The payoff of 7 years of persistence

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jonathan
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The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by jonathan » April 15th, 2015, 2:16 pm

My NAHERP records show that I began investigating this spot in January 2008. I immediately found that it was full of chorus frogs, alligator lizards, and fence lizards.

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But I knew there had to be snakes. So I kept going back, over and over again. It was walking distance from my in-laws' place, so every time I visited my in-laws, I made another journey back to the spot and herped it for all I could. I couldn't place anything on the spot, so I had to make due with walking the area and investigating the cover already there. Over time I see a skunk, a possum, all sorts of birds...but no snakes.

Four years and more than 15 trips later, I finally find my first snake there, a little juvi gopher snake. I was very happy.

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But I knew there was at least one more species to be found.

So now we're 7 years and over 20 trips later. I've been out of the county and haven't been back to the spot in 2 years. I go to the dentist for a root canal in the morning, and as I sit in the waiting room I look and see overcast skies. The weather just feels right for my target. I tell my wife, "Rose, you have to drop me off at my spot on the way back. I'll walk home from there."

By the time we get to the spot, the skies are clear again, but moisture hangs in the air. I get onto the land and see the familiar fence lizards immediately. Only a couple minutes later, I'm heading down a trail when I see a large dark shape crossing in front of me. From this far away it almost looks like a helleri, but I know that here it can only be one thing. I run up as quick as I can to meet it. After more than seven years, I finally found it here. :thumb:

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It pays off to be persistent!

mark buck
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by mark buck » April 15th, 2015, 3:07 pm

wow! good job!

that's a sweet king

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Helleri
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by Helleri » April 15th, 2015, 3:24 pm

Great story put to it. A very entertaining read.

hellihooks
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by hellihooks » April 15th, 2015, 4:55 pm

I have 3 or 4 places I've been trying for certain herps at, for like 6, 7, 9 & 10 years, respectively. maybe this year.... yeah RIGHT... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: that kings one of those hard to find LA morphs?? nice! cyaaaaa

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jonathan
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by jonathan » April 15th, 2015, 5:06 pm

hellihooks wrote:I have 3 or 4 places I've been trying for certain herps at, for like 6, 7, 9 & 10 years, respectively. maybe this year.... yeah RIGHT... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol: :lol: that kings one of those hard to find LA morphs?? nice! cyaaaaa
I'm waiting for one of the morph-guys to tell me what it is. It certainly is different looking - like I said, from a distance it almost looked like one of the dark helleri with yellow highlights that we see down here - but I don't know what it's called.

kingsnakeadam
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by kingsnakeadam » April 15th, 2015, 5:30 pm

That looks like a hypermelanistic cross between a cal king and a desert king. That's my call!

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Fundad
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by Fundad » April 16th, 2015, 5:51 am

Great Story Jonathan, :thumb: It was good to see you and glad you're poking around here in the US.

That king is a hypermelanistic banded, most likely from the southern LA county/ western Orange county area. This morph can be common to uncommon within that area, and is uncommon outside
of the said area, with some exceptions. A very nice king.

Fundad

kingsnakeadam
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by kingsnakeadam » April 16th, 2015, 8:44 am

What county was this found in? Definitely a hyper no doubt about that. Just the banding towards the belly don't look pure cal king to me..... do you have a belly shot?

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jonathan
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by jonathan » April 16th, 2015, 9:03 am

Ha - the king was found almost close enough to the sea to smell the salt. Pure Los Angeles.

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Fundad
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by Fundad » April 16th, 2015, 9:16 am

Of course, I am right.. HA.. :twisted:

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shredsteban
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by shredsteban » April 16th, 2015, 3:49 pm

Very neat looking king. Love how dark the head is.

kingsnakeadam
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by kingsnakeadam » April 16th, 2015, 5:27 pm

The pattern along the lower side near the belly is very odd and not like a pure cal king. That said there is always variation but definitely not like a pure cal king so definitely can be but also definitely might not be. The world my never know haha. I love how dark the head is. Very nice snake!

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Fundad
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by Fundad » April 16th, 2015, 7:41 pm

Its a normal hyper for the area, nothing too unusual about it, nothing like the riverside kings.

kingsnakeadam
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by kingsnakeadam » April 16th, 2015, 8:19 pm

Brian. Do you have pics of other LA County kings with that kinda net pattern on the lower sides?. Very cool look, IMO it's unique!

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Speckled Rosy
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by Speckled Rosy » April 16th, 2015, 8:47 pm

Johnathan, thats a pretty nice find. A dark hyper for sure, and the chaining, though not totally abnormal for southwest LA co. is quite complete from head to tail, which is more rare. An interesting find for sure though, and I agree with Brian in guessing you were in the southern part of the LA basin, as I have seen a more than a few specimens with chaining on the lower side/ventral area..
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-Dan

kingsnakeadam
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by kingsnakeadam » April 17th, 2015, 10:30 am

I see what's going on now. Dan your pic made it obvious to me about that type of banding. It's definitely newport influence. I have a CB male from MDR that is a newport scrambled banded with more banding than scrambling if you will. He has the same kind of chain pattern as well. Definitely newport influence. Hear he is sort for really pore pics. I will take better pics if you guys want.

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jonathan
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Re: The payoff of 7 years of persistence

Post by jonathan » April 17th, 2015, 10:58 am

How do you really get a herper thread moving?

Post a kingsnake morph. :lol:

If I had only slipped, "unusual kingsnake morph" into the thread title we might be up to 50 replies. :crazyeyes: :beer:

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