My 2011 rattlesnake photography

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Norman D
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My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Norman D » November 10th, 2011, 1:09 am

2011 was a great year for me and a year I learned a lot. It was the first year I decided to concentrate on rattlesnakes. Still saw lots of other animals in search of rattlesnakes, but only photograph a handful of animals other than rattlesnakes (gilas, pyros, bears, owls, etc). I mostly herped Arizona (a few hours in Cali), but Arizona is the place to be if you gotta choose one state to photograph rattlesnakes. Most were hiked with the exception of the scutes, cerastes, cerb, couple atrox, and handful of specks.

Some of my goals set early in the year were to see white specks, photograph more tigers & specks, and find some willardi. Obscurus crossed my mind, but I never made it to their territory (next year for sure).

Beside being the first year I decided to focus on crotes, I also obtained my first DSLR - the Canon 50d and decided to shoot with the 100mm macro & pop-up flash when needed. There are some point and shoot photos mixed in as well.

In addition, I met a lot of new people in the field this year - too many to mention. But a few deserve special thanks: my fiance' Melissa for putting up with me going out late at night or going with me late at night. Greg K - got me into rattlesnakes and a person I always enjoy herpin with. Rich G, Dr. Speck, & Aaron M - always willing to talk crotes! Brendan- it was cool hiking with you even if it was for a short run!

I saw quite a bit of rattlesnakes - but no where near as many as Brendan, Rich, Will Wells, etc.
My post is lame compared to many others, but I feel like I should contribute so here are a few of each species I saw.

Crotalus Atrox - The KING. These things are everywhere and they are bad ass. When you hike a diamondback out, it is far more impressive and evil than roadcruising them. Many times, you come close to stepping on them!
One of my favorite locals
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One eyed Atrox
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Crotalus Cerastes- One cool little rattlesnake. If these things weren't so easy to find - everyone would be all over them! Fun to photograph, but after seeing so many of them - you stop taking pictures. Sometimes, we take them for granted - I will be sad when I don't see them crossing roads anymore (like an infamous west valley road).
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Crotalus Cerberus - I only saw one of these this year, but didn't spend too much time looking for them. Actually, I rarely look for them. Don't know why because they are pretty cool rattlesnakes.
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Crotalus Lepidus Klauberi - I think one of the easier snakes to find in Arizona. I spent more time down south this year even though it wasn't during the monsoons. A neat little rattlesnake.
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It was nice to get some in-situ shots of these little nervous snakes
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Crotalus Mitchellii Pyrrhus - One of my favorite species. This is the species that got me interested in rattlesnakes. So variable and fun to find. They live in some of the hottest, driest, and inhospitable terrain in the states. I was happy to see them in new ranges and I was able to roadcruise my first live speck this year.
This speck was the only live rattlesnake I saw outside of Arizona this year
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Greg K came through on these!
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It was nice to see multiple animals together
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Crotalus Molossus Molossus - A beautiful variable rattlesnake that I rarely target. The reasoning: if I look for them, I don't find them. I run across them looking for specks/tigers and montanes. At the beginning of the season, molasses are the rattlesnakes I would find most frequently. I love the desert variants as much as the sky island golds.
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Crotalus Pricei Pricei - A species that never intrigued me through photographs, so I never really targeted them. My fiance' likes to look for bears, so we tend to go to a few sky island ranges where bear density is high - which coincide with pricei territory. I figure might as well check them out. When I found my first one, I was pretty stoked. It was a lot prettier than I thought and unique! I didn't go to the locality that most people visit to see their first pricei. I ended up seeing them in 3 of the 4 AZ ranges. They are quickly becoming one of my favorites to look for! A rattlesnake that THRIVES at 10000ft!
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Crotalus Scutalatus Scutalatus - Attitude! I love photographing scutes, but it can also be very dangerous. They almost always put on a show! Common yes, but always can count on an awakening photo session on a slow night
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Crotalus Tigris - The name Tiger Rattlesnake just sounds cool. This is another favorite rattlesnake of mine. Last year was the first time I seen one and since then - it has been my most frequently encountered rattlesnake. Some snakes I have seen over a dozen times (look, no touch-allows me to visit repeat animals consistently). But one thing - I have never road cruised a tiger rattlesnake before. Over 60 different animals the last 15 months and never seen one on the road. Next year, I hope to see some color variety and maybe try roadcruising a little more.
This animal my fiance' almost stepped on
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I was bummed that this shot was out of focus
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A pretty orange tiger that I never got a decent clear shot of. It has a completely pink tongue
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This pretty tiger had a black eye. Brendan asked me if both eyes were black, but I didn't know at that point.
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The next visit would answer his question
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I missed a photo opportunity on a neonate tigris and was bummed about it, but a week later I found this neonate coiled up
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Tigers don't always coil in ambush mode
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But that is how I frequently find them
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Crotalus Willardi Willardi - I first became interested in finding these when I went to look for pyros in the canyon that willardi were first found. I tried a few times and looked for them as I would pyros. No luck. I tried monsoons - too cloudy and rainy when I went. Eventually Brendan showed me my first willardi! He called it a turd, but it was my first willardi. Cool snake, but I wasn't that impressed....until I found a few more. Blacktails, klaubs, & specks are prettier...but willardi have an intriguing build - little chubby snakes with a cool head. They are quickly becoming one of my favorites! A little late on the ridgenose bandwagon.
The "turd"
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Another goal of mine was to see multiple species together
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That's all! Thanks for viewing some of my 2011 photos!

