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 Post subject: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 15th, 2018, 3:58 am 
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Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm
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I spent most of 2017 rehabilitating my injury and didn't plan on posting this year. However, there were times I needed to get out to exercise my leg or just simply do something to keep myself from losing my mind :crazyeyes: By the time fall came, I had a nice handful of shots and experiences worth sharing. Here they are...

My first cool nature experience of the year was pulling up next to this raven on a cloudy day. I drove up slowly and stopped right next him as he continually croaked away. I don't think I've ever been this close to a wild raven. Quite the audible experience. The deep tones of the croaks were interesting and relaxing to listen to. Calming but thrilling at the same time. I decided to go ahead and photograph him, but by the time I got my settings adjusted for sharp detail, he flew off. I got this one good shot as he was stretching his wings in preparation. Nice little 5 minute encounter. Nothing quite like listening to a talkative bird of intellect.

ImageRaven - refined spot cleaned 3-19-17 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



First snake photographed was this old man Pituophis. I was expecting to see a gigas here, but the popular basking spot had been inhabited by the lazy old buzzard :thumb: Every now and then I come across these really dark burgundy wine colored individuals with scattered patterns. There were a couple more present at full grown size that day. One very orange in color. Huge individuals! I saw one slowly crawling by, parallel to me, as I sat in my truck viewing my photos of the day. Didn't disturb them. Just took in situs...

ImageOld Gopher 1 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageOld Gopher2 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageOld Gopher3 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



Before I left, I came across this dark and colorful giant gartersnake. It was a burnt orange color extending the dorsal stripe and had the most concentration of red pigment I've seen on a gigas since the brick red one from a few years back. The sun was high in the sky and photog lighting sucked like a mountain mosquito locked in a car for 17 hours on a family camping trip after making a coal run for the barbie and night crawlers for the ice box. Thirsty and salivating at the sight of warm flesh. Fantasizing with the desire of leaving its victim pale and colorless. I did however manage to get these 3 decent shots as he slithered off into the array of grasses that lined the embankment in which he previously had basked upon. And then... he was gone.

ImageBurnt Orange Gigas 1 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageBurnt Orange Gigas 2 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageBurnt Orange Gigas 3 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I headed out one morning with the intention of photographing treefrogs dancing amongst the dewdrops of a mysteriously enchanted and enlightened pseudacris wonderworld. Quick randevu to the drive-thu to swoop up some gross-as-yuck factory chain produced bucket-of-star Hollywood-soaked brown & drowned ground round caffeine bean, and away I went. Art on the brain and inspiration flowing the vein. I arrived fashionably late. Still, the hop boppers were not on time... Or could it be the sleep in my eye had made me I'm blind? Where are all the little froggies that I came here to find?
Ok, so... As we all know. They weren't dancing. They weren't chirpin' ...at glance I went lurking. Last chance to be sure n' this shit still ain't working. I had to flip a few up from beneath the junk that mired the muck. There weren't even many drewdrops. My rubber soul was tired :sleep: Still, I did the art sesh in spite of myself... But yeah, totally staged :| 8-)

ImageDSC_0117 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0148 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0138 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0072 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0036 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



My next venture was beneath grey skies. Once again, I returned to the manicured seeded & farmed rich soiled swamplands of the delta basin. I arrived just as things began to warm up. First snake spotted was this fairly large gigas comfortably coiled amongst the fresh sprouted weeds which thrived upon the 2nd levee level below me. I laid down on my chest and took this shot with arms fully extended out in front of me. He caught on to my presence after a few shots and away he went. Soon after, serpents appeared from the rockwork around me. Creating a wonderland of snake lay-day imagery to indulge in. Highlights for me were the huge orange old man scarred-face gopher snake slowly worming his way back into the crevice from which he emerged and the beautifully colored little fitchi. I tried to get a closer insitu of it's enriched orange laterlal stripe, but couldn't due to obstacles in my way. I highly recommend clicking on the 2nd image and then click zooming it on Flickr. Definitely worth the view...

