June 2014- Month of the Lifers

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Zach_Lim
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June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Zach_Lim » June 30th, 2014, 7:06 am

Well, June has come to an end and I am happy to report that I managed to add quite a few lifers to the list. Although it was/is still dry as a bone here in the Bay Area, I still managed a handful of local species.

Let's begin with the usual suspects.

Juvenile Northern Pacific Rattlesnake that I flipped from under a stump in San Mateo County.

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Early in the month, I met up with Elliot (yoloherper) and hit the Santa Cruz Mountains for a shot at my lifer lateralis. I have only previously seen and photographed the endangered Alameda Striped Racer.

Flipping old planks and fence posts revealed a handful of NorPac Rattlers.

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Lots of beautiful Side-blotched Lizards (introduced to the area, right?) bounced from rock to rock.

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Flipping logs, I found a shed of a California Striped Racer- good, I was getting close.

Elliot and I begin stomping through the bush and managed to scare up a few lateralis, but none stuck around for voucher shots!

We decided to take a break and move on to a different spot in hopes that the snakes would return.

Walking near a pond, I spot a snake...

A dessicated Thamnophis (most likely atratus atratus).

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We headed back to the first spot.....

California Striped Racer

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Thanks to some quick moves by Elliot, I got my lifer!

I have been spending a lot of time just south of San Francisco exploring new spots with Jared Heald. So far, we have found some gorgeous Coast Garters.

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It got really hot out in the East Bay. REALLY HOT. But the moon was up....

3 hours of cruising for this feisty Pacific Gopher Snake.

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I have been spending the majority of my time out in the field solo walking on shaded trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I have now seen quite a few snakes this way.

Santa Cruz Garter Snake

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A humungous Pacific Gopher Snake

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Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

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Can't be there for all of them...

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Now for a change in scenery-

Jared, Dave, and I headed up North for some garter action. Specifically, we were attempting to photograph all three species that occurred in Marin County, CA in one day.
The weather wasn't great, but we did manage our goal.

Aquatic Garter Snake (T.atratus intergrade)

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CA Red-sided Garter Snake

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Unfortunately, none of my Coast Garter pics came out decent...but, believe me, we got all three species: sirtalis, atratus, and elegans!

Thamnophis Trifecta

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Now the fun part of this thread...

My band Scalped headed up north for a few days to play shows in Portland, Olympia, Seattle, and Vancouver. The shows were good, but the herping I was able to squeeze in between van rides to the next gig was better.

For reference, here we are trying to look tough at some park haha

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I was able to meet up with Gary Nafis and do some much needed herping near the Puget Sound.

Thank you, Gary, for the great company and for helping me find some awesome snakes (one of which I have wanted to see since I was a child)!

Puget Sound Garter Snake

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All smiles!

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Dozens of Pugets later, I notice one that didn't look as blue....

Wandering Garter Snake

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On the drive up to Vancouver, we parked the van at a rest stop to stretch our legs.

Naturally, I see that we are near water and decide to stomp around.

I notice a flash of yellow and red in the grass!

Valley Garter Snake

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I have yet to catch a fish while wearing my fish shirt....

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And that is it. Yup, the last snake (or herp aside from Fence Lizards and a repeat offender Crote) I have seen was the Valley Garter pictured above (6/21/2014).

I have hit the field on my days off since then and have come up short. Went road cruising last night and came up with nothing. Zero. Zip.

I guess the drought and intense heat is finally pushing snakes underground....

:beer: Here's to a wetter, better, July.

RobertH
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by RobertH » June 30th, 2014, 9:37 am

Very interesting month for you. I especially like the Thamnophis Trifecta, of course. Nicholas says he knows exactly where you took the shot showing all three of them :D

I also enjoyed what surely must have been meant as a joke, unless maybe you have plans to move to Costa Rica:
Here's to a wetter, better, July.
:lol: :lol:

Robert

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JAMAUGHN
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by JAMAUGHN » June 30th, 2014, 10:52 am

Zach,

What a month! Congrats on those Puget Sound Garters. They're such stunning snakes.

As for a wetter July....yeah...sigh.

JimM

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Speckled Rosy
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Speckled Rosy » June 30th, 2014, 5:01 pm

Great stuff! those puget sound garters are neat looking!

-Dan

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yolodave
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by yolodave » June 30th, 2014, 5:23 pm

Great shot Zach, you really captured the beauty of these northwest serpents.

