CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

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CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by SurfinHerp » June 15th, 2016, 3:32 pm

Hi Everyone,

I've started this thread in order to help organize the upcoming CA Chapter herping trip to Kennedy Meadows and the S. Kern Plateau.

Here's the agenda for the outing:

Frid. June 24th
- arrive at Kennedy Meadows Campground, set-up camp
- rock-flipping in the afternoon?
- road-cruising in the evening

Sat. June 25th
- 8-10 AM CA Chapter meeting and discussion
- then herping all day and into the night

Sun. June 26th
- 8-10 AM Chapter breakfast and storytelling
- herp until it's time to go home


If for some reason there is not enough room at Kennedy Meadows, then our back-up plan is to camp at Troy Meadows (8 miles W. of Kennedy Meadows). The third option will be Fish Creek. I've decided it's best to stay in a developed campground since not everyone has the gear needed to camp in primitive sites.

There is very little to no cell coverage in most of the area, so communication will be a challenge. I will post any important changes to the plan above at the general store at Kennedy Meadows if necessary. If I remember correctly, there is AT&T cell reception near the top of Nine Mile Canyon Rd., but it cuts out further to the west.

As far as I know, campsites at the Kennedy Meadows campground cannot be reserved in advance. I hope to arrive a day in advance in order to preview the camping situation. I will try to send out a last minute update for everyone on Thurs. evening June 23rd.

Here are the coordinates from Google Earth for the Kennedy Meadows Campground:
lat. 36.0528, lon. -118.1308

If you're planning to attend and aren't familiar with the area, please take some time to conduct a little research and find directions.

Also, please post a quick reply here in this thread to let us know that you're coming.


Cheers,

Jeff N.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 15th, 2016, 7:17 pm

Jeff, thanks for starting a new thread.

Nick and I are all set to go and we may also bring a friend if that's OK. If need be, he'll join NAFHA and become a chapter member.

As I did in the last thread, I would like to get a list of names going, so we all know what and who to expect. So, please copy the most recent list of names into your reply and add your own name(s) to it:

Robert Hess
Nicholas Hess

Thanks,

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Fundad » June 16th, 2016, 4:10 am

Just an FYI Jeff/All. I was up there a week ago and a large area of the Meadow was on fire and burning.

You should check around to make sure the area is open, and campgrounds are open.

Brian

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Ted » June 16th, 2016, 7:27 am

I'll be there, assuming the campground is open

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by SurfinHerp » June 16th, 2016, 9:13 am

I just checked online and called the Kennedy Meadows General Store.

The fire ended days ago and everything's fine at the campground. You can learn a little more about the fire here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4757/

According to the person at the General Store, the campground is uncrowded today, and the Kern River is flowing pretty well.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Fundad » June 16th, 2016, 8:00 pm

That's good to now Jeff

Please remember this is a offical NAFHA event.

No Collecting Allowed and No Holding animals overnight for photos and show and tells.

Have a Good Time Everyone

Brian Hinds
California Chapter President

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by mattg » June 16th, 2016, 9:22 pm

I am attending , if work schedule holds up i will be getting up there fri afternoon and leaving monday morning

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by SurfinHerp » June 17th, 2016, 10:28 am

Glad you can make it Matt!

Thanks for the reminder Fundad...
The main goal for this trip is for us to get together and have a good time. Hopefully we can discuss a few NAFHA issues and photograph some cool herps along the way. Please don't come hoping to bring home a boa or mountain king. We're only bringing home photos.

Jeff

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 17th, 2016, 3:48 pm

I thought one of the reasons we chose KM, was because Richard Hoyer specifically needed Rubber boa genetic samples from this area, for his ongoing research. If there he can take samples himself... if not... I've sent him boas (which btw are legal to collect there) and had them back within a week, for release.

Are we not a group of citizens, doing science?

We have collected at official events before, in the name of science... :|

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Richard F. Hoyer » June 17th, 2016, 10:34 pm

Jim,
My need is to increase my sample size on the morphological data on specimens from that region. I believe Dr. Feldman has sufficient tissue samples. And Rick Toshima's masters thesis already produced results that indicated the S. Kern Plateau boa population aligns with the southern clade.

