The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

PREFACE: I’m not gonna lie… This is going to be The most unentertaining thing you’ve ever seen. You’re better off watching your computer screensaver and starting an update ...Or charging your phone and staring at it until it's done. You’ll be left with the feeling of, “why did I waste the last 3 minutes of my life on this” ...urged to send me PMs with the heading, “I want my money back” ...and, the all-time classic “I thought this guy had something to offer, other than more disappointment...”

Readers choice says, “it just lacks the pizzazz..!”
Cisco & Ebert.. "two thumbs down!!"

So, without further ado, I present to you... The Mattress



Welcome to THE MATTRESS :thumb: The Field Herp Forums first ongoing vlog :sleep: Times have slowed down in the forum realm... We all miss the good ol' days where interesting subjects, fresh photog, and herpetological news was shared and discussed on a regular basis. Still, the forum thrives with viewers young and old. Along with a handful of authors, old and new. When life gets boring... "hmmm, maybe I'll check out the forum and see what's happening." A thought we all share! Over the last 10 years, I've found that what I enjoyed the most was video. Getting a close up look at the unique beauty of these strange creatures. As someone who couldn't take just one photo of any given individual, I commonly struggled to pick out the best four shots of what usually turned out to be an extensive photo session. With video, I can easily record everything I want to remember in just a few seconds :mrgreen: So, I'm returning back to my roots. The good thing about the mattress is you never know what you'll find... Or when you will find it...

To kick things off... Here are a few clips I've gotten so far this year. They're in 4k so make sure you click that setting on the vid for the crisp clearlity:
:beer:






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Post by Porter »

Ok, so I received some complements and encouragement on the mattress video by another videographer tonight :beer:
Also, wanted to say something.…

I got a little touch of the anxiety over the preface last couple days. Worried it would be taken out of context. I just want people to know that I’m not trying to be obnoxious and that it’s coming from a non-stressful humorously random standpoint. Not sure how that translates to some viewers, but my intentions with this ongoing thread are positive.

Also I just want to say that this is a huge Relief for me because I was already not looking forward to doing an end of the year video. They just take way too much time, I have to wait till the end of the year so I can try to figure out what direction to go with all the footage, and I already wasn’t looking forward to it. Not to mention the footage I already tossed out.

So, as a toast to non-stressful situations, the next vid I’ll be adding is an outtakes & b-sides. Then we should be pretty much caught up at that point...

Again, My intentions are good and I’m not trying to launch any type of attack on anyone. But I’m gonna warn you right now, shits about to get weird............ :lol:

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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ImageIMG_0208 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0200 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0181 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0183 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Unfortunately YouTube has blocked my awesome usage of Kimbra's, The Build Up... :cry: I was however able to upload it into Flickr.

Flickr has a 3 minute limit to video uploads. So I had to devide it into 2 parts. Pretty bummed, but at least I can share the beautiful artistic footage of this native snail (and more). Something about a snail crawing across burnt woodland bark... An emotional and solemn display of survival against seemigly inescapable tragedy
:sleep:

Screenshot (37).png



PART 1:

ImageThe Wind Up - part 1 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr


PART 2:

ImageThe Wind Up - part 2 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by chris_mcmartin »

Porter wrote:
February 17th, 2020, 10:10 am
ImageIMG_0208 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr
That's a cool photo!

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Thanks Chris :) I showed my friend the picture right after I took it and we were Trippin on how cool the clouds look. The tree branches on the left seem to mirror the cloud shapes. So, I incorporated that best the I could. The scattered broken light. Right place at the right time

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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The Adventure Begins... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :sleep:




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Kelly Mc »

Beautiful work.

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Kelly Mc wrote:
March 2nd, 2020, 5:15 pm
Beautiful work.
Thank you!

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An artistic drive into the world of field herping...



Holy Jumping Juvi...


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Ok, Video re-uploaded... Now the 4k is working. I think it's best to leave the YouTube window up until processing is finished when uploading larger files. Added some comparison pics at the end. Enjoy.. :mrgreen:



Visited by an old friend during my ventures... He greeted me with some deep meaningful croakage. Then, by the time I started filming he had continued on with a high pitched tone of excitement. I spoke back, "You know the drill... take me to the snakes! Today I've brought ya half a peanut butter & jellyfish sandwich, 2 field pups, and a half-full bottle of Fiji artesian full of pebbles. Show me the dweezle boppin' delta boglins..?" And away we went...



4 flips... 3 boards... 3 kings... 1 snake under each board. Nice flippage :thumb:


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Turning over artificial cover to see what turns up. To reveal the hidden truth... the hidden beauty. Looking for love in all the wrong places..? Only time shall tell...