ImageDSC_0195 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0203 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0213 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0228 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0230 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0280 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0289 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0307 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0340 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0376 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0382 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0387 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0387a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0399 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0402 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0444 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



This was a rough year for me. I was told my injury may never heal and I could have a chronic condition the rest of my life keeping me from returning to work. Lots of downtime. Depression seemed to be lurking and creeping up on me from around every corner. I decided to purchase Xfinity after not watching TV for about 5 years. Discovered GOT (..and Ozzy man reviews :lol: facking excellent mate :thumb: ) and watched the whole series in like a week :lol: I started writing music and illustrating storyboards for an 8 chapter cartoon series at the beginning of the year to keep my spirits up. The story revolved around a frog looking for love, a variety of herp characters, and field herping-esque adventures he would encounter along the way. Around mid-year, I lost my job and workmen's comp. Feeling a little Dead-On-the Road, I signed up with DOR's L.E.A.P program... The Department Of Rehabilitation... And if that doesn't seem poetically symbolic and subliminal enough, the mascot for L.E.A.P just happened to be a frog :| I was really starting to feel like life was making a joke out of me and struggled hard to find the right path to not give up. Through the mist of it all, my imaginary buddy Pseudacris tried his hardest to cheer my up, but I really felt like I was heading towards a dark metaphorical state of metamorphose that was unavoidable. Refusing to give in, I chose to jump in and swim rather than be pulled down by lifes undertow. I began rehabilitating myself with aqua therapy at my own request. Doctors thinking it was useless and unrealistic, I slowly started making progress in strengthening the nearly useless knotting limb.

Imageframe_00003 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageScreenshot (54) by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I rarely post DOR's... but when I do, they're pond turtles and black-bellies.

I relocated to a cousin's house in the Elk Grove area for a couple months. I haven't herped out here since I was a kid and most of it is now fenced off from access. I did checkout a few roads and if I can tell you one thing about Elk Grove, it's a slaughter house for migrating turtles. Mostly sliders but a few pond turtles as well. I thought the detached shell segments were interesting enough to share. Amazing bone construction these animals have... Still I must admit... it's gross AF :?

ImageDSC_0714 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr


This was a bummer to see. I had actually been looking for a nice caramel colored blackbelly for photos. So, that made it a little more heartbreaking. Accomplishing a goal a day late and dollar short. Spotted while driving a busy road, I only had time for a quick cell phone pic.

Image20170501_212106 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



An awesome culumlus cloud shape in the sky... what more can I say.

ImageDSC_0787 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I saw a few rattlesnakes this year but only attemped photographing this one. It was an attractive brown colored individual and I soon as I saw it, I thought of how much it resembled the colors of the delta blackbellies. The sun cast too harsh for a good photo and I shot too dark to fix the pics. Not easy trying to view your setting's results through a view finder full of bright sun glare. I did however get the sharpness I was looking for and they look decent enough in grayscale.

ImageDSC_0879 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0907 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0882 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



This was a long awaited insitu session finally getting closure. I was checking out a huge full grown gopher snake in a common gigas basking spot. Suddenly, I heard a rustling in the brush to the right of me... I look over through the spike weeds to see this monster gigas positioning a bask right after catching a meal big enough for a giant :shock: :thumb: Still struggling to breath out the water in it's lungs, it continually opened and closed it's jaws (it's common for these aquatic snakes to have breathing problems like this and has been observed several times). I've photographed gigas basking within thick grasses before, but never this exposed... Or they were coming right up to kiss the camera lens with a horrible desolate and barren dirt backdrop :lol: Forcing me to scoot back in order to keep focus. It was a day full of sporadic cloud cover and cast shadows which made for a dynamic and interesting photo shoot. Patience and slow movement was the skeleton key to unlocking rare opportunity in a well balanced display of natural behavior.

Also, check out the tail wound on this individual and the effect it's had on the rest of the tail. Pretty gnarly looking... tough ol' motha' :thumb: :thumb:

ImageDSC_0009a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0003n by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0018 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0032 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0048 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0053 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0075a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0112a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr


Cropped close up of the wounded tail...