So after recording morphological information, any boa found can be released right where found.

At any rate, I was not aware that an 'official' gathering of herpers from the organization had such a rule. I do not know the reason so need an explanation.

From my vantage point, the more specimens of all species that are maintained from various localities, all the better. Of course that type of thinking, I believe, is counter to the 'hands-off' policy generally championed by the non-game sections of some wildlife agencies.

One only has to understand the logic of my position by the example that transpired with the Peregrine Falcon. When the Peregrine populations in the lower 48 states, in European, Great Briton, etc., plummeted, it was the captive Peregrines held my falconers that provided the major 'seed' stock for the captive propagation and reintroduction of that species that led to it rapid recovery. In fact, it was falconers that first paved the way for the captive breed of the Peregrine and other species of large falcons.

I have never understood, nor has anyone been able to explain in rational terms, the anti collecting, anti maintaining of wildlife that some individuals have be they in or out of government.

Richard F. Hoyer

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 18th, 2016, 6:04 am

Richard,
We, (the Nafha) are by definition a data-collecting group, so given that, when at 'official' group outings, we don't allow personal collecting. Exceptions can and are made when genetic samples are needed for research purposes.

Nafha recognizes people's right to legally collect, when not at an official nafha event. Hope to see you there, if I can get my clutch and brakes done in time... :thumb:

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 18th, 2016, 8:24 am

I moved my earlier post into a private pm to Richard, so we don't get sidetracked from the task at hand - planning next weekend's meeting.

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 18th, 2016, 11:44 am

The list of confirmed attendees so far:

Jeff Nordland
Ted (Jonathan) Mills-Andersen
Matt Gruen
Robert and Nicholas Hess

and

Jim Bass (if he can get his car fixed in time)

I sure hope that this is not the final list. Let's see who else signs up over the weekend. If the list has not substantially grown by Monday, we may need to rethink things.

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Richard F. Hoyer » June 18th, 2016, 1:48 pm

Jim B.
Robert H sent me a private message that explained the rational for the current policy. He did a great job as even as old and dense as I am, it made perfect sense. Thanks Robert for taking the time to explain.

Richard FH

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 18th, 2016, 3:10 pm

Yeah... Robert"a very clear and concise... ;) Most Hi-D Nafha members are busy with the Grassy Hollow talks they took over for me, that weekend... ;(

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by nightdriver » June 18th, 2016, 7:01 pm

I probably won't make it, but if somebody wants the banners I've got'em.

nightdriver

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Richard F. Hoyer » June 18th, 2016, 8:21 pm

Robert H.,
This is sort of a follow-up that relates to what I sent you in my private message about my mark / recapture efforts with the boa.

One of my main Rubber Boa study sites is bisected by a large creek, about 40 feet wide. The main part of the site is on the east side of the creek. Once there was a wooden bridge from the west side, by where I park my pickup, over to the east side but it was removed about 16 - 18 years ago. I have to wade across the creek to access the main east side. Early in the year when the water is high and current swift, often I am not able to get across even with hip waders.

Ever so often, I use to find a boa that crossed from one side of the creek to the other side and wondered if they were simply using the bridge. That notion was reinforces because since the bridge was removed, I do not believe I have found any boas that have crossed from one side to the other --- until just recently this year.

This site male #139 was first captured on 6/29/07 and has been recaptured numerous times during the intervening years but always on the east side. This year, he was first found on the east side of the creek on March 3rd. Then on April 16, much to my surprise, I found him with a female under a tin on the west side of the creek. Then on the 15th, I again found Larson male #139 but this time he was back on the east side of the creek.

So the question becomes, by what means do boas cross the creek without the bridge? Do they swim, do they cross on overhanging tree branches, both, or by some sort of magic such as broad jumping or flying? It would be my guess that the most likely answer is they swim across. But that raises more questions. How do the boa deal with the current? How does the boa establish then maintain its fidelity to it home territory if swept down stream?