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by dylan1422 »

Nice to see someone getting outside and enjoying the hobby during this stormy season of life. And refreshing to see activity on the forum. There are some rad shots in this thread, and my daughter and I think the videos are fun.

These questions might sound dumb, but are you in NorCal? And are those sharp tailed snakes? I've never seen so many herps under one piece of cover. Is that common where you're located?

Appreciate the shares. 💪🏻

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

dylan1422 wrote:
March 31st, 2020, 12:14 pm
Nice to see someone getting outside and enjoying the hobby during this stormy season of life. And refreshing to see activity on the forum. There are some rad shots in this thread, and my daughter and I think the videos are fun.
Thanks Man ☺️ I appreciate that 🍻

I’m having fun just doing my own thing 🤙🏻 Glad there’s some people out there who like it
dylan1422 wrote:
March 31st, 2020, 12:14 pm
These questions might sound dumb, but are you in NorCal? And are those sharp tailed snakes? I've never seen so many herps under one piece of cover. Is that common where you're located?

Appreciate the shares. 💪🏻
No such thing as a dumb question. Yeah, I'm in the Roseville/Sacramento area. The common people call them rose boas out here, which I think is actually really sweet and fitting ...but yeah, they are sharptail, contia tenuis. From what I've experienced, they seem to have dense populations. Where you find one, there's a ton. Finding that many together under one surface cover is still not entirely common. I've only seen it twice. One time I was flipping a pile of dirt and broken cement chunks up in the Sierras and flipped 12-15 under one peice. It was on the side of the mound and they all just came spilling out. I grabbed a handful and put them in a nearby junk bucket before they could all get away. (pic below). It's more common to flip 2 or 4 together in early spring. A skink or gator with them is normal.

I think its a combination of the right conditions, right area, and cover that isn't flipped regularily. That peice of sheet metal I ripped up from the earth in the last vid, that had the 4 garters under it, is a good example. It literally had become part of the ground :lol: I flipped 4 large ringnecks in the Sierras under some similar sheetmetal that hadnt been touched in years. Same goes for large snakes. I've got some hidden spots that only I know about and we flipped 3 huge racer under one single ply last year. Then at my buddies spot he flipped a bunch of racers and gophers...maybe a king. I want to say it was 5 or 6 snakes but I cant remember what all was in the pic. Maybe he'll chime in if he reads this... but we flipped 4 racers and a gopher under the same board a couple weeks after that. But it really just has to be a spot that doesn't get hit constantly and left alone. I flipped something like 8-10 longtoed salamanders in Washington the first time I was there. and 4 more under a board next to it. They all started crawling away everywhere Lol it was pretty crazy. The board looked like it had never been flipped. Just some random large piece of plywood I found out in a field

Screenshot (191).jpg
Screenshot (154).jpg

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Welp...YouTube strikes again 😑 They blocked the usage of one of my favorite childhood songs, Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles). So, you'll have to listen to me baby-talking instead :lol: Pretty bummed but an Awesome raccoon experience nontheless. Best encounter I’ve had with one of these adorable little guys.



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I want to point something out that I feel is important to address. There are some scenes in my past vids (and here) that might give the impression that I'm being careless or rough with the animals. Jerking them around and whipping them out of the scene. Most of these scene have been sped up into fast motion in order to fit more footage within the limitation of the theme song. So, what was originally filmed slow and smooth is now quick and jerky. I realized this after editing and I've been a little worried of inspiring improper handling...

I’m planning on getting a gimbal soon and hopefully that will smooth out the footage a little better for the fast motion edits :thumb:

I want to ensure all viewer these little guys were handled with care! I'm always aware of how much pressure I'm putting on them. They are delicate little creatures and you have to be mindful of their little bones and careful to not force bend them. Fragile little fingers and toes! Internet can be deceiving… So don’t allow the media between us to alter your perception of the truth.
Also, I did notice that the female skink in this vid was gravid after I snatched her up. I was careful not to press or squeeze the eggs inside of her. In fact upon noticing, I decided to stop filming. That's when she bit my knuckle and wouldn't let go :lol: I had to hold my hand to the ground for about 40 seconds and pet her off. So, just a heads up & reminder... it's that time of year. Try to be gentle when catching these critters. In most cases, especially with snakes, you might not know the gender until you already have ahold of em 🍻




ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

dylan1422 wrote:
March 31st, 2020, 12:14 pm
These questions might sound dumb, but are you in NorCal? And are those sharp tailed snakes? I've never seen so many herps under one piece of cover. Is that common where you're located?

Appreciate the shares. 💪🏻
Porter wrote:
April 3rd, 2020, 7:34 am
Then at my buddies spot he flipped a bunch of racers and gophers...maybe a king. I want to say it was 5 or 6 snakes but I cant remember what all was in the pic. Maybe he'll chime in if he reads this... but we flipped 4 racers and a gopher under the same board a couple weeks after that.


