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 Post subject: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 18th, 2014, 1:06 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
Posts: 891
Location: Colorado
We have some great trips coming up this year. Mark your calendars.

Nevada Speck Roundup Easter weekend, April 18-20.

Baca Co Survey CO May 16-18 Carrizo Canyon

Moffat Co Survey CO June 6-8 Gates of Lodore

Kansas Herp Society joint field trip with the Oklahoma Herp Society and COPARC in Morton County, KS (extreme SW corner of the state) July 25-27.

NAFHA National Meeting Aug 30-Sept 1 Rodeo NM


Watch for details here in the chapter forum.


We've got more to come, stay tuned.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 20th, 2014, 10:26 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Quote:
We have some great trips coming up this year. Mark your calendars.

Baca Co Survey CO May 16-18 Carrizo Canyon

Moffat Co Survey CO June 6-8 Gates of Lodore

NAFHA National Meeting Aug 30-Sept 1 Rodeo NM


We've got more to come, stay tuned.


You can add "Nevada speck roundup". Tentatively planned for Easter weekend, April 18-20. RM-hosted, but there's interest from AZ and CA chapters too.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 20th, 2014, 12:38 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
Jimi wrote:
Quote:
We have some great trips coming up this year. Mark your calendars.

Baca Co Survey CO May 16-18 Carrizo Canyon

Moffat Co Survey CO June 6-8 Gates of Lodore

NAFHA National Meeting Aug 30-Sept 1 Rodeo NM


We've got more to come, stay tuned.


You can add "Nevada speck roundup". Tentatively planned for Easter weekend, April 18-20. RM-hosted, but there's interest from AZ and CA chapters too.

cheers,
Jimi

Perusing Panamints? I'm down for that one... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 20th, 2014, 6:06 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
Posts: 891
Location: Colorado
Great! I'll add it now. Members feel free to put together trips local to your area! That's what NAFHA is all about.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 21st, 2014, 5:02 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Quote:
Perusing Panamints? I'm down for that one... :thumb: jim


Good, that's great Jim. Yeah, something like that although the identity (stephensi/mitch) of the animals in the area we're targeting is in question. If indeed either one occurs there (surely one or both do...). It's along US 93 north of Vegas (by about 35 miles?) and south (10-15 miles?) of the map-dot called Coyote Springs - sort of an ecological meeting zone between Mojave & Great Basin. It's maybe 200 miles north of you, I think.

cheers,
Jimi

PS fullest congrats on the good news


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 21st, 2014, 5:27 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
Thx Jimi,
Work permitting (no hunt that weekend) I'll be there. I keep saying 'gun club'...but it's actually about getting your bird dogs out in the field. Shooting the birds is obviously part of it... but it's mostly about the dogs... none of this Cheney-style shoot um in the pen crap... :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol:

I don't actually have to leave my home Co (Berdo) to see Panamints... but happily will for range definition... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 21st, 2014, 5:45 pm 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 7:09 am
Posts: 633
Location: Santa Cruz Co. California
You guys are dialed!
If you are good with another CA chapter member tagging along on some of these I'm game.

Lawrence


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2014, 4:31 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2398
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Slightly out-of-region, but the Kansas Herp Society is conducting a joint field trip with the Oklahoma Herp Society and COPARC in Morton County, KS (extreme SW corner of the state) July 25-27.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2014, 4:04 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Lawrence - hell yeah! Saddle up.

Chris - I gotta plead ignorance here, and rank curiosity. How is herping that part of the world in late July? I guess it can't suck, you guys are not idiots. I'm just kind of shocked, is all. It feels...it feels...it feels about 6 weeks too late. Again though, the ignorance is mine.

Jim - is it your observation that I-15 pretty well defines the range boundary between the 2 taxa? I haven't made a study of it, nor simply asked around, but that is my haphazard sense of things.

All - my gut says - since they go WAY up the mainstem - pyrrhus follows also Colorado River tribs a ways upstream (as in Beaver Dam Wash). So we have quite a decent chance of them in the Muddy/Moapa watershed. Hell, it it weren't for the pour-offs and tall sheer cliffs, maybe they'd have made their way up Kanab Creek. Fun to ponder...

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2014, 7:13 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2398
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Jimi wrote:
Chris - I gotta plead ignorance here, and rank curiosity. How is herping that part of the world in late July? I guess it can't suck, you guys are not idiots. I'm just kind of shocked, is all. It feels...it feels...it feels about 6 weeks too late. Again though, the ignorance is mine.