ImageDSC_0112af - CROPPED by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0137 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



This is an awesome snake for the area it was found in. I've never seen a blackbelly like this out here before. Maybe someone else has... grrrmmmm, cough, cough...hack, spit. Cough. Here's what's cool about it: 1) It's a black-belly. 2) It's either black or so dark brown that it looks black (the black and white looking kingsnakes, aside from the ones found in CA desert hbitat, are said to be dark brown and light cream). #) it's yellow instead of caramel (yellow is a common color for the delta area here for both brown and black looking individuals, but not blackbellies). There was a little brown extending the dorsal of the snake. I've always referred to these as, "toasted" kingsnakes, because it looks like someone put them in the oven for a bit :lol: Reminds me of lemon meringue pie where the top is slightly toasted. So, I'm calling this a Lemon-phase Blackbelly and no one can say a damn thing about it! :lol: 8-)

ImageDSC_0290a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0323a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0224a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I saw more alligator lizards basking on the roads in the evening than any previous year. I usually come across these on bike trails with sharptails. Like the snakes, they lay in a straight line and resemble a stick or twig to passers by. Never saw them much on cruising roads though... Seemed like for a few weeks there, didn't matter where I went, I saw lizards instead of snakes. I think the most I saw in one night was 4 on my rattlesnake road and a DOR from a car in front of me. This one looked like a large fallen stick from a distance and only an experienced field herper could've recognized it's suspicious character shape. Sure enough as I drove down the side road to inspect, just as I expected, a huge broad headed male :thumb: I pulled over a slowly laid down in front of him for these insitu shots. As I tried to change positon like I did with the basking full bellied gigas (sun at my back would capture more color), his patience ran thin and he began to wiggle run his way to safety. I kept shooting as he did despite not having time to adjust my settings to the new angle of the sun. Pretty blurry, but I found the running leg positions interesting and worth sharing. I think I might attempt a sequence shot like this in the future.

ImageDSC_0386a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0402a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0403a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0405a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0406a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0407a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0408a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0409a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0410a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0411a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr


A couple insitu shots of another individual I passed on a different road...

ImageDSC_0463a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0451a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I headed out one evening under smoky thick cloud cover yearning to see something new. Hindered within the circumference of my injury's tolerance, I drove east toward the Sierras. I traveled a familiar road through suitable habitat. A good road for cruising a variety of species including kingsnakes, gopher snakes, rattlesnakes, and gartersnakes (I think I've seen both elegans and fitchi here, but not 100% sure). A few years back, I made a Roseville/Folsom nightsnake find a goal of interest for a few reasons... 1) Everyone seemed to be going zonata crazy, so making torquata a top priority of difficulty just seemed super cool to me :lol: 2) I've only seen one in Roseville since I was a kid. The only nighsnake ever found between me and my avid herping friends. There's a lot of good habitat for them! Numerous ringneck finds. Never nightsnakes tho. 3) I wanna see nightsnakes!! :lol: They're cool looking and it sucks driving west to find them all over the place. Establishing them in Roseville since the housing development would give me a good feeling and (IMO) good database entry (horned lizards are no more...as far as I know). So, even though I've actually only gone out to flip rocks for them a couple times, I've always had them in the back of my mind anytime I cruised for snakes.

What I found that night was more unexpected than a nightsnake... :mrgreen:

ImageDSC_0475 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0485 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0498d by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0619 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0621 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0684 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0688 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



At first glance, I thought to myself boy... That sure is a pretty little western toad sitting there. I haven't photographed one of those in a while, (although I did come across several large tote encounters in Davis while living there for a couple months) I might as well photograph it. :lol: Laid down next to him in the dark dusky road and as I took a closer look... Wholly shift.... :thumb: another unseen culprit that had gone undocumented for this area. Sacramento County Spea! I talked to Gary Nafis later in the year who told me that breeding calls had been heard for this area but no one had seen one. I surveyed the locale the following night. I counted over a hundred but figured I probably only saw around 70 due to recounts from driving up and down the road. Super easy to photograph. I basically just laid down in front of them and started shooting away. They seemed to be collecting humidity droplets from the air and most all of them had fresh washed visible patterns. I only photographed the more attractive individuals that displayed the most variation in color and pattern. This was the best hometown herping experience I've had in a long time. First time for me ever discovering a species of herp in my hometown area that I hadn't already found exploring on my own in my youth. 8-) ...given that it was an undocumented population made it an even more rewarding experience.