One other very nice find on the 15th was this site female #115, originally captured on 6/6/08. She produced a litter for me that year and then was released on 9/24/08. She was recaptured once in April, 2009 and released and I haven’t seen her since until this past 15th, seven years later. She is again PG and really beat up with many dings over her entire body. Most appear to have been due to incisor type bites.

Last, not certain if others have heard that another boa was sighted this spring at the MDO state park in San Louis Obispo County.

Richard F. Hoyer

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Jeff Lemm » June 19th, 2016, 4:39 pm

Hey guys,
There is a pretty good chance that Matty and I can make this. If so, we'll be up in the afternoon on Friday.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by ricrabt » June 19th, 2016, 7:01 pm

I'm still working on it....

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by mark buck » June 20th, 2016, 5:21 am

My dad and I will be there.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Thorny » June 20th, 2016, 3:06 pm

I'm going though I may need to leave early.

I am headed to Yosemite afterwards so I can'tell help you Jim.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 20th, 2016, 3:25 pm

i appreciate you thinking of me, Thorny... Looks like me n Matt will be rolling together... :)

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 20th, 2016, 7:44 pm

The new list of attendees as of tonight:

Jeff Nordland and his boys
Ted (Jonathan) Mills-Andersen
Matt Gruen
Jim Bass
Mark Buck and his dad
Robert and Nicholas Hess
Thorny (Ben Delancey, right?)

Maybe's:

John Lauerman
Jeff and Matty Lemm
My friend Clay Wilcox

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Thorny » June 21st, 2016, 5:14 am

Yep,

That's me.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 21st, 2016, 7:49 am

Thorny wrote:Yep,

That's me.
I did not realize this, Ben... :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Where's all the nor cal guys??? :|

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Chrispherp » June 21st, 2016, 8:25 pm

My daughter Jenna and I are planning on attending, I was waiting to make sure my workload allowed me to take Friday off to make the trip worth it. Looks like we will be going up Thurs night and staying through Sunday afternoon. See everyone there, should be a good time and hopefully we find some cool herps as well!

Chris P.

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by ricrabt » June 21st, 2016, 11:21 pm

RobertH wrote:The new list of attendees as of tonight:

Jeff Nordland and his boys
Ted (Jonathan) Mills-Andersen
Matt Gruen
Jim Bass
Mark Buck and his dad
Robert and Nicholas Hess
Thorny (Ben Delancey, right?)

Maybe's:

John Lauerman
Jeff and Matty Lemm
My friend Clay Wilcox

What about Mr. Hoyer? He said he was coming...

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 23rd, 2016, 12:41 pm

Just wanted to let you know that Jonathan (Ted), Nick and I will be leaving tonight, spend one night in the desert, and arrive at Kennedy Meadows tomorrow afternoon.

See you all there,

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by mattg » June 23rd, 2016, 8:41 pm

The new list of attendees as of tonight:

Jeff Nordland and his boys
Ted (Jonathan) Mills-Andersen
Matt Gruen
Jim Bass
Mark Buck and his dad
Robert and Nicholas Hess
Ben Delancey
Chris Patnaude and daughter Jenna
Richard Hoyer

Maybe's:

John Lauerman
Jeff and Matty Lemm
My friend Clay Wilcox
Keith Condon
Zach Lim
Lawrence Erickson

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by SurfinHerp » June 24th, 2016, 11:55 am

Hi Guys,
I'm up in the Sierras right now. I drove down 9 Mile Canyon to get cell reception.

We're camping in Kennedy Meadows Campground in spot 17. Richard Hoyer and Chris P. are here as well. It's fairly hot and dry, but we've made a few finds already: Nor. Pac. rattler, Sierra garters, a rubber boa, a leopard lizard, some whiptails and plenty of sagebrush lizards.

The Kennedy Meadows campground has no running water, but there are outhouses, and there's no charge for camping. The nearby creek is flowing well and is refreshing. There are a lot of flies, gnats and mosquitos.
We might consider moving to a different campground, but we'll wait until more people arrive before making any changes.

