April to June in So. Cal. - new photos added

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SurfinHerp
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April to June in So. Cal. - new photos added

Post by SurfinHerp » June 11th, 2015, 10:25 am

Hey there everyone,


Here are a bunch of photos I’ve taken during my herping adventures since early April. As usual, they’re roughly in chronological order.

I’ll add more info about the photos as I find time in the coming days. Let me know if you’re interested in a specific photo and I’ll be sure to explain more about it.


Hope you enjoy at least a few of my shots….


Jeff



Family camping trip in early April…

We had a fun hike up BP canyon on Saturday morning.
A few of the palm trees were suffering from lack of water since the stream flow was quite low
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We saw a few banded rock lizards, including this one with a funny pose
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Lorquin's Admiral butterflies (Limenitis lorquini) fluttered all around the oasis
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Watching a group of bighorns make their way up the canyon was the highlight of our trip!
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This CA treefrog was up high in a shady crevice, well away from the water's edge
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Chuckwalla keeping a wary eye on me while I took his photo
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Road-cruising on Saturday night produced a long-nosed snake
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...plus this small lyre snake
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A few CA treefrogs were croaking in the pupfish pond late at night
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Overall, this year's trip went fairly well, but not outstanding. Next year we'll probably try a different location.


Later on in April....

Alligator lizard “courtship”
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Desert road-cruising...


Coastal rosy boa with good colors
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just a little sidewinder
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Cool shovelnose snake
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Coastal lagoon habitat
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Lots of helleri here
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Desert herping with Nature Nate….


Started out with a desert horned lizard at dusk
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Only the second black-headed snake I've found on a road
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In-situ shot of a leaf-nosed snake found in a wash while hiking
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Late-night lyre snake capped off our trip
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Day trip to the hills…

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too bad it wasn't a patchie
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I thought the habitat looked suitable, so I searched for rock-on-rock set-ups and found a granite night lizard
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Trip to the Mojave desert in late April....


My goals for this trip were Gila monster, regal ring-necked snake, Sonoran lyre snake, rosy boa, or at least a gopher snake. The weather turned out to be mostly cool, cloudy and windy.
I didn’t find many interesting herps, so I took a lot of landscape shots...

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At my first destination, I found about 5 or 6 banded geckos and a threadsnake under rocks, but didn't take any worthwhile photos.
Once I was sufficiently frustrated, I moved on into Nevada and caught up with the group surveying the Newberry Mountains for Heloderma and Diadophis.

It was great to meet some of the guys and hear the stories of their successful efforts. I definitely should have gone straight to NV!
I hiked around in the afternoon for a couple hours and saw some common lizards plus a red racer, but again, didn't get any good photos.

I enjoyed the company and the scenery at least...

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Wish I could have stayed in the Newberry's for another day or two, but I was out of time and had to hit the road.


On the way home through Riverside and SD Counties...

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I believe this is a Woodhouse toad, found in the ag fields near the Salton Sea
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This shovel-nosed snake was the only snake found on the last leg of my trip
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Maybe next year I'll have better luck in the Mojave.





Night hiking with Chris P. near the end of April…

We found a gopher snake crawling on a low outcrop (no good pic), then a medium-sized red diamond rattler coiled amongst the rocks
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Granite night lizards were out in good numbers
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We saw at least a dozen

This large male granite spiny lizard was half-way finished shedding his skin
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On our way back to the car I noticed a large bat or bird hovering overhead momentarily, which was unusual. Then a minute or two later I saw a poorwill on the ground feigning a broken wing. Realizing this probably meant we were close to its nest, I searched the area for a minute and saw three chicks trying to hide in some rocks.
I picked one up and got this photo of a poorwill chick
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May 2015



Desert road-cruising…


Full moon rise produced two boas, a speck and a lyre within about 45 minutes...
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Later on, when the moon was shining bright, I only saw a couple banded geckos and this vibrant shovel-nosed snake
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Nightsnake from a coastal road
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Rain cruise…


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I like this bullfrog pic because it shows just how large their mouths are
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Overnight trip to the desert with my buddy Jasper…


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Got this photo by sticking my iPhone into the bush and hoping for the best
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Night hike in a desert canyon..

Found three threadsnakes in about 40 minutes!
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Day trip to Cleveland National Forest in central SD County….


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Desert herping …


For this photo, I tried to use a technique that the great photog James Evans shared on FHF a couple years ago. I shined my headlamp onto the cholla and focused my flash on the glossy snake
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I think my shot turned out OK, but still nowhere near as good as James’.

Another photo of the same glossy
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June


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Kent VanSooy
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by Kent VanSooy » June 11th, 2015, 12:26 pm

Ah, some great stuff there Jeff! You sure had luck with the lyres - I really like the super-light one, and the one eating is quite a find. What's the mystery snake crossing the road - a racer perhaps? And the shot of the shovelnose with the gold flecking is quite lovely.

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LouB747
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by LouB747 » June 11th, 2015, 1:22 pm

Great post. I need to get out more! Patch nose crossing?

VICtort
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by VICtort » June 11th, 2015, 3:49 pm

Nice work Jeff,
the striped king just before the Desert Iguana is stunning. Love the garter snake under water, a commonly seen but not often photographed perspective.
Given the reported drouth, you did pretty well and clearly proved you can not see them if you just stay home...

Thanks for posting, Vic

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Fieldnotes
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by Fieldnotes » June 11th, 2015, 5:05 pm

AmAzing Shots!! Especially cool is the garter in the creek :thumb:

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Ross Padilla
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by Ross Padilla » June 11th, 2015, 5:18 pm

Awesome post! Love that last Cal king! :thumb:

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Carl Brune
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by Carl Brune » June 12th, 2015, 6:04 pm

Very nice. I also wonder what the snake on the road is...

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SurfinHerp
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by SurfinHerp » June 12th, 2015, 11:15 pm

Thanks for your kind comments guys! I've added some more info to the first part of the post, but still have more to go.

The snake crossing the dirt road up in the hills was merely a gopher snake. I was hoping to find a coastal patchnose since I had seen one there last year. I added a photo to the post above. I didn't take a better in-situ photo because a car came down the road right after my second shot.

Jeff

repaphin
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by repaphin » June 13th, 2015, 10:34 am

:beer: You have found a lot of cool stuff this year! Keep up the good work! :thumb:

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jamezevanz
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by jamezevanz » June 14th, 2015, 10:21 pm

Great stuff Jeff, especially the Rosies and the Coachwhip. I'm jealous. I've been too busy remodeling a house to do any fishing and this is the only herp I've seen all year:

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: April to June in So. Cal.

Post by The Real Snake Man » June 15th, 2015, 8:28 am

Great stuff. The Cleveland National Forest mitchellii reminds me of the specimen on the frontispiece of the first volume of Klauber's 1956 book Rattlesnakes (which was also a San Diego County animal). Must be cool to see animals like Klauber saw, even if things have changed over the last several decades.

-Gene

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