ImageDSC_0522a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0521a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0529bnbnbn by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0546aa by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0534a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0580 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0583 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0581 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0589 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0636 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0639 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0638s by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0640 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0641 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0652 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



The 2nd night out was under beautiful blue warm stormy skies... I had to pull over and photograph these clouds on the drive out. Atmosphere was intense. Reminds me now of this Frank Black song, Everything Is New. Which was actually a theme for last year's photography video that I shit canned. Lack of time and footage. good album. Great song! Kept me company through most of the lonely long drives of 2016. Link to listen: https://youtu.be/DhrHogOo4yU

ImageDSC_0096 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0045 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0064 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0046 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0953 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0950p by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0946 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageA1 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageSpade2aaaaa by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageSpade2aaaaaa by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0937 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0938 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0929 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0943 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0111 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageSpade1b by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0984 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0123 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0150-2 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0119 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



An awesome display, of happy happy DNA, patterned toad wart-ious mimicry, pareidolia symmetry...
:) :)

Image20170602_223501 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



I had just crossed Elverta Street, when something diverted me... Where an excursion of crossing serpents were usually seen. Instead, up ahead, a skinny orangish red little dougie flee-ed. From one field to the next, dressed in black stocking feet :shock: Seriously, I was shocked... WTF x 10 = my amazement to see a red fox lurking around Rio Linda's hen houses. I've only seen a couple of these. Never this close to city life tho... and although the occasional llama, bison, or emu could be around any turn in this timeless town, this was definitely a first :mrgreen: I circled the block and pinpointed his location. Then, parked across the street with my measly 70-300mm sniper rifle and waited for him to reappear. He knew I was onto him. The tension was thick. Hiding within the jungle cover brush pictured below. I took a couple practice shots to get my best focus beneath the dusk of a setting sun. Coolest thing about this little guy was he actually had 3 large black blotches on his back and sides with a few smaller blotches peppered between them. Facking morph mates!! :thumb: I wanted at least a voucher... He never showed himself :cry:

Then I was checking through my photos later at home and wholly-well-eye-bee-a-monk's-key-uncle... :thumb: There he was sitting to the side of the brush. Starring and glaring, wondering why I was even carin' ...Sly as fox and hot to trot. Caught that little Focker in a practice shot :beer:

ImageDSC_0002 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



This was an experience that really makes you feel like hero. It's times like these you learn to love again... Mother, tell your children not to hold my hand... for the benefit of Mr. Kite... wake in the morning and step outside, take a deep breath and get real high, and scream at the top of your lungs, "what's going on...!!" It's been a long time since I gutted a fish :? ...and this brought back memories :cry: No seriously tho. This was probably the most unusually unselfish and generous field herping experience I can recall. I mean, we all get that good feeling anytime we save a herp from getting road warriored, but this was definitely Going the Extra Mile :thumb: Here's a link to the original post and video documentation of the encounter: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24394

ImageDOR fitchi C-section by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



Ok, so... I'm laying in the middle of a lonely road about to photograph a comfortably coiled baby rattler and I'm thinking, "all I got is this lame stupid flash that came mounted on the camera. The Spade shots suck. I'm tired of field herping. Tired of the same ol' same ol'. None of those girls even want to get to know me. Everyone thinks I'm crazy. Wah, wah, wah... I want a facking pizza." And I look up at the sky from the foot of the foothills and... Ssshhhconga! ~ lightning strikes ~ ...FLASH "Wooooaaaaahhhh." Whole black night horizon lights up the brim of the Sierras. I had just gotten cortisone injected into my hip. "Hmmmm... maybe I should test the bum leg out? It's been a couple days..." Checked the weather conditions hovering above my boa road. "I still haven't cruised a zonata... They're just like contia (my controversial and heavy hated interpretational opinion). I know they gotta be there... I bet they're moving. Worse case scenario, I see at least a boa... maybe :lol:" So, I gas up a full tank of midnight station liquefied fumes and away I went...

I didn't use my snake hook to push down and the gas pedal in my non-cruise-control-having-ass-of-a-chevy on that dark and desolate drive up the Sierras. That coulda been unsafe if you weren't a professionally licensed & skilled driver juiced up on toro de rojo. So don't do it!!! "You WILL dieeee..." I had only cruised one boa in the past. After that, the solely scouted road became, "my boa road." I cruised it two other times with no luck. Once during the wrong conditions as I detoured the end of a Mojave trip. The other time during similar conditions and cruised a sharp-tailed snake. Boy, I'll tell ya... they sure do look like a little boa with evening sunshine atop the back as you pull up on em :lol: (that was a somewhat pleasant disapointment) I thought for sure I would see a Z... either way, it felt good to be breaking through my boundaries and fears. With careful attention to my leg, I headed into the storm...

