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 Post subject: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and CostaRica
PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 12:38 pm 

Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 11:55 pm
Posts: 10
Jan-Feb:
First week of January ’17 I went on a solo trip to San Diego county. Had no idea what I was doing other than some board lines I found on google maps. Ended up seeing some fun stuff, partly in thanks to a local who showed me a handful of C.ruber and a lyre snake.

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red.diamond by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Lyre.body by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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https://flic.kr/p/22K8JF2 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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SD.striper.CA.Kingsnake./url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/]Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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https://flic.kr/p/244E6iL by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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skiltons.skinks.Torrey.Pines by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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.1_2017 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

March:
In March, several friends and I piled in two cars and did a 5 day blitz through San Diego, Imperial, and Yuma counties. Ended up with 31 species found, here are my favorites.

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so.pac.poway by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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ruber by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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https://flic.kr/p/23xR2bC by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Video of flipping a kingsnake and southern pacific rattlesnake. Click on pic to view video on Flickr.
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

I was very excited to find my lifer rosy boa lol!
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Rosy boa. Imperial County, Ca. March 2017. by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Rosy boa habitat
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Imperial county, CA habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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"Hotel Ocotillo Sunrise" by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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"Starguero" by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

I’m sure several of you will recognize these rocks. Have been to this mountain range a few times and haven’t found a speckled there yet… in fact I have somehow managed to not find snakes of any kind here!
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Yuma County habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

April:
April was not that productive, mostly due to school and work. I was in a herpetology class though and we took a trip to Washington County, Ut. It hadn’t really warmed up there yet and only saw some tortoises and a few amphibians.

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tort.4_2017 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Valley University herpetology class by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


May:
May is my favorite month to herp near home. I had time to regularly visit a nearby lutosus den and the milksnake flipping was great.
Utah milksnake habitat
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Tooele County habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Only handled it to put the rock down, then let it crawl back.
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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

A second yearling found with bolus. This one was found by Rye Jones and Jeremy Westerman.
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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

This yearling lutosus was found several yards away from where I watched a female give birth the summer before. Five more yearlings were found in the immediate area that day. After looking at pics and comparing patterns, it is likely that I watched some of these snakes get pushed out and take their first breaths!
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lutosus.3 .5_1_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

There are 9 lutosus in this pic (one is hidden under another coils though)
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lutosus.den 5_12_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus.den.(8).5_12_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus.den.(9).5_12_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus.den.5_12_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus.den..5_12_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus.den(10)5_12_17. by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

By far the largest lutosus I’ve seen. Wish the pic showed size reference better, but check out the rattles on this beast! Image
lutosus.den 5_7_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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greensnake.5_7_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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rubber.boa.(1).6_3_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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T.sirtalis.(1).5_10_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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garter.PC.(1).6_23_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

A quick trip to Washington county was really productive. Saw most the regulars, plus highlights of a California Kingsnake, and two Speckled Rattlesnakes.

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California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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speck.1(2).Al's.rock.5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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speck.2.Al's.rock.5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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speck.habitat(Al's.rock)5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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sidewinder.Tort.camp.5_26_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


June:
In June I went to Virginia for several days. Unfortunately, the reason for my visit was the passing of my Dad. During my time home, I was able to turn up a few herps. One find was really important to me for two reasons. First, the area it was found was the last place I spent time with my Dad. He spotted a cottonmouth that day that was so hidden I have no idea how he saw it. Second reason I love this find is because it was my favorite species to catch growing up. I hadn’t seen one since moving to Utah nearly 10 years ago. Also found another Utah milk in June, but this time in a different county and road cruised.

Black rat snake
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black.rat.BackBay.7_2_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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insitu.cottonmouth by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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cottonmouth.1 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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grey.treefrog.amplexus by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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_MG_0256 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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marbled.sally by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

July:
In July I didn’t do much local herping. This was due to saving my time/ gas money for the two Arizona trips planned that summer (late July and mid August). Did manage to turn up my first Utah Mountain Kingsnakes before leaving though! First two were found on the same day and the third a few days later.

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Lampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Lampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Lampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

The Arizona trip was great with 42 species in 4 days. Only real setback was a tire blowout that had us hobbling back to Tucson. Wasted most of that day trying to find the right tire. Here are some of the highlights.

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Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Tiger Rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Tiger Rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Sonoran Lyresnake (Trimorphodon biscutatus lambda) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

August:
Same as July, I didn’t do much local herping in August. School, work and waiting for the second Arizona trip to get here. Saw more mammals on this trip. Bear, badgers, javelinas, ringtails, etc., none of which I got pictures of sadly.

