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 Post subject: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 15th, 2017, 3:17 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Hi all,

New to the Forum.
I found and started my passion of herping in 2015. I am still somewhat "green", but have become pretty good at desert herping. I have done most of it on my own through research but networking is key too. I am willing to help out when possible by giving tips and advice.
Just thought I would introduce myself
-Ryan


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 17th, 2017, 8:28 pm 
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 11:07 am
Posts: 308
Location: Canyon country, Ca
Your on the right path, with your new found interest. Field herping and knowledge of the desert in general (the plants, trees and rocks and such) ..is a rare thing these days and the interest/passion is rapidly dyeing out with people young and old. This forum is a good place to make contact other more experienced/knowledgable herpers. In most cases, you will need to earn the trust of those individuals before He/She will share any info/knowledge, spots..ect.. But there are group outings throughout the year, good place to meet other people.

I have been doing this for a while now.. knowledge and a general drive/ passion is key, and yes Mentors and networking with other fellow herpers have been key. Also dare i say it, Google Earth and just a little old fashioned ingenuity, can go a long way!

Good luck with the hobby, no matter what level you take it too. Most people on this forum practice legal collection according to Fish and Wildlife laws and handling/keeping of venomous herps is sometimes frowned upon if not done correctly.. You might want to give a little more info. age. name.. ect..

-Dan

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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 17th, 2017, 9:11 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
:thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 17th, 2017, 9:15 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Thanks Dan!
Yeah, I've found that most fellow herpers are good people, but like you said I have to earn their trust.
I've got a YouTube Channel where I have done some networking, but this forum looks like a fantastic site too.

Group outings would be really awesome! I will look for those!

I practice catch and release only. I just enjoy taking pictures and video and putting a checklist on new species. :mrgreen:
I also update a couple things on my profile and intro. Thanks!
-Ryan

P.S. Great Pic BTW! Flipping is one thing that I am going to work on this year. I just have to get out of the desert. LoL


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 18th, 2017, 8:46 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1664
Welcome to the tribe, Brother Ryan.

The Rocky Mtn chapter does several group outings a year in the northeastern Mojave, watch the chapter forum for threads.

Also, hopefully you have and use the HERP app, or some other system for archiving your finds. Are you familiar with the HERP database? It's here:
http://www.naherp.com/

I always recommend people - especially those working on their flipping, which is ALL OF US! ha ha ha - get a temp gun and use it maniacally. You will learn a ton! Objects of different materials, sizes, and shapes have very different thermal properties that reptiles & other animals exploit or avoid. Different seasons and weather situations have different ideal (or worthless...) objects for flipping. Let the animals teach you, and let the temp gun (not just "finding/not finding") be the language of communication. Often times flipping is a numbers game, you just have to do a lot of it, particularly if you are looking for a particular species and not just "skybusting", hoping for anything but not really looking for anything specific. When in that "numbers game", needle-in-a-haystack situation it sure helps with your motivation to know that your efforts are being well spent, that you actually have a good chance of finding stuff if you just stick with it. OTOH if everything you're flipping is too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too big, too small, too flat, too thick, whatever - it's a waste of time and you're also messing up the habitat for nothing. Mojave flipping has a short seasonal window, when it's open you want to be out there and on it. When it's closed (i.e., about 10-11 months of the year in any one spot!), you don't want to be flipping, it's exhausting and demoralizing and you'd do much better to use another search tactic and most likely also be targeting other species.

Again, welcome, and we look forward to meeting & hearing more from you.

cheers


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 18th, 2017, 4:13 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Jimi wrote:
Welcome to the tribe, Brother Ryan.

The Rocky Mtn chapter does several group outings a year in the northeastern Mojave, watch the chapter forum for threads.

Also, hopefully you have and use the HERP app, or some other system for archiving your finds. Are you familiar with the HERP database? It's here:
http://www.naherp.com/

I always recommend people - especially those working on their flipping, which is ALL OF US! ha ha ha - get a temp gun and use it maniacally. You will learn a ton! Objects of different materials, sizes, and shapes have very different thermal properties that reptiles & other animals exploit or avoid. Different seasons and weather situations have different ideal (or worthless...) objects for flipping. Let the animals teach you, and let the temp gun (not just "finding/not finding") be the language of communication. Often times flipping is a numbers game, you just have to do a lot of it, particularly if you are looking for a particular species and not just "skybusting", hoping for anything but not really looking for anything specific. When in that "numbers game", needle-in-a-haystack situation it sure helps with your motivation to know that your efforts are being well spent, that you actually have a good chance of finding stuff if you just stick with it. OTOH if everything you're flipping is too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too big, too small, too flat, too thick, whatever - it's a waste of time and you're also messing up the habitat for nothing. Mojave flipping has a short seasonal window, when it's open you want to be out there and on it. When it's closed (i.e., about 10-11 months of the year in any one spot!), you don't want to be flipping, it's exhausting and demoralizing and you'd do much better to use another search tactic and most likely also be targeting other species.