ImageDSC_0657 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0592 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0600 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0601 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0680 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0662 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr


:o What the actual [email protected]!?!

ImageWhat-the-actual-fuck by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0548 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0537 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0498-Recovered by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



ImageDSC_0729 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0687 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0782 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0956 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0893 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0890 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0948 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0112 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0109 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0098 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



Around this time I finished my cartoon. It took a long time and I don't think I will be finishing the other chapter episodes. I'm back to work now and not having any animation background or proper software makes it very time consuming to figure through simple tasks. The coolest thing about this is it has my grandfather's voice in it! He passed away the day after Christmas, 2017. I slept in the hospital with him on Christmas eve. He was a great man! 97 years old and still drove a car up until the stroke which he could not recover from. He was an escort fighter pilot in WWII. Shot down in battle by groundfire and parachuted behind enemy lines. The French Underground found him and hid him until that part of the territory was eventually won over. He served out the rest of his duty to not only the military but his family as well. Taking on responsibilities that most grandparents are never asked of. Supporting his daughter and her children throughout his retirement. Much respected and dearly missed, he lived a long life.

Imagefrog emerge 1 -blink by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr







Sometime around mid-September, I was taking an exercise walk on a bike trail the winds it's way through the remaining chunk of Roseville foothills. I wasn't herping. Just exercising my leg. I always take my camera with me just in case Sasquatch appears on the trail walking his chupacabra in search of Nessy photos (wish I had my camera that day :roll: ). I was on my way back to my ol' Chevy when I noticed an S-shaped snake shape up ahead in the trail. It had been cold and cloudy all day, but had just started to warm up. 3pm-ish. I thought, "that's gotta be a sharp-tailed snake DOR from the evening before... no wait... looks alive." With a nice sheen across it's back I didn't see what it was until I was right up on it... :crazyeyes: No fricken way :lol: Scotch dammed Rosevile nightsnake :thumb: :thumb: Dead center in the trail, middle a day, despite the layman name... Moving from an open dry dirt woodland's clearing to scattered river rock bed and debris beneath a canopy of oak trees. Beyond the canopy about 50 feet was a trickling creek. I took it over for a quick drink and then released her (?) in the place she was heading. Can anyone one tell if this snake was gravid? It looks a little stout and tail thick... super small though. I can recognize it in contia, but have never seen it in this species.

I was officially done herping for the year after this find :sleep: Great way to end the year... 8-)

ImageDSC_0181 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0232 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0207 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



A few random shots...

ImageDSC_0326 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0374 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0382 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0246 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

Imagehawk by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0695 by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0697a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0717a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0732a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



One last thing... This was my last wild animal sesh of 2017. I've had a hell of a time trying to photograph red-shouldered hawks in the past. They have less of a tolerance for humans & stopping vehicles or at least that's how it's gone for me. Best bird lens I have is only a 70-300mm. So, I still have to get pretty close and sneak up on them. This one was just chilling though and I was able to walk up to it. She just sat there watching the sunset and never moved. Still pretty far out of my range though. It was nice to get these decent enough shots (thanks to that awesome tree) and a new bird species photographed. Another nice unexpected nature experience ending 2017 :mrgreen: :thumb:

ImageDSC_0607a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0677a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0687a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr

ImageDSC_0674a by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



:beer:


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 11:19 am 
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Great post, but you shouldn't attempt to rename Cal kings without consulting Brian Hubbs him self. lol jk I think that is what he calls the golden black belly morph. They look in between a normal banded and a Delta morph.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 2:12 pm 
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Ross Padilla wrote:
Great post, but you shouldn't attempt to rename Cal kings without consulting Brian Hubbs him self. lol jk I think that is what he calls the golden black belly morph. They look in between a normal banded and a Delta morph.