Probably the smallest crotalid I’ll ever see! A YOY C.pricei.
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Twin-spotted Rattlesnake (Crotalus pricei) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

On the July trip, we found an abandoned corral that had lots of flippable cover. Was hoping to walk up or flip a Mojave here, as I had only cruised them before. We found a few herps there, but no crotes. On the August trip we returned and walked up this snake basking next an old trough.
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Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Mexican Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon kennerlyi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Mexican Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon kennerlyi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Desert Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Western Black-necked Gartersnake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis cyrtopsis) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

At the end of August a gravid female lutosus that a friend and I had been following dropped her litter. Two of the pups had problems with their eyes. It looked like fluid was trapped and caused swelling. Waited for them to shed hoping that would fix it. Found one of the two with the problem several weeks later and it’s eyes were still messed up, but now instead of just a clear fluid there was blood trapped as well. Gave it some water and wished it luck, maybe I’ll find an eyeless yearling this summer?

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lutosus.neonates.in.shed.8_28_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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lutosus. 9_1_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Time-lapse video of the neonates coming out to bask. Click to view of Flickr
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neonate C.o.lutosus coming out to bask by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Sept-Nov:
Didn’t do much in September - November. Just a few September visits to the lutosus den and one rainy road cruise to see a tiger salamander migration. The salamander movement was actually crazy, must have been thousands of them. They were all pouring out onto the road at the same spots because the roadside jersey barriers were acting as drift fences. My flash wasn’t bright enough to get any cool pictures of the event.

Dec:
In December I had the opportunity to herp Costa Rica for the first time. Despite getting stuck in Atlanta (major power outage) and losing 2 days in the most herp dense area of the trip, many cool animals were seen. Major thanks to Cesar Amorós for showing me some great spots.

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Lifer Bothrops and first viper outside of the U.S.!
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Striped Rocket Frog (Allobates talamancae) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Green-and-Black Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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White-spotted Cochran Frog (Sachatamia albomaculata) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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White-spotted Cochran Frog (Sachatamia albomaculata) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Red Eyed Tree frog eggs
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Red Eyed Treefrog eggs (Agalychnis callidryas) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Red Eyed Tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Veragua cross-banded tree frog (Smilisca sordida) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Pug-nose tree frog (Smilisca sila) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

While walking along a stream bank I almost stepped on a frog. I watched him hop away and land directly on the head of this cat eyed snake, who graciously took the opportunity and grabbed it!
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

This was my favorite lizard of the trip, a freaking aquatic anole! Their tail is even slightly laterally compressed…well on their way to converging with basilisks lol!
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Anolis aquaticus by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Anolis aquaticus habitat
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Pug nose anole
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Blunt-headed Tree Snake (Imantodes cenchoa) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Enuliophis sclateri
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Just like I experienced in Ecuador, Thecadactylus were all over the cabin walls. Also present on the cabin were introduced non-natives Hemidactylus and Lepidodactylus.
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Turnip-tailed gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Yellow-headed gecko (Gonatodes albogularis fuscus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

The real highlight of the trip was found on Christmas, during a quick stop on the drive back to San Jose. Had been told of a spot for another color form of Oophaga granifulera and really wanted to see it. After spending more time than I should have looking, I jogged the trail back to the car. On the way, this eyelash viper caught my eye. The irony of finding an christmas phase one on christmas day did not occur to me until much later.
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

:)
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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

Hope yall enjoyed the post! I’ll close it out with some habitat/landscape pictures and my first 2018 snake.

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mojave.desert.sunset by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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washington.county.habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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washington.county.habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah County by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Utah County by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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desert.tort.burrow.pano by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Confusion.range by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Confusion.range.facing.east.4_17_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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washington.county.habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Yuma County by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Yuma County sunrise by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Saguaro National Park by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Santa Rita Mountains by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Huachuca Mountains by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Santa Catalina Mountains by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Poway.CA.habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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Untitled by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

We have had a very warm winter in Utah, first snake of ’18 was this valley garter found a few weeks ago. If you made it this far on my post, thanks for reading and I hope you have a great field season this year!

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T.sirtalis.2_8_18 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr

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T.sirtalis.2.2_8_18 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: February 25th, 2018, 5:07 pm 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:46 am
Posts: 203
Great stuff! Love those Utah milks. They're trying hard to be zonata.