I personally haven't herped western KS, but I repeatedly hear about how awesome it is, even in the middle of the summer. KHS hosts three field trips annually--spring, summer, and fall; the summer trips seem to always be scheduled somewhere in the western half of the state--not without reason, I'm guessing. I'm usually either traveling to visit family or otherwise unable to make the drive across the state "the long way," but I gotta figure that if THREE herp organizations think such a locale, at such a time of year, is a Good Idea, then perhaps it is.

:thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2014, 8:30 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
Jimi wrote:

Jim - is it your observation that I-15 pretty well defines the range boundary between the 2 taxa? I haven't made a study of it, nor simply asked around, but that is my haphazard sense of things.

Cheers,
Jimi


I'm not well-versed on Panamint range... the 5 or 6 I've seen were all in one range,(and my lifer(s)) in SB Co (looking for new rosy localities, actually) on the last day of a weekend MNP Regal Ringneck expedition. My purpose in attending is to learn more about Panamints, and help out finding specks.... point me in the right direction and I'll put in the work...but I ain't the guy to figure out where to look. :crazyeyes: :lol: :lol:
nothing better than herping & learning at the same time... :crazyeyes: :D jim


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2014, 5:17 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 7:09 am
Posts: 633
Location: Santa Cruz Co. California
Are there any details or links to the NV Speck Round-Up?


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2014, 10:21 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
Posts: 891
Location: Colorado
Jimi,
Hitting the sand prairies in late July is the way to go. Although you have to hide from the sun during the day, the road comes alive at night. It's actually the best way to survey that part of the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2014, 4:17 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Ah, thanks for clarifying the sand prairies timing thing. Sounds kind of hellish, but then again we get some weird looks telling people how we like to go to New Mexico or Arizona in July & August, right? Or, that we're drooling about walking around in the Nevada desert...

Lawrence - oh, we chatted it up some in this forum a few months ago. Haven't really figured out much in the way of details, except quite a few people are interested.

On a related topic - there's a spot a little south of Vegas that's apparently crawling with specks (2013 "pickle partiers" got to see a couple fattie DORs from there) that I thought we might want to hit as a "search image calibration run" beforehand. That is, 1) if folks would like that, and 2) the researchers out there wouldn't have heartburn about it. Folks who've expressed interest in this field trip range from speck old hands to speck newbies. The latter probably have no idea just how visually and behaviorally cryptic this taxon can be, which is why I thought the calibration run might be wise. (That, and if the "round-up" is nothing of the sort, people would still get to see some specks.)

Anyway, back to the target area - it's probably worth pointing out that, besides range clarification for stephensi/mitchellii, the area we're looking (Arrow Canyon Range) at is simply under-herped and also near the range margin of several other interesting squamates. And, it's really pretty. At least its western escarpment is, along US 93. I've never come at it from the east or north, but there is a pretty slotty-looking canyon (Arrow Canyon,~ 38d 44', 114d 47m) which you can see in Google Earth, that might make for a sweet campsite. Access up that canyon looks not too bad from SR168. You can read about the US93 access here http://www.summitpost.org/arrow-canyon-range/155269

The region got a ton of rain in late summer 2013 so the cheatgrass & gaiters commentary might ought to be heeded...that, or wear decently high boots.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 23rd, 2014, 6:17 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm
Posts: 1211
Here's a photo of a speck I found four years ago south of Las Vegas in Nevada:

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: January 24th, 2014, 9:28 am 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
here's one of the stephensi found SW of Vegas, in Ca.
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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: March 24th, 2014, 4:54 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
FYI still planning on the speck roundup. Been talking with some folks and the destination is a bit fluid. Too many opportunities, too many choices. It'll be somewhere to close to Vegas - just not sure which direction. Could still be Arrow Canyon Range, could be something a little west or south of there. I'll keep you posted.

Some "where's Waldo?" inspiration:

http://xavierglaudas.wordpress.com/pict ... ousel-1024
http://xavierglaudas.wordpress.com/pict ... ousel-1034

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: March 29th, 2014, 3:56 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
I have been, and still am planning on attending... :thumb: jim


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: March 31st, 2014, 8:59 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Excellent, very glad to hear it Jim. A couple of members in NV are out scouting options this week (including Arrow Canyon Range). We will soon have more info to share with everyone.

