Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

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Ames
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:11 pm
Location: Northern, KY

Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

Post by Ames »

I'll be in the SF Bay Area, Thursday-Sunday. Staying with my Brother in Rockridge, Oakland. I will be renting a car for the duration. Is anyone in the vicinity going herping? Would you mind if I tag along? I can offer transport on Saturday or gas money. I will have transportation on Saturday only, I have to return the car Sunday morning, but could be up for some herping Sunday afternoon.

Thursday afternoon I'll be heading out to Muir Woods. I have a lot of questions but I'll try to keep them vague.

I know Muir Woods is relatively close to the coast. Is there any cool tide pools out that way with mollusks, urchins and the like?
Should I go to Muir?
What is this time of year like out there, as far as herp activity?
Do any of the many parks east of Oakland contain intact habitat or are they all more of the arboretum variety?
I know there are some diverse micro-climates. Is spring an active time out there, like it is generally speaking in the rest of the country? The bay/coastal areas always seems to be the same temp. year round. I was out there last September and it was bone dry, even had a stay out in Pleasanton and had a nice hike out that way. I thought the park sign about snakes was promising, but it had to be a horrible time of year.

figured it's worth a try,
Ames

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Natalie McNear
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:54 pm
Location: Northern coast of California
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Re: Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

Post by Natalie McNear »

What species are you going to be targeting? There's all sorts of stuff out this time of year, but the kings and gophers are still underground (at least in Marin County). There are still plenty of amphibians, lizards, and small snakes out right now, however. Normally we refrain from mentioning specific areas on here, but in the case of Muir Woods it's not going to make a difference. Muir Woods National Monument is a major tourist attraction here in Marin County, and as such, it's generally really crowded on weekends if the weather isn't terrible. Additionally, as part of the NP system, lifting rocks/logs is against regulations and there are a lot of rangers there keeping watch. Beautiful habitat, if you like big trees and stuff, but not really a good herping spot.

I'll probably be around Saturday and we might be able to meet up if there's a break in the rain.

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Ames
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:11 pm
Location: Northern, KY

Re: Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

Post by Ames »

Natalie thanks for the reply.

I've got a clean slate when it comes to California herps. So anything would be a lifer.

Finding any snake would be a home run. I love all the garter diversity out there and any constrictor would top the rattlesnakes in my opinion but I'm not sure what the status of anything is this time of year out there. That being said, salamanders are probably my next favorite herp group after snakes, but I enjoy it all. It's just that usually reptiles and amphibians rise to my most enjoyable natural observations.

I am trying to do some research but I don't have much time. Some of the areas to the east of Oakland look promising. I've got a family member that wants to hit Muir NP, i bet i can sway them off the well trodden path to something else. We will be near the bridge that day so I figured take it north.

I plan on heading out rain or shine. I live in a rainforest compared to you guys, so I am accustomed to rain.

- Ames

indoaustralia
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:57 am

Re: Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

Post by indoaustralia »

I've been hitting up the Oakland hinterlands at least once a week, no snakes yet. The Elgaria, Sceloporus and Plestiodon are hot and active when it's sunny, though.

All the usual salamanders, frogs and toads are out in force. Can't flip a log without a half-dozen Batrachoseps, that'll be fun for ya. :)

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Ames
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:11 pm
Location: Northern, KY

Re: Midwesterner coming to the Bay Area.

Post by Ames »

Indo,

Thanks for the reply and general info. Your really getting me psyched to find my first herp in CA. Today is looking like it is going to be really great weather. Do you think I should bail on poking around Marin County for something in the east bay?

The weather outlook for the rest of the weekend looks wet, and my brother has told me the rain has been full on downpours. I was thinking it was just that misty stuff you guys get out here. Anyways, all the yards are blooming and the hills were green coming in. It's my third time out hear and that is a first.

Again, if anyone is interested in heading out Saturday shoot me a PM.

Thanks Again,
_ Ames

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