I talked to my friend today and ask if he still had that pic...turns out he did :thumb: So, I had him txt to me show you. There are 7 in the picture, but he says there were like 10 when he first flipped it. By the time he got the camera aimed & shot, they already had started to scatter....
🐍💨💨💨 <---- 📸

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr


Here's another shot he sent over from a different location (that unfortunately no longer exists). There were 3 garters and 3 gophers when he first flipped it...

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Post by Porter »

🌧🌧🌧🌧
_💧💧💧
....📷
🐍 🦂 🐍



SquidGrip 🦑 :thumb:






I normally don't point out aspects like this in my photography... but this is just too cool to not bring to light. Something anyone should be able to enjoy (and educational). Talk about hitting your vantage points & shape balance with precision 🎯 😎

ImageScreenshot (202) - marked by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Those multiple snake flips are crazy! I've flipped a few ringnecks at a time under natural cover, but never anything like that. As of very recently, I am no longer privy to any AC sites that aren't accessed by others (as of recently when my all my spots were recklessly visited :cry: ). Gotta find somewhere private to do some board lines!

What an experience though to flip a bunch of snakes like that. Thanks for the response and the share.

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DylanMcDiarmid wrote:
April 8th, 2020, 7:23 pm
Those multiple snake flips are crazy! I've flipped a few ringnecks at a time under natural cover, but never anything like that. As of very recently, I am no longer privy to any AC sites that aren't accessed by others (as of recently when my all my spots were recklessly visited :cry: ). Gotta find somewhere private to do some board lines!

What an experience though to flip a bunch of snakes like that. Thanks for the response and the share.
Thanks man :beer: It's not easy... Which is why herpers take the issue so personal. A couple years ago, I made the mistake of revealing GPS on all my photos posted from Flickr. That same year, even before the season was good, everything I had was trashed... I had this huge TV cardboard box I set up under a tree next to where I found it dumped in December. It produced full-grown breeding Kings 3 months later. Following that, multiple kings and garters. One baby king was record-size small (sharp-tailed snake sized head and body width). These dudes ripped up the cardboard box, trying to flip it wet, thinking it was garbage 🤦🏻‍♂️🤷🏻‍♂️ I still found snake under the destroyed debris for that year and the next year. A road I never saw anyone herping EVER was flowing with hungry eyes of car-passer-bys. I even saw these dudes moving my AC to build their own spots. Thinking that the spot didn't produce because they were hitting it wrong time of day for that month. Thats why I only set garbage now. All the stuff I re-flipped back over from my Lost Roads vid had been flipped and not put back again :lol: They think it's worthlss cause they dont find anything... I woulda had a high-red Valley garter for this vid to share with everyone if they would have just put it back

Ethics is the most elemental aspect of field herping... you earn your year by your actions. Feel the earth and trust her guidence. Read her signs. She'll show you what she wants you to see :thumb: I rarely do anything at all... just respect the moral energy with a big heart.

Also, if something is not working... come up with your own ideas. Forcing a thought is as abusive as forcing an action. You'll be rewarded for your efforts (not saying you're guilty of any of this. Just sharing some mindset)

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Man...I couldn't agree more. It's truly disheartening when I see signs of habitat destruction likely caused by herpers. We are supposed to be a community that honors and appreciates nature. And it's honestly devastating when it happens to a fruitful location you've frequented and taken care of for years.

Definitely a more productive piece of cardboard than I've ever found! I can think of so many times I've come across a piece or pile of natural or artificial cover - that looked so promising - but I've chosen not to touch it, because doing so would likely compromise the habitat (like tearing the wet box).

But hey the way I feel when I encounter the aftermath of reckless herpers has produced something positive at least within me - it encourages me to be even more respectful of animals and habitat.

Appreciate your said respect for nature, which I believe to be genuine, and your continued activity on this forum. Always fun to interact with peeps that enjoy the passion 💪🏻

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DylanMcDiarmid wrote:
April 13th, 2020, 8:45 pm
Man...I couldn't agree more. It's truly disheartening when I see signs of habitat destruction likely caused by herpers. We are supposed to be a community that honors and appreciates nature. And it's honestly devastating when it happens to a fruitful location you've frequented and taken care of for years.

Definitely a more productive piece of cardboard than I've ever found! I can think of so many times I've come across a piece or pile of natural or artificial cover - that looked so promising - but I've chosen not to touch it, because doing so would likely compromise the habitat (like tearing the wet box).

But hey the way I feel when I encounter the aftermath of reckless herpers has produced something positive at least within me - it encourages me to be even more respectful of animals and habitat.