Thanks for your interest,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 10th, 2014, 3:37 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Hi guys,

Jason and Bob went out to scout Arrow Canyon Range for us, and discovered last summer's storms did quite a number on the back-country road system there. We can still access it from pavement, but there's no camping available without some pretty burly 4-wheeling.

So they also took a look at the adjacent Muddy Mountains, and found us a spot with camping and herping available at the same spot (and accessible via much better roads). We could also base-camp out of there and day-trip to ACR if we like - it's only about 15 miles of driving. The 2 mountain ranges are right next to each oher.

To get to the meeting site from I-15, take the Valley of Fire exit - the next offramp north of US93. The pavement (prime crepuscular cruising?) heads south from the freeway, then turns hard to the east. A good gravel road doesn't make that turn, it just keeps going south - that's our road. Meeting spot coordinates (down that road almost 5 miles) are:
36 deg, 23 mins, 50.80 sec N
114 deg, 41 mins, 46.9 sec W

The road to the meeting spot is fine but gets rougher (not to say heinous, just not sedan-worthy...) beyond that spot. However, folks may not want to camp at the meeting spot - going a little further south, where the terrain looks more herpy anyway, could be what folks want to do. We can shuttle you in if your car isn't up to the drive but you want to camp deeper in.

I will be leaving Kanab after lunch next Thursday, headed to the meeting spot. I'll go home Sunday afternoon. Right now the forecast down there is mid-high 70's DTHs. Pretty nice.

Cheers,
Jimi
801-231-6589


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 10th, 2014, 8:16 pm 
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Joined: June 18th, 2012, 7:05 pm
Posts: 389
Location: Utah
Just a heads up to anyone headed south down I-15 for this trip....there is supposedly a ton of construction and traffic delays through the Virgin River Gorge due to ADOT reconstructing bridges throughout the gorge. May want to add in some extra drive time. Remember to drive safe, that's a dangerous enough section of road as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 10th, 2014, 8:37 pm 

Joined: March 6th, 2012, 12:45 pm
Posts: 513
Location: utah
it was horrible when we were driving through on our vacation to California in March, Good luck everyone and Drive safe. Thanks for bringing that up Rye!


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 11th, 2014, 3:04 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Yeah thanks for that reminder Rye. I just got back from Cedar City - the electronic billboards down there were all lit up with delay warnings and suggestions to find another way.

So - if you're hell-bent on bombing down I-15 a ways (say, all the way to Cedar City, or to St George), a nice alternative is the old highway down the Beaver Dam slope. Avoid the gorge entirely. Which is what the freeway ought to have been made to do anyway...

Another option entirely is further west - run down US 93. When you finally hit I-15 near Vegas, head north to the very next off-ramp. There's a couple easy ways to get to 93 from Utah - out to Wendover and down to Ely, or via Delta, or from Cedar City.

If you like last-minute decisions, you can drive to Enterprise from Cedar City and flip a coin at the appropriate intersection - "left or straight?". I personally like US 93, if I wasn't coming from Kanab I might run it all the way down from Ely. I see so much of I-15 I can hardly stomach it.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 14th, 2014, 6:24 am 

Joined: August 12th, 2011, 10:36 am
Posts: 74
Location: St. George, Utah
There are long delays down the gorge if you hit it at a bad time, but the last few times I went through it just slows down to 35 mph for a about 1 mile and then everything was back to normal. It was only a few minutes delay. Just watch out for rush hour and you should be fine.

I will be arriving Friday morning and leaving Saturday night. My 6 year old son will be joining me. I think the Muddy mountains will be a fun place to explore, but I am hoping to spend at least a morning or afternoon searching further north as well to look for stephensi. Hopefully some others will want to join us.

Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 15th, 2014, 6:20 pm 

Joined: October 11th, 2012, 6:37 pm
Posts: 76
Location: Las Vegas, Nv
Not to pile on, but the Bundy ranch is just off of hwy 170, the I-15 exit just south of Mesquite. It looks like BLM has backed down for now to try to defuse the situation, but I heard the exit on I-15 was closed briefly over the weekend during a scuffle.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 17th, 2014, 7:44 am 

Joined: January 15th, 2014, 11:14 am
Posts: 2
Sorry for the late post... Better late than never!

I'd recommend anyone attending this event sign up as an NDOW volunteer (then you can have more opportunities picking up, handling, and vouchering/salvaging more critters). Additionally, time spent can be counted towards however you may use volunteer hours (e.g., resumes, CVs, community service [yikes!]). Finally, miles on your vehicle are also considered volunteer and may give you upwards of $0.46 per mile towards taxes... Consult with our volunteer coordinator for more info (see below) and/or your tax guru.