I am ready for 2012!

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TNWJackson
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by TNWJackson » November 10th, 2011, 1:19 am

Nothing lame about this, it's totally awesome. It's like rattlesnake fever on the board at moment - loving it! :beer:

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Martti Niskanen » November 10th, 2011, 2:01 am

Great post. I particularly like the second klauberi photo as it shows the greens really well. The variation in the mitchells is wonderful.

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rosy-man
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by rosy-man » November 10th, 2011, 2:37 am

nice stuff i saw a ton of specks this year too congrats

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Will Wells
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Will Wells » November 10th, 2011, 3:36 am

Nice job Norman!!! Looks like you had a great year looking for rattlesnakes. The hands off approach pays off when you want to see the snakes again and gives you good snake hunting karma.

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M.J.FRANETOVICH
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by M.J.FRANETOVICH » November 10th, 2011, 4:11 am

Pretty impressed Norman :thumb: you gotta' love those shakers!!!! Nice varity :thumb: I have always been a nikon guy but between your post and a few others I might jump ship to cannon, really nice photos! :beer:

:lol: :lol: :lol: P.S that white speckled gave me an erection :lol: :lol: :lol:

~Mel~

JDM
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by JDM » November 10th, 2011, 6:38 am

Good job! Thanks for sharing!

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Brendan
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Brendan » November 10th, 2011, 7:56 am

Great job Norm! Although the "snap on crew" will cry that you neglected exact GPS coordinates as well as date, time and temps, I think this was an awesome post! Nice job on all the tigers and specks. You saw some nice variety. Next year will probably be even better. Keep up the great work and I'm sure we will have some fun runs next year.

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vincemartino
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by vincemartino » November 10th, 2011, 8:38 am

The white speck and the white tigris were my favorites, though it was hard to choose. Great variety and shows hands off allows for the best visitation and observation!

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bushmaster W30
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by bushmaster W30 » November 10th, 2011, 9:05 am

Awesome post. Loved the Specks and the Pricei.

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Norman D
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Norman D » November 10th, 2011, 9:21 am

THank you everyone for your kind words!
Martti Niskanen wrote:. I particularly like the second klauberi photo as it shows the greens really well. The variation in the mitchells is wonderful.
It is pretty hard to capture the greens in klauberi
rosy-man wrote:nice stuff i saw a ton of specks this year too congrats
Cool! Going to post pics? I hope to see more next season, especially in Cali.
Will Wells wrote: The hands off approach pays off when you want to see the snakes again and gives you good snake hunting karma.
Very true
M.J.FRANETOVICH wrote:PI might jump ship to cannon
I liked Nikon a lot before, but when jumping to DSLR - Canon was a little more in my price range
Brendan wrote:Great job Norm! Although the "snap on crew" will cry that you neglected exact GPS coordinates as well as date, time and temps, I think this was an awesome post! Nice job on all the tigers and specks. You saw some nice variety. Next year will probably be even better. Keep up the great work and I'm sure we will have some fun runs next year.
Thanks a lot Brendan! "Snap on crew" - haha you and Rich come up with some funny names. Well, I hope I stay faithful to crotes - the way Brandon looked in those pics - I might fall victim to the Boa Bros Association!
vincemartino wrote: shows hands off allows for the best visitation and observation!
A few guys on here have been trying to preach this. Some learn from it and I can say for myself that the results can be amazing! Plus you see a lot more animals!
bushmaster W30 wrote:Loved the Specks and the Pricei.
Pricei are underrated!
TNWJackson wrote:It's like rattlesnake fever on the board at moment - loving it! :beer:
I am also loving the rattlesnake posts at that moment

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Brendan
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Brendan » November 10th, 2011, 9:32 am

The good news is I found the tool truck this morning in the gym parking lot so hopefully the tools will find their way home.
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Correcamino
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Correcamino » November 10th, 2011, 11:35 pm

Great series of pics Norm! :thumb:

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by ThamnElegans24 » November 11th, 2011, 6:12 pm

Great stuff Norman!!! I've been waiting to see some more of your pics. And it was well worth the wait. Thanks for sharing.

BlackPearl
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by BlackPearl » November 11th, 2011, 9:20 pm

You've got some really nice snakes in there for sure, however, it's that last blacktail that got me going...

Thanks for sharing.

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Norman D
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Norman D » November 12th, 2011, 10:32 am

Thanks Blackpearl, Thamnelegans, & Correcaimo!
It was nice to meet you in the field Rich and Ben/Josh!

Crote Junky
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Crote Junky » November 13th, 2011, 4:12 am

:thumb:

Crote Junky
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Crote Junky » November 13th, 2011, 6:33 am

:beer:

Crote Junky
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Crote Junky » November 13th, 2011, 6:40 am

:mrgreen:

Aaron Mills
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Aaron Mills » November 13th, 2011, 6:42 am

Nice shots man!

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Norman D
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Re: My 2011 rattlesnake photography

Post by Norman D » November 16th, 2011, 12:45 am

Thanks Aaron. Its nice talking crotes with you and also cool getting out with you a few times.

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