Appreciate your said respect for nature, which I believe to be genuine, and your continued activity on this forum. Always fun to interact with peeps that enjoy the passion 💪🏻
True, there are times when I see logs that I know would be great to rip up or bark peel... or AC that looks like it could be a utilized incubator. Got to try to make your best decision based on the circumstances. That one log could be the only thing keeping that population thriving.

Well, I didn't just find it.. I did set it. So, I don't want to give the impression that I'm just strolling through lol It wouldn't have produced like that where it was dumped. When I said, "I rarely do anything at all..." I mean in regards to setting up trash. Trust me, we put in the work lol Last year was one of the best years for kingsnake. While everyone was hitting the blackbelly spot, we were exploring new terrain. We live so close to it we could hit it a couple times a week. We choose not to... its a sad experience.

I appreciate the comments! I figured the forum needs some life. Lol ...and I mean, who else in the world even wants to look at this kinda thing :lol: video, music, and art are past hobbies. The artistic quality and beauty of these animals is always fascinated me since I was a kid. So, It's fun to do and I'm Always waiting for that special girl to take notice (whoever she may be)... ⏰ :sleep: So, it’s coming from some good inspiration.

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Last year was a good kingsnake year, huh? Could've fooled me, lol. Still got a ton of learning to do.

Lol! In my experience, the hobby has been attractive to women, especially those that value education/outdoors. However, finding a woman that enjoys to go out and participate on a regular basis is a different story. I am currently blessed with one, so they do exist. Prayers for patience and success in that search 💪🏻

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DylanMcDiarmid wrote:
April 14th, 2020, 9:48 pm
Last year was a good kingsnake year, huh? Could've fooled me, lol. Still got a ton of learning to do.

Lol! In my experience, the hobby has been attractive to women, especially those that value education/outdoors. However, finding a woman that enjoys to go out and participate on a regular basis is a different story. I am currently blessed with one, so they do exist. Prayers for patience and success in that search 💪🏻
🍻

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Got together with a friend for some safe holiday herping... Egg hunting with the Dukes of the Delta
🐣🐰🐣 - Day before Easter





It was truly amazing to see this snake again after the original find, 6 years ago... Enough to make me drop the camera while filming apparently :lol: This snake was the most beautifully colored snake I had ever seen. 3rd or 4th striped morph found during 2014. Four stripers found that year. This was the prettiest of the bunch. There was a guy, I forget the name, on here who had Frank Zappa as his avatar. He told me, "Yeah, they're weird... I didn't see one for years (or he had never seen one, I don't remember now) and then one year I found like 5 of them (also, I could have the number wrong lol)." That following year (or same year..?), I found em...exactly like he said :thumb: I remember thinking, "dammit, why didn't I photograph that snake better before letting him go...!?" I rarely hold on to a snake to photograph the following day unless I'm out of town. Easter Sunday brought a perfect morning sunbreak lighting situation that lit up and enriched the colors. So thankful for the opportunity... :crazyeyes: 😇 Coolest snake I ever found.

I hope this can and will encourage Capture & Release! Even with rare and unique morphs such as this one... Let it be. You'll be rewarded later down the road :thumb:






Here's a link the original shots of this snake when I first road cruised him back in 2014: https://www.flickr.com/photos/137039835 ... 4089492116

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

That's a lot of snakes 🤓 those striped gophers are rad! Crazy you found that one so far from where you originally saw him.

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DylanMcDiarmid wrote:
April 21st, 2020, 11:22 pm
That's a lot of snakes 🤓 those striped gophers are rad! Crazy you found that one so far from where you originally saw him.
The delta’s dukes shall prevail… even when the system has taken 90% of their habitat, they will adapt, evolve and survive 💪🏻

Go find some snakes!! Your Dukes are hiding out there somewhere..🍻

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Alright, I finally had some time to check the blotching on the ensatina… yep, sure enough. It's the Lilac morph I found in 2018 :thumb: I thought she looked familar... I wasn't too sure at first because the color looked light, but she was covered in dust. I recognized the tail first...then the eyes/head shape. There's a male who lives here too and I've seen 2 of there young. Curious to see what gender they are and if one of them lightens up with age. I've seen the male twice so far and one baby twice. This 2nd encounter earns her a name... Lil Tina - Lil(ac) (ensa)tina :mrgreen: Stoked!
Prettiest amphibian I've ever seen.