Again, welcome, and we look forward to meeting & hearing more from you.

cheers


Thanks! I will keep an eye out for those outings.
I have not used the HERP app. I have pretty much been just keeping an excel spreadsheet of date/how it was found/Location
Can you explain more regarding the HERP database? I took a look at it, and looks pretty impressive.

Great Info on the Flipping. Thanks!
Yeah I have learned flipping in the Mojave is tough the hard way. I have flipped for two years and have only found 1 Sidewinder.
Just curious as to which month(s) seem to be the best. My guess would be March/April, but I am not sure...
Thanks again for the info


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 18th, 2017, 5:35 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1664
When I was talking about outings, I should have mentioned "well yeah, the California chapter also does some". Ha ha. Yes they do.

Re: the database see the sticky @
http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7526

The sticky's author Kent is no longer available for questions, as he died a couple years ago. But there are some CA chapter folks with thousands of records, so obviously they're pretty handy with the database and usually the phone app.

March/April is the best for lots of stuff, at the lower elevations. For every thousand feet up, given the same aspect, I'd add a week or two. But there's a ton of factors that go into it. Tiny-bodied animals like desert night lizards can warm up really fast, and thus can get active early in the year. Which is convenient, as that species actually seems to like it cold. And I mean cold. Some species have an insanely broad thermal tolerance - gopher snakes and lyre snakes, for example. I've flipped them both when daytime highs were in the low 50s, and also up around 100. Sidewinders are similar, actually - they can take it really cold, and they can do OK with some heat. Also, strangely, it seems like you can start earlier in spring a little bit above the lowest elevations. The lowest-elevation animals seem to not be able to operate at the same lows as the critters a little higher up, they need it a bit warmer (like, high 60s at least). My observation anyway.

Then there's factors I already mentioned, like object material (rock, wood, metal), size, shape, color, and what it's on (coarser substrates are "warmer", as are drier ones). Also orientation, like on the shady side of a boulder or wash, or the sunny side, or in full sun vs halfway or completely under a shrub. Mostly, I think of flipping as being all about the small, mysterious stuff like blackhead snakes, ringnecks, ground snakes etc. They can overheat or dry out really easily due to small body mass. So I like to start early, targeting thin or small or flat or dark-colored objects, or yucca, tin or plywood, sitting atop or shallowly embedded in gravel or sand, with good sun exposure. And work that temp gun! A month or two later at the same site I might move onto big round rocks, deeply embedded in the ground, in partial shade, maybe with siltier soils. As "indicators", I like to see centipedes (especially centipedes!) and scorpions and caterpillars/grubs. I don't like to see worms, they mostly mean it's too cold and wet. Ants and beetles are fine - they're always there, they don't seem to mean much.

I should mention that flipping is almost as contentious a topic as road cruising. Everybody has their body of experience, there's a lot of overlap but also plenty of outliers. People mostly stick with what has worked for them. Other folks are surely going to disagree with some of what I've said, or at least append it with their own, differing, experiences. They might also add stuff that I never learned, have forgotten, or whatever. C'est la vie, it keeps things interesting if you keep asking and learning and sharing.

Anyway, hopefully that gives you something to chew on over the next 6 weeks or so. As soon as you get a little run of nights above maybe 50 degrees, get out there and start looking under the warmer objects. In the extreme NE Mojave that usually starts in early March. Don't be afraid of the occasional moist cold front, I keep getting surprised by what will be out and about, or just barely undercover, in a high-50s - low-60's mist or drizzle.

good hunting, and don't forget the database!

Aloha


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 18th, 2017, 7:48 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Jimi wrote:
When I was talking about outings, I should have mentioned "well yeah, the California chapter also does some". Ha ha. Yes they do.

Re: the database see the sticky @
http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7526

The sticky's author Kent is no longer available for questions, as he died a couple years ago. But there are some CA chapter folks with thousands of records, so obviously they're pretty handy with the database and usually the phone app.

