend.

I've got a couple secluded boardlines in that part of the county and have a pretty good idea when to check them. This season was hardly comparable to last unfortunately. Robert, I'm not saying you cant flip 200 pieces of trash out there and not find a few snakes right now, it's just not where I would spend an entire day of searching given the conditions...and this past week of windy/dry weather (since your friend's outing) will make a big difference on future outings.

My advice to the OP was and is (I knew I never shouldv'e posted) to wait for a warm up, mid to late april can be great for observing snakes on the crawl in the late afternoon/early evening where he's been searching.

From greener pastures, almost a year ago to the day

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I like it to look a little more like this when searching under cover

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Benny, pm me and we'll get out for a little local cruise when the weather is right

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rpecora
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by rpecora » April 4th, 2012, 11:53 am

I like it to look a little more like this when searching under cover
From top to bottom, looks perfect.

RobertH
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by RobertH » April 4th, 2012, 1:01 pm

I'm not saying you cant flip 200 pieces of trash out there and not find a few snakes right now, it's just not where I would spend an entire day of searching given the conditions
Excellent point, neither do I. Flipping trash is just no fun.

Robert

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Fundad
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Re: West Riverside County today and last week or so

Post by Fundad » April 4th, 2012, 4:41 pm

Interesting thread to say the least..... :roll:



Fundad

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