Here's some of the 2018 photography. It's hard to match up to the vid, but if you pause/freeze frame... it's easiest to match up the crowns of the left and right side blotches:

Imagedsc_0981-2_32557377258_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0965-2_32557378038_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0996-2_32557376568_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_1005-2_32557376478_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr
Imagedsc_1011-2_32557376358_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Just went through an old SD card I had in a little Canon camcorder. Had a few decent clips on there of the lilac ensatina, in situ lateralis eating a bluebelly, freshly emerged morning basking gopher, and a beauty from Elk Grove. I'll add a few shot to accompany the footage. They will magically & gradually appear over the next 24 hrs... Clips are in 1080p so they should be ready to go




Imagedsc_0264-2aaa_41855766061_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0264-2a_41855767041_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0254-2_41812887422_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0244-2_27987226038_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_0247-2_27987223248_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_1362-2a_45516503925_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_1158-2_31489682087_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_1149-2_31489682727_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

Imagedsc_1188-2_31489676077_o by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Porter wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 8:42 pm
oh hell yes. Great videography, cool subjects, and a FANTASTIC song

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Porter,
I see you must be slowing down some noting a Rubber Boa escaped out of its skin before you could retain it. They are so quick. Hah!

Your experience at trusting individuals and then later finding some of your sites disturbed undoubtedly has been experienced by many other herpers including myself here in Oregon. But my study sites for the Rubber Boa have been discovered my strangers as well and some by commercial collectors.

I got about half way through this tread you started and besides the unbelievable fast boa you missed, I found of interest your comments about Contia tenuis as being spot on. John Stevenson once took me to a vacan lot of about 3 hectare acres in Wheatland, Calif. and in about an hour, I believe I counted over 100 Sharp-tails we encountered under discarded trash.

I happen to be in the midst of trying to prepare a couple of drafts on the species here in Oregon, one dealing with reproduction and the other with aspects of life history gleaned from initial and recapture data. If I lived in your regions of Calif., I believe I would have undertaking a similar study of the species as until the Canadians began studies of the species in B.C. in 1996, there was but one full length paper on C. tenuis, that being Cook (1960) in Calif.

Thanks for your regional Calif. thread.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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rhyno wrote:
June 9th, 2020, 5:26 am
oh hell yes. Great videography, cool subjects, and a FANTASTIC song
Thanks so much man! :beer: Glad you liked it. That’s been a favorite song of mine since my dad turned me on to Waits back in high school.

Fun fact for all viewers: It finishes with an instrumental by the band Primus. Who actually wrote a song that featured him in the recording, Tommy the Cat.
Richard F. Hoyer wrote:
June 11th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Porter,
I see you must be slowing down some noting a Rubber Boa escaped out of its skin before you could retain it. They are so quick. Hah!
Lightning fast!…⚡️Lol I believe that may be the skin of his teeth 🤔 there were actually two sheds under there! I went back the following week and found the larger one.

Man, it’s been driving me crazy lol For a whole month, I’m driving at work and looking at the temps of this beautiful perfect weather all week long. Perfect weather for everything! Flipping, walking, road cruising… Perfect moisture and temps for all kinds of things. Then when the weekend comes around... Snow in May!! Lol ..or rain. ...Cold temps. It’s been pretty frustrating 😤

The outtakes and B-sides 2 vid Was actually filmed on groundhogs day. Boy that fuzzy little stinker wasn’t kidding 😂

I did have to slow down a bit though. I got backed up in footage. Also other obligations
Richard F. Hoyer wrote:
June 11th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Your experience at trusting individuals and then later finding some of your sites disturbed undoubtedly has been experienced by many other herpers including myself here in Oregon. But my study sites for the Rubber Boa have been discovered my strangers as well and some by commercial collectors.

I got about half way through this tread you started and besides the unbelievable fast boa you missed, I found of interest your comments about Contia tenuis as being spot on. John Stevenson once took me to a vacan lot of about 3 hectare acres in Wheatland, Calif. and in about an hour, I believe I counted over 100 Sharp-tails we encountered under discarded trash.

I happen to be in the midst of trying to prepare a couple of drafts on the species here in Oregon, one dealing with reproduction and the other with aspects of life history gleaned from initial and recapture data. If I lived in your regions of Calif., I believe I would have undertaking a similar study of the species as until the Canadians began studies of the species in B.C. in 1996, there was but one full length paper on C. tenuis, that being Cook (1960) in Calif.

Thanks for your regional Calif. thread.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)
Meh... Comes with the territory. Bastards Lol that sucks the study sites are getting hit.

I remember the story about John. There’s a spot in placer County that used to have two abandon houses my friends and I’ve herped when we were kids. I took Gary Nafis there before they bulldozed both of them. I can still go there and find a few. So there holding on pretty good I think

That reminds me, I was going to ask you... what’s the highest elevation recorded for the Sierras for contia. I found sharptail at that boa Spot before I ever found a boa. And I found a DOR there this year… It’s somewhere around 6000 feet. I was thinking they must be up higher than that but that’s the highest I’ve ever seen one. Also, I’m keeping you in mind this fall. I’m living in the Roseville area again. So I’m gonna try to get some footage of the sharp tail basking in a straight line like a stick on the bike trail of the spot I used to explore when I was a kid. It’s going to be tricky because I’m restricted to only weekend outings because I work night shift. But I’m gonna try to record that Observation for you

Glad the mattress caught your interest Richard :beer: Thanks for the comments!

