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

Posts tagged “Lampropeltis getula californiae

Cruising for Snakes

I went out last night for a short snake cruise, hoping to scare up some Sidewinders and Panamints, but alas, the rattlers didn’t want to come out and play with me.  I did find a couple of other snakes, though…

California Kingsnake--Lampropeltis getula californiae

This king was absolutely gorgeous!  He was about 4-4 1/2 feet in length, very healthy and crisply colored with jet black and pure white bands.  This is a true “Desert Phase” California Kingsnake.  Quintessential in color, size, and attitude, but he did settle down and stop trying to bite for long enough to get a few pictures…

Further down the road I found this guy…

Great Basin Gophersnake--Pituophis catenifer deserticola

I have found and played with a ton of Great Basin Gophersnakes over the years.  This species is always fun to find, because you never know what kind of attitude they are going to have.  Some are incredibly calm, content to be picked up, held, and moved out of the road, and others…well…not so much.  This was one of the most defensive Gophersnakes I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering.  He was medium size, about 3 1/2 feet in length, but he was absolutely FULL of piss and hatred for me.  He was easily one of the loudest hissers I’ve ever encountered, and he struck at me more times than I could possibly count.  Not little strikes…2/3 body length, almost aerial, lunges towards me, the flashlight, the camera…anything that moved in front of him.  Of course, he was determined to convince me that he was gonna kill me, but that’s what I like to see.  If a snake is that angry at me, it means he will treat every other human he encounters the same way.  When this dude reaches 6 feet or more in length, he will be one helluva snake to deal with.  Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to meet him at that point.  Think he’ll remember me? 😉

Here’s another shot of the same Gophersnake.  Notice the similarity of pose and attitude?  He didn’t stop for a second…

Even after picking him up, moving him across the road in his intended direction of travel, and calmly setting him down inches from the cover of sagebrush, he had his sights on me.  What a great little snake!

Thanks for taking the time to look!

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Reptiles and Flowers

Went for a short walk in the desert behind my house, and found a few cool flowers and a neat little lizard…

Some pretty purple flowers. Anyone know?

No idea what these are. They look like octopus tentacles, to me...

 

Common Sideblotch--Uta stansburiana

California Kingsnake--Lampropeltis getula californiae

The Cali king was just a little thing.  We found him crawling out into the road on the way home from picking up my daughter. 

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Cruising for a Lifer

Well…cruising season has definitely slowed down, as it always does this time of year.  With night time temperatures rarely dipping below 80*F, the snajkes simply do not need the warmer blacktop surface to thermoregulate, so we see fewer of them.  It’s ironic, really…as the weather gets warmer and more snakes become even more active…we actualy see fewer because they don’t come to the roads for warmth.  Ah well…C’est la vie…

There are still a gfew higher elevation areas withtemperatures that are much lower, and still provide opportunities to cruise up snakes.  So with this in mind, my friend John and I decided to hit a mountain pass in Mono County last night, in search of a snake I have never seen in the wild before…and neither has John..

But…the East Side being what it is…we had taken some wonderful photographs that made the night worthwhile, long before we ever found a single snake…

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

Rainbow Sunset

Rainbow Sunset

Alpenglow Sunset

Alpenglow Sunset

We have lived in the Eastern Sierra for long enough to know that a cloudy day that clears towards evening will almost always providwe a wonderful sunset.  And sure enough, as the sun went down behind the Sierra Nevada Mountains to our west…the White Mountains to our east created a wonderful display of light and color to photograph…

Further on down the road and much later in the evening…

Great Basin Rattlesnake

Great Basin Rattlesnake

The Eastern Sierra is the western border for the Great Basin of the United States.  In my area, we find the Great Basin Gophersnake, Great Basin Collared Lizard, and the Great Basin Rattlesnake.  Of these, the most stunningly beautiful is the Great Basin Rattlesnake…Crotalus oreganus lutosus.  And up until last night…I had never seen on in the wild…

Claifornia King

Claifornia King

Having found my lifer, and satisfied with the night, we headed home.  Of course…for a couple of road cruising addicts like John and myself…”heading home” involves a long, slow drive down the OTHER back roads…just to see if we can find anything.  Sure enough, this adult California Kingsnake popped up his head to say hello.  He bit me too…bastard…;).

That’s it for the road cruise. Earlier in the day, John and I went for a walk in the desert, looking for snakes and lizards.  We found a bunch of lizards…no snakes…

Northern Sagebrush Lizard

Northern Sagebrush Lizard

Northern Sagebrush Lizard

Northern Sagebrush Lizard

Common Sideblotch

Common Sideblotch

Common Sideblotch

Common Sideblotch

Thanks for taking the time to look!