I knew I was treading into dangerous territories with that one :lol: I'm surprised I haven't received a random bitter late-night call yet :oops: * here's a picture of a Golden from that area that Brian himself confirmed for me. It's dark brown & golden brown, not yellow. And I'm not debating this again. If anyone wants to say anything about it, they can refer to this link: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=24426&hilit=Porter and talk about it over there but they need to read from top to bottom and not skip through any of it so I'm not stuck copying and pasting myself :lol: cheers :beer:

ImageGolden Brown Black Belly Kingsnake by California Reptile & Amphibian Appreciation, on Flickr



Thanks Ross :beer: I'm more proud of this post than any other post I've done. The photo flow arrangement, wording, and everything is 100% me. This is definitely the direction I want go and need to go. We got Nick, Zach, and Chad excelling in the photography aspect out of CA. I'm going to be branching off into a more creative writing aspect of fieldherping. Metaphorical emotional banter and provocative intentional interpretational smart-castic illiteracy :mrgreen: :thumb:



*( I should mention that my banter about the contia/zonata similarity was not in reference to Brian. I just now realizing it could be read that way. It's an over-exaggerated interpretation of Chad Lane's frustration of me going rogue in my own rather than boyscouting the textbook scientific info. I have a more Native American approach to field herping. I didn't follow field guides and there was no parental guidance. I basically explored with my friends and half of the things we found we didn't even know what they were. So we made up funny names for them. The first yellow-bellied racer I found was while I was wading waist-deep in an Elk Grove canal trying to net fish and bullfrogs. While pointing out fishing spots to my dad who was on the bank fishing. The snake was more than 8 feet away from the shore on top of lily plants hunting frogs over three feet depth of water. So I called that a green water snake for years. When I found the night snake that day, I thought it was a Viper of some kind because of his eyes. so I held it behind the back of the neck in case it was venomous :lol: no idea what I was holding. We found two large lateralis that day and for the next four or five years we called them Queen snakes because there was a book in the elementary school library that had a painted picture of a queen snake, that most closely resembled the striped racers. I had never heard the term field herping until 2010 and never even thought of it as a hobby. I wasn't even aware that there were weirdos out there that liked to, "catch snakes" other than me and my warfare friends :lol: Chad and I have had a healthy nemesisship from day one. You will see a display of that if you follow the link. Which is why I have to mention it. Having said that, he's the only guy I've herped with numerous times and we always get along in the field. He is on an equal level and I respect his abilities. So to any new readers out there, my advice to you is... Don't listen to me. Lol Consider me! Think for yourself. You have to know The Box before you can think outside of it. So learn your box :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 2:38 pm 
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Double post. I accidentally quoted myself in the middle of continuous re-editing the last 15 minutes of the above lol :crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 5:02 pm 
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Oh yeah, I remember that post. I agreed with you about the green. Yeah, the little king you have posted here has real nice yellow.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 5:24 pm 
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Ross Padilla wrote:
Oh yeah, I remember that post. I agreed with you about the green. Yeah, the little king you have posted here has real nice yellow.


I think fundad once told me in a pm (or either Hubbs told me that he had said it) that it's one of his favorite places to hurp because of all the variation and possibilities. Pretty sure that's not word for word but it was something along those lines. It is true for every species of snake out there that I've seen. I think it has to do with the minerals brought in from the ocean.


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 24th, 2018, 11:18 pm 
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Great post dude! Love the Kings, and photos of the T. gigas!


Cheers,
Chad


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 1:28 am 
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Chad M. Lane wrote:
Great post dude! Love the Kings, and photos of the T. gigas!


Cheers,
Chad


Thanks man :beer: nice job finding that yellow speckled :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: 2017 Photography - Central Valley & Sierras
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 1:40 am 
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Scott Waters wrote:
I found three like this one in that area. I think one of them is pictured in Hubb's book. I need to find my old Canon Powershot (60, I think?) and check out the cards. I have an old Fuji that is loaded with a bunch of stuff as well. Anyway, some cool looking kings in a fairly small area.
Attachment:
Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 12.03.06 AM.png


Great post! Brings back some memories.

Talk soon,
Scott


Also, saw this comment from Scott on the kingsnake post. Didn't want to bump the link extension.

That's awesome Scott :thumb: feel free to post em if you find the cards & Fugi. I'd like to see em. Glad it took you down memory lane :beer:


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