More videos are in the works people! I’m going to try to have one up this weekend or early next week. And the mattress will have it’s first ever mystery guest appearance... Stay tuned!

Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Porter,
Not certain what you consider as ideal temperatures and weather conditions for making searches at this time of year in your area.

Here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, by this time in June, it is normally in the 70s and low 80s and mostly sunny and dry. If I get out in the morning before it gets too warm under cover objects, I sometimes can have success encountering boas and sharp-tails. But with those temperature and sunny conditions, by about 11 AM and thereafter, it is not very common to find either species. Garter snakes, Racers and Gopher Snake will still be found but boas and sharp-tails normally have gone under ground when it get too warm under surface cover.

Today, I took my two beagles to one of my boa sites so they could get in some ‘sniffing’ time and exercise. It had rained lightly this morning, totally over cast and right at 60 degrees when I arrived at about 1:30. Encountered 3 boas, one racer, one gopher snake, two RSGS and three NWGS. all within 10 – 15 minutes and searching beneath 11 of the 12 tins at that site west of Philomath, Oregon.

Brad Alexander of Kernville and myself on consecutive days, each found one sharp-tail at the Trail of 100 Giants in southern Tulare County. I believe that forest stand of giant Sequoias and other tree species is at about 6400 ft. I believe the literature has their upper elevation at round 7000 ft.

I do not believe I have ever encountered a sharp-tail exposed on the surface. I know they do traverse on the surface as I have found two DOR Sharp-tails. And one specimen initially captured and tagged on the west side of the road at my former study site was recaptured later that year or the next year over on the east side of the road. So it had to traverse across the road, likely at night.

Seems to me, you mentioned the point about observing species on the surface in a prior post. Do you recall doing so? Such an observation is worth
documenting with respect to behavior traits.

Last, on occasions, I have turned mattresses as well. Like your video shows, I sometimes have encountered nests of baby voles. Great snake food.

Richard FH

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Richard F. Hoyer wrote:
June 12th, 2020, 9:27 pm
Porter,
Not certain what you consider as ideal temperatures and weather conditions for making searches at this time of year in your area.

Here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, by this time in June, it is normally in the 70s and low 80s and mostly sunny and dry. If I get out in the morning before it gets too warm under cover objects, I sometimes can have success encountering boas and sharp-tails. But with those temperature and sunny conditions, by about 11 AM and thereafter, it is not very common to find either species. Garter snakes, Racers and Gopher Snake will still be found but boas and sharp-tails normally have gone under ground when it get too warm under surface cover.
I don't want to go into tooooo much detail about ideal weather conditions, considering the possibility of poachers like you mentioned (I don't have study site tags protecting my friends :) ) so forgive me if I'm vague in my response. I mean just that, ideal weather conditions! :lol: I noticed interesting things happen in the weather. And I've been trying to track down a morph to film for you guys. Something that hasn't been filmed before. So I noticed a TON of great opportunities but couldn't search because of work. I work 12 hour days M-F. Off at dawn, up at dusk. I'm a NON-DRUG USING truck driver, so needless to say, I need my sleep lol During the beginning of COVID-19 my route was split because business slowed down. So my first videos were from weekdays when that perfect pocket of weather happened and other herpers weren't able to hit the spots before me. I'm back to my normal route now, so I'm asleep m-f during prime herping time. Whats been frustrating is that the weekends have happened after prime activity and conditions. So, I've been trying to make the best out of some bad opportunities...all the time watching these great situations come and go. Especially for this VERY unique morph! He's an alien in his own right.

However, for example, my "A" video (not an anarchist riot propaganda vid 🤨 ...you kids behave 👉 Think scarlet letter lol) I went to the sierras as soon as it seemed good. I flipped one rock and it was still too wet. So I'm like 🤬😤 “be smart...don't flip everything be patient and come back next week.” So I basically just enjoyed a day doing nothing in the sierras and filmed a few things. The next time up, was perfect. I arrived right as the rocks warmed up. I don't use temp guns I just feel the rocks with my hand. I decided to check another spot real quick because the rocks still felt slightly too cool. Then... I flip a goddam lifer sierra patternless alligator lizard. So, Im stuck filming this guy, walking around looking for all these perfect damn lighting positions to the sun, blocked by just enough tree limb cover Abstraction to let the natural color of the lizard come out in video. Then I go to get some natural in-situ looking shots on this beautiful artistic looking log. And after the lizard puts on the most amazing docile displays with his arm (probably instinctually preparing for my to swallow him whole lol) as soon as I set him down and go to turn on the camera, he's bopped off the log, down into the bark, and under this damn tree....where I can see him, but can't fit my arm under to reach him. So then I'm walking around looking for the right twig to poke him out with :lol: then back to the log/tree. Then another good twenty minutes of failed attemps. Then shes gone (I think it was a female). By the time I finished it was pretty warm. I then flipped the rest of the stuff there as quick as I could. Found the skink. Did a full photo session of the skink, which the bulk of that I deleted because I couldn't fit it into the time contraints of the song duration. Theeeen….back to the boa spot, which by then, was too hot. The sheds were dry and not fresh. so im guessing the two individuals shed during the week. Dirt was still moist. I flipped a bunch but then decided to stop when the rocks became to hot to the touch.