To register as a volunteer:
http://www.ndow.org/Education/Volunteer/Wildlife/ go to "Volunteer opportunities"
scroll down to "Herpetofauna Survey" (https://ec.volunteernow.com/recruiter/i ... s&oppGuid={1351ADDC-B787-4571-BC81-230AAABB885B})

if you need additional info contact:
Jason L. Jones
702-486-5127 ext. 3718
[email protected]

if you need help registering contact:
Tammie Frost
702-486-5127 ext. 3850
[email protected]


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 17th, 2014, 7:49 am 

Joined: January 15th, 2014, 11:14 am
Posts: 2
Also for your information:
Regulations on Nevada herps:

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nac/nac-503. ... C503Sec080

Hope we have a good turn out!


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 18th, 2014, 12:41 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
I should be at the meeting spot around dark, Fri... though I may work a Ca Range just south of Vegas (and possibly camp there) from east to west to see how far east Panamints go in that range, and if there are Southwestern there as well... I'll call when I get up that way... but here's my # as well (760) 792-3163 jim


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2014, 3:19 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:50 pm
Posts: 562
Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey
Anyone going to update the rest of us on if ANYTHING was found on the Panamint/Speck trip??


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 Post subject: Nv-2014 spexa-pallooza
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2014, 7:38 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:20 am
Posts: 527
... mebbe theyre all party'n down @ bundy- ... eerr i mean bunkersville ; }

... but yeah i'm thinkin mebbe a welfare check is in order ... Jimi code 20 ? ( ithink that was it :p )

.. & whhoohoo i've had yet another spex-tacular experience of my own ... spex-sex : } see jpg

& got some field notes on them for over 26 hrs .. 8-)

but ... im also delighted by a recent encounter w/a far west banded monster, damn-nearly a cali-monster (within ~ 25 mi of the border) likely as far west as they go in this one ray, unless you believe the borrego stories ...

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2014, 9:51 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
Posts: 634
Location: Utah
nice specks regalringneck! Envy. Care to share any more pics? Or the monster pics?

Hey Jimi and whoever else made it out on the speck trip lets see some pics of something. Hopefully you guys had some fun. I could not attend due to work last couple of weeks and just got word that our trip this weekend out to Great basin National Park to see Bryan Hamilton got cancelled due to severe weather. Snow predicted. Double bummer. Easter weekend he found around 20 lutosus. Seems I am just missing out on all the good trips.

We are diverting to St. George to salvage the wreckage of the glorious weekend we had planned in Nevada to at least find some sort of herp in Utah. Here is hoping your herping season is going a little smoother and more successful than mine so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2014, 10:40 pm 

Joined: March 6th, 2012, 12:45 pm
Posts: 513
Location: utah
Can't wait for school to get out in a week, then it's Herping time for me!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 5:27 am 
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Great meeting some of you guys last Saturday. Here are a few photos of the specks we found (3 total, 2 of which were potentially mating).

Image



Managed to snap this pic with my phone before they quickly slid under the rock

Image



Image



Image




Lots of cool petroglyphs too

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 9:58 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
Sorry guys, busy. Yes we had fun, lots of fun. That's a great spot, I'd go back in a heartbeat. Thanks Zach for posting some pics.

We did a couple days of field herping plus a couple nights cruising. Zach got started showing what happened on foot. Zach did you get any chuck shots?

All in all, cruising we got maybe a dozen long-nose, a couple night snakes, 2 more specks (pics of 1 I need to upload and send to Bob & post here...), 3-4 winders, 3 leaf-nose, a gopher, 2 DOR Salvadora, and an escapee (mine...) that I suspect was a Sonora. Oh, and we must have got 50 geckoes. And 2 toads, too. I may be overlooking a couple animals...we were in 2-4 vehicles per night.

At peak count we had 10 people walking the washes and rocks. Not the easiest or most productive herping, but not bad either. Not bad at all - a-foot or a-cruise.