Hope to see everyone soon!

Jeff

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Richard F. Hoyer » June 28th, 2016, 2:39 pm

I wish to express my appreciation to the individuals that were able to attend the S. Kern Plateau herp search this past weekend. Those that were present, of which I am aware, were Jeff Nordland and his sons Trevor and Brady, Matt Gruen, Robert and Nicholas Hess, Mark Buck, Ben Delancey. Chris Patnaude and daughter Jenna, Jonathan Mills-Anderson, and Cary and Isaiah Fairchild.

I am especially grateful to Jeff for making this all happen. And if I by chance, I have not included someone that was present, I apologize for doing so and Jeff can set the record straight.

Unfortunately, the hot and dry conditions did not bode well for finding the Rubber Boa. On the afternoon of June 23 when I arrived on the S. Kern Plateau, I drove to an outcrop that William Flaxington (Fieldnotes) had first identified quite a few years ago up Jackass Cr. Road. And just by blind luck, under the second rock I turned was small sub-adult male boa.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by SurfinHerp » June 28th, 2016, 3:52 pm

Thank you Richard, for joining us and sharing your knowledge of the area and great sense of humor! It was a pleasure herping with you.


Here is a first draft of a Species List and Count for the group during the outing:

longnose leopard lizards ~30+ sightings (some could be repeats)
S. sagebrush lizards - too many to count (easily over 100)
GB tiger whiptail lizards ~25-30+ sightings
western fence lizards - 3
coast horned lizards - 2
San Diego alligator lizards - 2
Sierra alligator lizards - 4+
yellow backed spiny lizards - 3+
western skinks - 5
zebratail lizard - 1
desert horned lizard - 1
desert banded geckos - ? a few ?

rubber boas - 2
GB gopher snakes - 3 (2 DOR)
Sierra gartersnakes - 4
wandering gartersnake - 1
desert rosy boa - 1
Panamint rattlesnakes - 3 (2 DOR)
Nor. Pac. rattlesnakes - 3
desert striped whipsnakes - 3 (1 DOR)
longnosed snakes - 2
Mojave glossy snakes - 6
Mojave sidewinders - 4+
spotted leafnosed snake - 1

western toads - 16
Sierra treefrog - 1
slender salamander - 1


If you were there, please help me correct any mistakes you see on the list above.

Cheers,

Jeff

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 28th, 2016, 4:52 pm

Thanks for posting the tally, Jeff.

I checked into the snake that we thought was a Wandering Gartersnake (T. elegans vagrans). As it turns out, it is either a straight Mountain Gartersnake (T. elegans elegans) or possibly an intergrade between T. elegans elegans and T. elegans vagrans.

Contrary to what we thought, the area where Mark found the gartersnake is within the range of T. elegans elegans. I found two entries for T. elegans elegans on iNaturalist in the same area (one actually from the same exact spot where we camped), one entered by a "research grade" contributor and the other by Sullivan Ribbit from Wildherps.com.

According to Californiaherps. com the underside of T. elegans elegans is basically pale yellow with few or no markings - exactly as on the snake we found. T. elegans elegans also has (more) defined lateral stripes, also exactly as on the snake we found. In contrast, T. elegans vagrans tends to have a less uniformly colored, darker underside with more markings.

Comparing the photos of Mark's gartersnake with those on iNaturalist, I am inclined to say that Mark's gartersnake is straight T. elegans elegans. Our initial guess of T. elegans vagrans was based mostly on range, but, well, it seems we were wrong about the range of T. elegans elegans. The notion that T. elegans elegans are only on the western side of the Sierras as appears on Californiaherps.com is probably oversimplified. If Coast Horned Lizards can make it to the eastside of the Sierras, so can Mountain Gartersnakes.

Anyway, those are my conclusions based on what I found. I will post some pictures of the gartersnake later. Maybe, someone else more knowledgeable will be able to make the final call then.