I was a little upset because I didn't want to take my 2001 chevy all the way back up to the sierras just to get some boa footage. But how unique is a mountain morph, patterless, let alone to find one as your lifer! So,I had to take as much footage as I could considering the rarity/odds of the find. Still, I needed daytime boa footage. I planned on getting night cruise footage later in the year anyway. But I really needed daytime for the next vid and The following weekend was supposed to be dedicated to the alien Morphe.I kept telling myself, “you can always come up anytime for a boa after this. Make sure you get good footage of this lizard before releasing it.” Because when I found the panamint last year, I only took a couple modest cell phone pics and a little video. Thinking, Chad just found one of these and got some great pics of it. I don't need to do the same. It's been recorded and documented well enough. So I went for voucher more or less. I purposely didn't take my camera with me. So, I'm thinking this patterless morh is far more rare than a panamint. Make sure you get some good footage dummy! :lol:

…And I guess I can use the that experience to explain better what I mean about "perfect weather conditions" and pocket weather for rare finds. Again, gonna be vague for our lurking bad guys... last year, My buddy txt me up and wanted to look for zonata. He had a spot where he found one before. So I agreed even though I didn't really want to (I don't like the species too much) He is very successful with mulifascata. During the week, I was constantly checking weather for the desert. He and I had discussed doing a quick desert trip at some point together. So... weather doesn't look good (not going to explain why) but then two days later I notice this interesting thing happening. With wind, moisture, and heat, at different times. So I start pitching the idea to my friend and explain to him exactly what the lizard is going to be thinking... "he'll be feeling this and that at so and so time...hes hungry because of this and that and look here at this, this is what no on takes into consideration because blah blah blah..." So, he's not buying it :lol: :lol: :lol: partially because hes driving all the way from the bay area but probably hes thinking, no way I'm driving 6 hours to the desert for a 2 hour weather pocket, this dude is nuts (IMO Lol) :lol: So I decide, I'm gonna rent a rent-a-car and go alone. I just can't miss this pocket. So, we get to the sierras late because of the rent-a-car. Everything is hot. No zonata. He heads home and I go to the desert to confirm being an a-hole. But the great thing is, I don't ever have to disturb panamint aligator lizard habitat again. I had checked maybe three times before. But I’m such a big guy and it’s such a fragile area that I don’t even feel comfortable being there. And there’s a little area atop a slope with a bunch of fallen rocks that’s visually perfect for them but I can’t walk up because I’m too scared of smashing baby lizards and possible eggs. I always skip it. So the weather had to be perfect so I could find one active on the surface. Long story short, five minutes in, Panamint 🤙🏻 So, it was cool for me but sucked for my friend. He's cool tho. He didn't give any indication of being mad at me Lol This is my opinion of myself.

But yeah, some of my best finds based this pocket knowledge/theory (melonistic valley garter, striped gophers, aberant blackbelly, patternless toads, ect...) So, I applied it and it panned out. So, what I mean is... I missed like 10 of those pockets this year!!! Lmao

your description of ideal weather is spot on! In the central valley can be a little tricky but only at certain times of the year, and certain spots. The Sierras typically get a late spring each year. But this year, The Sierra Madre has also been affected by this fuzz pup. This groundhog weather has been pretty crazy down here in California! It snowed on Donner Pass during my shift Yesterday (friday night/Saturday morning. Which only happens about every 5 to 10 years
Richard F. Hoyer wrote:
June 12th, 2020, 9:27 pm
Porter,
.



Brad Alexander of Kernville and myself on consecutive days, each found one sharp-tail at the Trail of 100 Giants in southern Tulare County. I believe that forest stand of giant Sequoias and other tree species is at about 6400 ft. I believe the literature has their upper elevation at round 7000 ft.

I do not believe I have ever encountered a sharp-tail exposed on the surface. I know they do traverse on the surface as I have found two DOR Sharp-tails. And one specimen initially captured and tagged on the west side of the road at my former study site was recaptured later that year or the next year over on the east side of the road. So it had to traverse across the road, likely at night.