It was interesting to me, what we did not see as much as what we did see. No collareds, no leopards, no torts, no glossies, no kings, no whipsnakes or coachwhips. Very few scelops.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 12:29 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Posts: 8025
Location: Hesperia, California.
While I didn't do all that great, herping-wise, it was great meeting everybody... Zack... never realized you were (the) Zack Cava... or I'd have been (if actually possible) more talkative... mostly about all the great posts you've made... :crazyeyes: :beer:

I actually DID get a lifer... and saw LOTS of them... :lol: :lol: :lol:
Image
Saw plenty of Whips... and some specktacular scenery... :)
Image
Only the second time I've seen Red Spotted toads...so that was cool...
Image
And saw a Chuck or two...
Image
Finally got a shot of a Desert Swallowtail...(they're usually hauling butt, and rarely alight...caught this one getting a drink)
Image
My 'solo' side trip to a Ca range for Panamint was aborted by (yet another) tire blowing out (of course, right when the time was right and I was at the spot... :roll: ) and I decided NOT to keep driving out in the middle of nowhere, with no spare... so said screw it and headed home... made it to Barstow before I had to (again) sleep in the cab of my truck... :( Saw a nice GB gopher the next morning... but haven't uploaded a pic yet.
My main goal was to (finally) meet some RM chap. members, who've I've been talking to online for years, so despite my lackluster production, (as my speck 'drought' continues... :? ) I consider it a worthwhile trip, and look forward to more multi-chapter efforts... :thumb: jim
I will say though...there's 'no place like home'... specially when it's 'going OFF"... along with the dozens of herps I've seen since getting home (most without even trying...in my driveway, etc :shock: ) I flipped this guy yesterday afternoon...
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 1:05 pm 

Joined: August 12th, 2011, 10:36 am
Posts: 74
Location: St. George, Utah
Thanks for sharing the pics everyone. I'm glad at least a few people got to see some specks. I don't have any more pics from the trip to share, but maybe I will make another post of some of the herps I have seen this season. Despite striking out on the main targets, it was still fun to see nearly 15 chucks on the first day out there. The Muddy mtns have some really spectacular scenery. It was nice meeting many of you, sorry I bailed a little early and didn''t meet the rest of you that participated.

Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 2:50 pm 
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Posts: 241
I should have mentioned that I was only out during the day on Saturday, and it sounds like I missed out on the road cruising! Long-nose and leaf-nose?! I haven't seen either yet! Jimi, would you mind sending me info on the roads you surveyed? I'd like to get back out there. Nope, didn't get any photos of the chuckwallas.

Jim, no worries, glad you've enjoyed the posts. Looking forward to hitting the field again with you guys sometime soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 3:54 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
May as well share all here. Let people see what opportunities they passed up. A little background is in order:

Jason Jones (current NDOW herpetologist) called ahead to Valley of Fire State Park and gave them a heads-up we were coming through. So we cruised through the state park on our way in & out - obeying all traffic and other laws & rules of course. Jason also signed up a bunch of us as NDOW volunteers-for-life, so if we observed (or do so in future...) a NV Gila Monster outside any parks or other closed areas, we could & still can grab it for him to take back to the NDOW veterinarian and implant a radio.

Bob McKeever (retired NPS law enforcement) brought volunteer-for-a-day forms from Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and signed up a bunch of us for that too. So we cruised the National Park as our main destination - obeying all traffic and other laws & rules of course. Specifically we cruised from mile marker 40 to mm 12 - the first night 2 vehicles just running the whole thing, the second night 4 vehicles each taking a 7-mile section. I think everyone liked the latter approach more - it enabled more passes apiece, and less "dead time" between passes at any given spot.

We also cruised the paved road leading from the freeway out to the parks - just in and out, like VOF.

So anyway, yeah we got long- and leaf-nose. Of the ~12 rhinos all but maybe 2 were AOR. Phyllos (~3?) were all AOR. I believe all the Phyllos were in LMNRA. There are about 3 habitat zones there (by elevation) - Bob can tell you a lot more about where they are prevalent (he's been cruising there for years). The rhinos were everywhere, all elevations, all habitats. I think all the rhinos were adults around 20-24". I know 2 of the 3 phyllos were last year's young. The third I believe was an adult.

Cruising temps the second night were 79-72 F, depending on time and elevation. The moon was huge but was also rising late - around midnight. Between about 8 PM and moonrise it was plenty dark out.

LMNRA yielded the most animals & most diversity, due to the most effort I think. VOFSP is mostly sandy and yielded a pretty good body count but in a lesser diversity. The non-park road we hit early (still light, pavement surely quite hot, air ~85?) and late (midnight, and ~70F air temp). On the way out, late & cool, was when I got my AOR speck and my 2nd & last rhino of the night (both high up, pretty near VOF; first was in VOF also on my way out). Not sure what else the other 3 cars saw in VOF or after. That non-parky stretch is good road, and it runs through quite an elevation & habitat gradient between the freeway and the VOF entrance. Pullouts aren't great and it has some sketchy blind curves though - be careful there!