March/April is the best for lots of stuff, at the lower elevations. For every thousand feet up, given the same aspect, I'd add a week or two. But there's a ton of factors that go into it. Tiny-bodied animals like desert night lizards can warm up really fast, and thus can get active early in the year. Which is convenient, as that species actually seems to like it cold. And I mean cold. Some species have an insanely broad thermal tolerance - gopher snakes and lyre snakes, for example. I've flipped them both when daytime highs were in the low 50s, and also up around 100. Sidewinders are similar, actually - they can take it really cold, and they can do OK with some heat. Also, strangely, it seems like you can start earlier in spring a little bit above the lowest elevations. The lowest-elevation animals seem to not be able to operate at the same lows as the critters a little higher up, they need it a bit warmer (like, high 60s at least). My observation anyway.

Then there's factors I already mentioned, like object material (rock, wood, metal), size, shape, color, and what it's on (coarser substrates are "warmer", as are drier ones). Also orientation, like on the shady side of a boulder or wash, or the sunny side, or in full sun vs halfway or completely under a shrub. Mostly, I think of flipping as being all about the small, mysterious stuff like blackhead snakes, ringnecks, ground snakes etc. They can overheat or dry out really easily due to small body mass. So I like to start early, targeting thin or small or flat or dark-colored objects, or yucca, tin or plywood, sitting atop or shallowly embedded in gravel or sand, with good sun exposure. And work that temp gun! A month or two later at the same site I might move onto big round rocks, deeply embedded in the ground, in partial shade, maybe with siltier soils. As "indicators", I like to see centipedes (especially centipedes!) and scorpions and caterpillars/grubs. I don't like to see worms, they mostly mean it's too cold and wet. Ants and beetles are fine - they're always there, they don't seem to mean much.

I should mention that flipping is almost as contentious a topic as road cruising. Everybody has their body of experience, there's a lot of overlap but also plenty of outliers. People mostly stick with what has worked for them. Other folks are surely going to disagree with some of what I've said, or at least append it with their own, differing, experiences. They might also add stuff that I never learned, have forgotten, or whatever. C'est la vie, it keeps things interesting if you keep asking and learning and sharing.

Anyway, hopefully that gives you something to chew on over the next 6 weeks or so. As soon as you get a little run of nights above maybe 50 degrees, get out there and start looking under the warmer objects. In the extreme NE Mojave that usually starts in early March. Don't be afraid of the occasional moist cold front, I keep getting surprised by what will be out and about, or just barely undercover, in a high-50s - low-60's mist or drizzle.

good hunting, and don't forget the database!

Aloha


Thanks for the link. Makes Sense. I will log in!
I knew some of that stuff, but certainly not all of it. I still have a ton to learn. :)
I really appreciate the information and am constantly trying to just soak it all in.

Can't wait for the winter to be over so that I can get back out there!
Thanks Again


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 20th, 2017, 10:14 am 
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Joined: August 24th, 2010, 9:14 am
Posts: 508
Location: San Diego
Welcome Ryan. Hope to see in the field some day. Let me know if you're ever in San Diego.
-NN


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 20th, 2017, 7:56 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Nature Nate wrote:
Welcome Ryan. Hope to see in the field some day. Let me know if you're ever in San Diego.
-NN


Thanks Nate!


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 24th, 2017, 7:30 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Posts: 4707
Location: "Buy My Books"-land
I seem to always be late to the party... :lol: but as kind of an expert flipper I really like this advice of Jimi's:

"OTOH if everything you're flipping is too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too big, too small, too flat, too thick, whatever - it's a waste of time and you're also messing up the habitat for nothing."

That about says it all... :thumb:

Remember, if you can't flip a herp you aren't really a herper...unless the herp is a turtle, and I actually flipped one of those once...under a board in the water... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 24th, 2017, 8:42 pm 
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Joined: January 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm
Posts: 16
Location: Mojave Desert
Brian Hubbs wrote:
I seem to always be late to the party... :lol: but as kind of an expert flipper I really like this advice of Jimi's:

"OTOH if everything you're flipping is too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too big, too small, too flat, too thick, whatever - it's a waste of time and you're also messing up the habitat for nothing."

That about says it all... :thumb:

Remember, if you can't flip a herp you aren't really a herper...unless the herp is a turtle, and I actually flipped one of those once...under a board in the water... :lol:


It's a little cliche, but better late than never :)
Yeah, it is going to be a work in progress as I have little to no experience with flipping. I have got the basics of when and where to flip, but now I just need to get out there and refine the skill. Everything so far has been day hikes, night hikes, and night cruising. But hey, got to start somewhere...