Seems to me, you mentioned the point about observing species on the surface in a prior post. Do you recall doing so? Such an observation is worth
documenting with respect to behavior traits.

Last, on occasions, I have turned mattresses as well. Like your video shows, I sometimes have encountered nests of baby voles. Great snake food.

Richard FH
Ok cool. Yeah, I figure they must be up higher than that. That guy Brad Alexander found a rad salamander... 👍🏻

I told you about this before :lol: :) twice!! haha Your response was the same :) I think we discussed in in emails (2017) after your schooled me on the boa with dark color on the ventral scales...and the orange coloartion on the tail. :beer: I hope to get some footage this year. Its all a matter of if it falls on a weekend unfortunately.

Yeah, the rodents usually like em because they provide plenty of nesting materials. I was talking to Ian about this, I have never had any luck finding a snake under a mattress in all my life (neither had he) except one time where a baby speckled king was tucked under the corner a sopping wet one in late feb, I think. I mean so wet I damn near threw out my back lifting it from the mud suction! And the only reason the snake was there was because the corner hung over a dip in the earth, keeping it up off the ground. Ian suggested I film some multiple attempt vids until finding a snake. To continue the pun. I havent checked it but once. Mattress are the worst think for flipping snakes Lol ..at least in my experience. that was the humorous aspect of the vid

...I had to go back and check the year haha (trust me, your memory is better than mine!) 2017 :) I think the post said aberrant rubber boa or something like that...

ImageScreenshot (223) by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Good morning folks, today we’ve got a special guest here with us on The Mattress... A fresh new artist has emerged from the muddy depths of the Delta... With what quite possibly could be field herping’s first rap song. So, without further ado, May I introduce to you… Shit Snakey

🎤💩🐍




Hi kids do, you like Lateralis?
Want to see one slip past you so fast you get whipflash and paralysis
Want to copy me and climb a tree after a coachwhip
then go slip upside down to the ground and end up with a broke hip
The rains been late, salamander migrations delayed
but I can’t figure out why my snake hook ain’t bent straight
Memorized scientific names till I mesmerized my mind
forgot to buy a fishing license, and realized I committied a crime
I loggin ta Instagram an see a snake face post by Kookamongus
it’s humongous... I’m like damn look how big the tongue is
I go on the field Herp forum just ta bore em with a sequel
to my first video, that couldn’t connect with the people

Decided to drive down to Irvine one time
to check a boardline I found online, while I was trying to find one of mine
I think it’s official, I’m losing my mind
Ivan and Brian are you sure that it’s not you’re turn to drive
Saw a coastal patchnose chasin' a whiptail, till it bailed
I got so close I swear I could smell his rostral scale
Bored_unless_herping wants to search places they’re lurking with his friend
but for Jeff Lemm finding a Patchnose is a sure thing
This southern LA day heat is giving me sweaty feet
like Jon Snow I wanna retreat, back to the north to find a night king
How in cryin out loud did I just miss spring,
I’m gonna grab a groundhog, pup smack his butt raw, till Bill Murray starts shouting
Here I go on another outing
shit got so redundant, I funded a $100 in gas, just to see a new county

Turned on the tube to view a little NKF herping, with tornadoes swirling
and plastic centipedes, when they sit to eat at Cow dogs, when it's early
Lou Boyer’s more like Tom Sawyer in Singapore,
barefooted in flip-flops, king cobras to sea snakes on shore
Met a girl in a Senada, she said she saw a Zonata crossing the road
after I climbed Sierra Madre all day and saw nada
I said wheres the road, tomorrow let’s go if you wanna
she said no, drove over my toe, said, "oh by the way my name was Donna"
A Religious organization burned a caduceus on my lawn, while I was gone
So I prayed to God not to turn them back into frogs
So then attended a sermon, sure enough it was Kermit
he called me a vermin, said make like a crab and go live like a hermit
Saw a gopher snake take a beating like it was dangerous
Left in a bloody decapitated mess, because they thought it was venomous
So How many more harmless people can we be blessed with
who have a death wish, to destroy what’s left of what they’re scared and annoyed with

Special thanks to Bored_unless_herping for answering my request for lyric subjects (patchnose habitat that’s too far for him and his friend to drive to) and supporting the lyrics. Also Kookamongus for allowing me to use his cool sounding username. Nicholas Hess supplied additional info about rostral scales, whiptails, and Jeff Lemm. This was all well received on Instagram so I decided to share it here. Enjoy these humorous tongue twisters about Relatable subjects in the hobby 🌪

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

A few tender morsels to simmer the growling stomachs of hungry fans until the next video arrives... 🌵🏜🌵

Kingsave from May 🥵












Here's a quick glimpse into how-to-do creative audio editing... 🎥🎼👂🏻🧐

ImageEditing room – Imovie on Iphone by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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