Mother Nature is the artist. I just collect the memories…

Posts tagged “Great Basin Fence Lizard

A Beautiful Morning

My daughter has been begging me for a dog…specifically a Chihuahua, for the last 6 years and change. Me…I don’t like Chihuahuas.  Yippy, snappy, barky, bitey, toe-biting rat dogs…I always said we would get a dog “someday”, but stressed that we would not get a Chihuahua.  I’m such a sucker…

Yup…my daughter walking her 4-month old Chihuahua, Fleur…

This is them. 2 peas in a pod in only 3 days…

I went and hung out with this puppy for about an hour before I ever told Zayne anything about her.  She is actually a very well-behaved puppy, and very easy to train.

Anyhow…on our little walk around the desert this morning, I took a few pics of the local Autumn wildlife…

Great Basin Fence Lizard

Common Sideblotch

All in all, it’s a beautiful morning.  And yes…I know my kid is wearing 2 different shoes…

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 


What a Day!

So…I picked my son up at the airport on Sunday.  I haven’t seen him since he was 2 years old, and he has no conscious memory of me at all.  He’s a 21-year-old Army combat veteran, now.  We had a 4 hour drive from the airport to the house, and we spent 99% of it talking, laughing, and getting to know each other.  It really surprises me how much we have in common, both in terms of things we enjoy, and our personalities…the way we think.  We share similar opinions on many subjects, and enjoy many of the same hobbies and activities. 

It’s really been a nice couple of days.  We went for a walk around the Buttermilk area, looking for snake and lizards, and taking pictures yesterday afternoon…

My son, Kevin, looking for snakes and lizards, camera 'round his neck

 We did manage to find a few lizards, but no snakes…

Great Basin Fence Lizard--Sceloporus occidentalis longipes

And a B&W panorama of some of my favorite mountains…

2 shot pano--Paiute Crag to Mt. Humphries

 Last night, Kevin and I went road cruising for snakes for a little bit.  We didn’t see any snakes, but we did find a Great Basin Spadefoot toad, which is always a welcome and rare treat in Inyo County…

Great Basin Spadefoot--Spea intermontana

It’s been fantastic so far!  We are going to pick up Zayne either tonight or tomorrow.  These two haven’t met, yet, so I’m pretty excited to get them both together…

Thanks for looking!


Endangered Toads

The California Black Toad(Bufo exsul) exists only in a tiny chain of natural springs in Eastern California.  They are endemic to this area, and as a founding member of the Eastern Sierra Herpetology Club, it is a privilege to be able to work with the California Department of Fish and Game to protect and maintain the habitat for these animals.  Yesterday, we took a trip up there to check on the toads, and see how the breeding season was coming along…

Adults in amplex amid egg strings

Adult pair in amplex(mating)

We observed 4 or 5 pairs of adult toads in amplex, which means the male has mounted the female and breeding has begun, and we also heard several “release” calls, which is a signal that mating has finished and the male is releasing the female.  We also saw millions developing egg strings, and even a few tadpoles…

Egg Strings. Each tiny, black dot is a developing tadpole. The empty areas are from recently hatched tadpoles...

2 tiny tadpoles, likely only a day or two old...

After visiting the breeding habitat, we followed the spring system to a location known to be home to several toads to see how they were progressing.  We were pleasantly surprised to see a countless number of juvenile toads, likely hatched last year, hopping and swimming around, seemingly everywhere we looked.  To say there were thousands would be an understatement…

Juvie Black Toad

Juvie Black Toad

It was a real treat to see so many breeding adults peacefully using the breeding habitat that we, as a club, helped to restore and protect.  It was also a real treat to see that the implementation of a seasonal road closure, also initiated by the Eastern Sierra Herpetology Club, led to such a successful amount of breeding last season.  We were all smiles and giggles over our short-term successes.  Now we can begin long-term documentation and maintenance and hopefully watch this endangered, endemic population of toads thrive in their only native habitat.

Obviously, while out on these trips, we see other reptilian wildlife and even a few insects.  So here are a couple of “bonus shots” from the day…

No idea...any guesses on species out there?

Great Basin Fence Lizard--Sceloporus occidentalis longipes

Common Sideblotch--Uta stansburiana

Northern Desert Horned Lizard--Phrynosoma platyrhinos platyrhinos

I did find a very pretty and extremely healthy Mojave Patchnose snake(Salvadora hexalepis mojavensis) on the way up to the habitat, but I didn’t get a picture of it.  I got to share it with my friend Rusty who had never seen one before, though, so that’s good enough for me…

Thanks for coming along!