Thanks for freaking me out with that shot of the zombie garter snake.

Dave

hellihooks
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by hellihooks » June 30th, 2014, 7:12 pm

NOIIIIIICEEE! :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol:

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yoloherper
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by yoloherper » June 30th, 2014, 8:30 pm

The pudgets are too sick! Looks like an awesome trip.
-Elliot

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LouB747
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by LouB747 » June 30th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Good stuff Zack. Im sitting in Seattle now. Unfortunately leaving at 6am. Otherwise I'd be out looking for some blue garters.

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gopher
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by gopher » July 1st, 2014, 12:25 am

Great post Zach! I love all of those garters! :beer:
I'm pretty sleepy so when I scrolled onto you Puget Sound Garter Snake, I was like "wtf is that!" (without reading the name). Then I read you were not in Cali anymore :lol:

I'm pretty jealous, this is coming from a guy who only has seen hammondii...

Keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Greg

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Calfirecap
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Calfirecap » July 1st, 2014, 8:40 am

Nice job Zach, and good to see you getting out to some new places and chocking up additional counties.

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Fundad
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Fundad » July 2nd, 2014, 5:34 am

More good stuff Zach plus you continue to rock to scoreboard..

It's really cool to watch herpers evolve from their beginning stages, intermediate, to more advanced stages..


Your passion for herping is catchy..

:beer: :thumb:
Fundad

Zach_Lim
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Zach_Lim » July 2nd, 2014, 12:46 pm

RobertH wrote:Very interesting month for you. I especially like the Thamnophis Trifecta, of course. Nicholas says he knows exactly where you took the shot showing all three of them :D

I also enjoyed what surely must have been meant as a joke, unless maybe you have plans to move to Costa Rica:
Here's to a wetter, better, July.
:lol: :lol:

Robert
Thanks, Robert! And, yes, I bet Nicholas does! :)
JAMAUGHN wrote:Zach,

What a month! Congrats on those Puget Sound Garters. They're such stunning snakes.

As for a wetter July....yeah...sigh.

JimM
Thanks, Jim! I was inspired by your PNW finds (on the database and forum) to really put an effort in when I was up there!

And yeah, sigh....
Speckled Rosy wrote:Great stuff! those puget sound garters are neat looking!

-Dan
Thanks, Dan!
yolodave wrote:Great shot Zach, you really captured the beauty of these northwest serpents.

Thanks for freaking me out with that shot of the zombie garter snake.

Dave
Hey Dave!

Snake-jerky zombie was pretty cool yet unsettling!
hellihooks wrote:NOIIIIIICEEE! :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol:
NICE
LouB747 wrote:Good stuff Zack. Im sitting in Seattle now. Unfortunately leaving at 6am. Otherwise I'd be out looking for some blue garters.
Thanks, Lou. Jealous that you are in Seattle. I am actually thinking about moving up there...
gopher wrote:Great post Zach! I love all of those garters! :beer:
I'm pretty sleepy so when I scrolled onto you Puget Sound Garter Snake, I was like "wtf is that!" (without reading the name). Then I read you were not in Cali anymore :lol:

I'm pretty jealous, this is coming from a guy who only has seen hammondii...

Keep up the good work!

Cheers,
Greg
Thanks, Greg!

I am jealous that you see hammondii! Top of my lifer Tham list!
Calfirecap wrote:Nice job Zach, and good to see you getting out to some new places and chocking up additional counties.
Thanks, Lawrence!

Let's hit the field soon!
Fundad wrote:More good stuff Zach plus you continue to rock to scoreboard..

It's really cool to watch herpers evolve from their beginning stages, intermediate, to more advanced stages..


Your passion for herping is catchy..

:beer: :thumb:
Fundad
Thanks, Brian.

Couldn't advance and evolve without all the help and advice from people on this forum....

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Mr.Talltree
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Mr.Talltree » July 2nd, 2014, 5:18 pm

The pinckeringii are exceptional! I love those little critters!

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tspuckler
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by tspuckler » July 4th, 2014, 4:25 pm

That's nice assortment of CA herps and NW "lifer" garters Zach!

Tim

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: June 2014- Month of the Lifers

Post by Chad M. Lane » July 30th, 2014, 4:06 pm

Nice finds Zach! I have weekends off now, we'll have to get out again.




Cheers,
Chad

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