FH


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: February 26th, 2018, 7:27 am 
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Joined: April 2nd, 2015, 7:30 am
Posts: 107
Location: SW Michigan
Dude, we were in Uvita the *same* day. What a world. Nice fer-de-lance. :)

-Derek


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 1st, 2018, 3:54 am 
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Joined: June 18th, 2010, 4:32 am
Posts: 274
Location: Arizona
Kickass!


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 1st, 2018, 4:16 pm 
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Joined: June 18th, 2012, 7:05 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Utah
A lot of great stuff on here, Hunter. Looks like you got around!


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 2nd, 2018, 7:54 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1720
Wow, that was super enjoyable, thank you. Nice X-mas eyelash. Your Yuma Co area looks just like a place Thomas and I camped once. Also no specks there - but, a ruber & boa showed themselves. Nice area! I'd go back...

Quote:
Two of the pups had problems with their eyes. It looked like fluid was trapped and caused swelling. Waited for them to shed hoping that would fix it. Found one of the two with the problem several weeks later and it’s eyes were still messed up, but now instead of just a clear fluid there was blood trapped as well. Gave it some water and wished it luck, maybe I’ll find an eyeless yearling this summer?


I had a yearling (CBB) white-lipped viper that happened to. The eye swelled up from normal overnight, to look like your close-up (googley eye). It was still clear though - I got on it right away, didn't let it go bad. I called my vet immediately (he had no venomous experience whatsoever, but he was game, cautious, and competent) and loaded up the snake for a short road trip. When I got there, out came the books! His diagnosis was "plugged lachrimal or tear duct". We gassed the snake down, sucked out a little of the fluid with a thin needle, cut a triangular wedge out of the lower spectacle (for self-drainage) with a scalpel and flushed the "accumulated tears" with sterile D5W in an irrigation syringe. No blood or puss, just a lot of clear fluid. Still pretty nasty. We let the animal come to and he sent us home with about 5 days of injectable antibiotics which I administered, and everything resolved unremarkably. The next shed a month or so later revealed a fine new spectacle. That was my first and last time with that particular health issue. FWIW I've always checked any snake shed for both spectacles and a complete tail tip. But since that episode many years ago, I have also checked for pits (when applicable; usually! ha ha) and tear-duct liners. The latter are small but in some taxa quite recognizable.

Anyway - I thought you might be interested. Your new babies might well be 1-eyed now, not having medical care (I fully expect you will see them again and let us know.)

I suppose any snake could have this happen. Let it be a lesson to reader/keepers to be prepared for health emergencies by having a good vet already lined up before "stuff happens".

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 3rd, 2018, 11:09 pm 

Joined: February 16th, 2017, 7:19 pm
Posts: 42
Incredible post! I really enjoyed the dart frog shots, milksnakes, crotes, and that snake eating a frog in Costa Rica is too cool! I really envy your ridgenose and pricei! Great finds and hope 2018 will be just as spectacular! I hope to make my way to Utah if possile this year.
Jimi, did you see a ruber in Yuma co. or did I read that wrong? I didn't think they ranged into AZ.

Nicholas


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 6th, 2018, 9:46 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1720
Quote:
Jimi, did you see a ruber in Yuma co. or did I read that wrong? I didn't think they ranged into AZ.


No, my bad, sorry for "my confusion, shared". Ha ha. Anyway we were at a place in Imperial Co that looks just like Hunter's Imperial rosy habitat & campsite pix. Exceptional white granite, big round boulders etc. Thomas got the rosy on the crawl on a bright chilly morning, where the hillside hits the bajada. The ruber (also a Thomas spot!) was under a bush on a wash's sunny-side cut-bank. I was wanting a speck but none were to be seen. My question - how TA's-like would they be there? I've seen the usual dull orange ones close by, and a few smokin' salt & peppers a little farther north, but I'm curious just how pale they can get in SoCal.

Anyway - don't mean to hijack, Hunter. Awesome post, nice pics and storytelling too.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 8th, 2018, 10:10 pm 
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Joined: August 16th, 2013, 2:43 pm
Posts: 76
Location: SW Oklahoma
Great stuff. Love the rubber boa and those Utah milks. Cesar is wonderful - herped with him in CR in Feb 2016


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 11th, 2018, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: February 6th, 2012, 7:24 pm
Posts: 114
Fantastic!!!

Love those Utah Mt Kings!!!

Nice job!!


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 Post subject: Re: '17season:Utah, California, Arizona, Virginia, and Costa
PostPosted: March 12th, 2018, 1:43 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 pm
Posts: 689
Location: Gainesville, FL
Killer post!


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