So - anyone out there, next time don't miss it! Jason and Bob seemed pretty stoked to get the extra survey effort expended. I think they would like to do it again/more. And Jason cruises Red Rocks, behind a locked gate after dark, quite a bit too and I think would like some company/extra survey effort. I think.

Anything else I can add? Bob has the detailed data - specific times, locations, etc. He's got it pretty formalized, it's part of a long-term study he's got around the west's warm deserts.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 4:01 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1655
I should have added, virtually all the rhinos were the no-red "clarus" phase. I have never before seen so many of those in 1 place. The ones with any red at all, were very reduced-red. Whereas on my first night in the area I cruised north up US 93 to the west of the freeway (bad idea, WAY busy) and got a single snake, an AOR rhino. Looked like a milksnake, very tricolor. Also salvaged a DOR subadult gopher right in Moapa town, on Hwy 168. That road was way quieter that 93 - I'd go back there too.

cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 24th, 2014, 4:24 pm 
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Thanks for all the info Jimi. So would the road be open after dark normally, or did Jason have to ask the park to open it for you guys?


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 25th, 2014, 3:52 pm 
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Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey
Cool - that's great stuff. I'm not on this chapter's page too much that's why I missed the date for this as I surely wanted to be there. I love herping in Nevada as much as I can. I've been on that stretch of the 168 also and pulled over for a juvie gopher in the opposite lane but unfortunately caused the car following me to pass in that lane and run over the snake. I will be herping up there 6/1-6/4 and meeting up with Bob Ferguson (Brick911 of NE Chapter fame) during that time. I am going to try some new areas as I usually do northwest areas of Vegas and Laughlin area locations. Hopefully we can turn up something cool like another stephensi or something.

Marc


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming 2014 Field Trips
PostPosted: April 26th, 2014, 9:36 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
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Zach - it's a through-road, part of the regional transportation network (not just a dead-end access road) so I assume the park can't shut it down for trivial administrative reasons like "there's no staff in the entrance booth". There are no gates that can be shut. Anyone can drive through. What Jason did for us, is give park managers an advance heads-up that there'd be some guys driving strangely, and that they were NDOW volunteers doing wildlife surveys. Which would have been nice if any of us had been pulled over and questioned. Which we weren't - but that might have been because of the heads-up. I suggest checking back with Jason about exactly what you can and cannot do as an NDOW volunteer. (Do I recall correctly that you filled out that paperwork?)

Marc - glad you stumbled in, sorry it was too late to come play with us. Your inadvertent facilitation in making another DOR is something I'm sure we've all faced. I've had some good AOR finds killed exactly that way. Major Bummer. Nowadays if it's in the other lane I'll just drive on for a ways, not even touch my brakes until I think the following car has passed the animal. If it gets off the road alive, before I can make it back - so be it.

Bob/Brick911 seems like a great guy and an excellent president, we've communicated a bit and I really enjoy his posts. I recall his annual work trips to Vegas. You two ought to say hi to Jason, maybe he could turn you on to a cool experience or some good info while Bob is here. Just a thought, you never know. Also, Bob McKeever of this chapter could probably point you to some good speck/stephensi locations, related to a project he's working on to try & figure out possible contact zones as well as their actual range margins in NV. For that, he needs high-quality photos of face and tail (where the crucial morphological characters are). You might PM him too, and see what he's got going on. Maybe you guys could help fill in a hole or two in his range maps? I believe he has some "rumors" or "reports" he's working through - places that need to be hunted & verified or disproven.

Finally, anyone reading - I realize I'm pushing the terms-of-service envelope regarding disclosure of exact locations. Nevada has reasonable personal-use harvest regs, and southern NV has about 5 decent paved roads for cruising (none of them "secret"). Most of the locations discussed here (state or national parks) have no-take regs and some enforcement staff available to nail violators. Finally, all taxa discussed here are widespread, abundant, and secure. I'd rather the "exact locations thing" be a matter of individual discretion than a blanket rule, whether a written rule or a cultural norm. I welcome any discussion on the topic. As an elected officer of the chapter, I feel an obligation to uphold standards of conduct, but/and also to exercise a little leadership, particularly if there are standard(s) which may be at odds with the purpose and mission of the organization. Vote me out next go-round, or fire me right now, if you think this is a serious error in judgement and behavior.

Cheers,
Jimi


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