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 27th, 2017, 9:11 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:41 am
Posts: 4707
Location: "Buy My Books"-land
Well, I would suggest you buy my two big books...Mtn Kings & Common Kingsnakes for all the details on how to flip...but I'm currently out of them :( ...I think amazon might have one of them...


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: January 27th, 2017, 12:34 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Posts: 1591
Location: San Francisco, CA
Brian Hubbs wrote:
Well, I would suggest you buy my two big books...Mtn Kings & Common Kingsnakes for all the details on how to flip...but I'm currently out of them :( ...I think amazon might have one of them...


Without a doubt, these two books, particularly the Mountain King book, taught me so much about herping, flipping, etc. I highly recommend it, Ryan.

Brian, you can send over a check for me promoting your books anytime haha :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 12:37 am 

Joined: March 30th, 2015, 10:01 am
Posts: 62
Location: Orange County
Jimi wrote:
When I was talking about outings, I should have mentioned "well yeah, the California chapter also does some". Ha ha. Yes they do.

Re: the database see the sticky @
http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7526

The sticky's author Kent is no longer available for questions, as he died a couple years ago. But there are some CA chapter folks with thousands of records, so obviously they're pretty handy with the database and usually the phone app.

March/April is the best for lots of stuff, at the lower elevations. For every thousand feet up, given the same aspect, I'd add a week or two. But there's a ton of factors that go into it. Tiny-bodied animals like desert night lizards can warm up really fast, and thus can get active early in the year. Which is convenient, as that species actually seems to like it cold. And I mean cold. Some species have an insanely broad thermal tolerance - gopher snakes and lyre snakes, for example. I've flipped them both when daytime highs were in the low 50s, and also up around 100. Sidewinders are similar, actually - they can take it really cold, and they can do OK with some heat. Also, strangely, it seems like you can start earlier in spring a little bit above the lowest elevations. The lowest-elevation animals seem to not be able to operate at the same lows as the critters a little higher up, they need it a bit warmer (like, high 60s at least). My observation anyway.

Then there's factors I already mentioned, like object material (rock, wood, metal), size, shape, color, and what it's on (coarser substrates are "warmer", as are drier ones). Also orientation, like on the shady side of a boulder or wash, or the sunny side, or in full sun vs halfway or completely under a shrub. Mostly, I think of flipping as being all about the small, mysterious stuff like blackhead snakes, ringnecks, ground snakes etc. They can overheat or dry out really easily due to small body mass. So I like to start early, targeting thin or small or flat or dark-colored objects, or yucca, tin or plywood, sitting atop or shallowly embedded in gravel or sand, with good sun exposure. And work that temp gun! A month or two later at the same site I might move onto big round rocks, deeply embedded in the ground, in partial shade, maybe with siltier soils. As "indicators", I like to see centipedes (especially centipedes!) and scorpions and caterpillars/grubs. I don't like to see worms, they mostly mean it's too cold and wet. Ants and beetles are fine - they're always there, they don't seem to mean much.

I should mention that flipping is almost as contentious a topic as road cruising. Everybody has their body of experience, there's a lot of overlap but also plenty of outliers. People mostly stick with what has worked for them. Other folks are surely going to disagree with some of what I've said, or at least append it with their own, differing, experiences. They might also add stuff that I never learned, have forgotten, or whatever. C'est la vie, it keeps things interesting if you keep asking and learning and sharing.

Anyway, hopefully that gives you something to chew on over the next 6 weeks or so. As soon as you get a little run of nights above maybe 50 degrees, get out there and start looking under the warmer objects. In the extreme NE Mojave that usually starts in early March. Don't be afraid of the occasional moist cold front, I keep getting surprised by what will be out and about, or just barely undercover, in a high-50s - low-60's mist or drizzle.

good hunting, and don't forget the database!

Aloha


some great tips right there...

good stuff!


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: February 16th, 2017, 6:25 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 7:09 am
Posts: 634
Location: Santa Cruz Co. California
Hi Ryan, and welcome to the forum. Did you ever get the information you were looking for regarding the HERP database?

Lawrence


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 Post subject: Re: New to the Forum
PostPosted: February 17th, 2017, 8:18 am 
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Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
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Welcome, Ryan!

JimM


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