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Porter » June 28th, 2016, 8:59 pm

SurfinHerp wrote:Thank you Richard, for joining us and sharing your knowledge of the area and great sense of humor! It was a pleasure herping with you.


Here is a first draft of a Species List and Count for the group during the outing:

longnose leopard lizards ~30+ sightings (some could be repeats)
S. sagebrush lizards - too many to count (easily over 100)
GB tiger whiptail lizards ~25-30+ sightings
western fence lizards - 3
coast horned lizards - 2
San Diego alligator lizards - 2
Sierra alligator lizards - 4+
yellow backed spiny lizards - 3+
western skinks - 5
zebratail lizard - 1
desert horned lizard - 1
desert banded geckos - ? a few ?

rubber boas - 2
GB gopher snakes - 3 (2 DOR)
Sierra gartersnakes - 4
wandering gartersnake - 1
desert rosy boa - 1
Panamint rattlesnakes - 3 (2 DOR)
Nor. Pac. rattlesnakes - 3
desert striped whipsnakes - 3 (1 DOR)
longnosed snakes - 2
Mojave glossy snakes - 6
Mojave sidewinders - 4+
spotted leafnosed snake - 1

western toads - 16
Sierra treefrog - 1
slender salamander - 1


If you were there, please help me correct any mistakes you see on the list above.

Cheers,

Jeff
Wow, was everthing found on/near the campground..? ie, coast horned liz on eastern side of sierras...your guys musta driven towards the coast or found on the way, right?

Let's see some pics!!! Really curious to see the comparison between Sierra and wandering garters as long as the Sierra garters were found on the Eastern Slope. Curious to see what version of wandering garter and where/habitat. Cool trip guys :beer:

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Porter » June 28th, 2016, 9:04 pm

Nevermind lol just googled the location. Bottom of sierras right? Night middle ground...lets see some pics

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by RobertH » June 28th, 2016, 9:54 pm

coast horned liz on eastern side of sierras...your guys musta driven towards the coast or found on the way, right?
Nope, the HLs were found at 6000+ feet on the eastern slope. I was amazed, too.

As I wrote above, we didn't find a Wandering Gartersnake, but most likely a Mountain Gartersnake.

Pictures will follow soon, hopefully tomorrow.

Robert

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Porter » June 28th, 2016, 10:20 pm

Wow... Well, I know that before my time there used to be coast horned lizards in Roseville according to some Native American friends. one of my old friends mothers used to find them there and she knows enough to tell the difference between those and blue bellies. and I know of some populations that go further up the mountain then that but on the Eastern Slope is very surprising! Have they been found there before or is that a range extension? It looks like Kennedy Meadows is at the southern tip of the Sierras... Maybe that is why.

Hmmm... it must have been one of those mountain garters that have the (blue)speckling on their sides I've seen a few of those at different locations... maybe that's why the In-question of identification

Looking forward to the pics :thumb:

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Fundad » June 29th, 2016, 2:27 am

Coast Horned Lizards are well known from that area, and even extend down into the desert slope of the mountain.

You guys found a slender? That is exciting. :thumb:

Sorry I had to miss it, Sounds like it was a good time.

Fundad

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » June 29th, 2016, 5:26 am

M. Waters/ J. Lauerman and I cruised a dor Mt Garter in that area a few years ago. The slender is indeed intriguing... Robustus??? Wish i could have made it... but... work before play... :(

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by Porter » July 6th, 2016, 11:08 pm

Is the slender find rare because of the type of subspecies or time of year? We've gotten a lot more moisture/kingsnake days in Sacramento this year and some surprising lows I couldn't help but notice. Same thing happening down there?

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Re: CA Chapter trip to Kennedy Meadows June 24-26, 2016

Post by hellihooks » August 10th, 2016, 2:28 pm

Porter wrote:Is the slender find rare because of the type of subspecies or time of year? We've gotten a lot more moisture/kingsnake days in Sacramento this year and some surprising lows I couldn't help but notice. Same thing happening down there?
If indeed robustus... only the 13th or 14th known locale. :shock: (and i helped find one)

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