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

Posts tagged “Pituophis catenifer deserticola

Been A While…

Wow.  It’s been quite some time.  A lot has happened.  Initially, I was unemployed for a little bit, and anyone that has ever been there knows that priorities change.  The internet had to go.  Time was spent looking for a job, pounding the pavement, rather than walking the streets looking for photographs waiting to be taken.  Money got tight, gas prices rose, and activity in my life ran down to a minimum.

But I’m back.  I’m working, making money, and putting my camera back in hand, and priorities back in line.  So by way of a re-introduction, here’s just a few random shots that have helped pass the time…

Zayne and Great Basin Gophersnake

Spike and Andee

My son and his girlfriend hunting for petroglyphs in the Volcanic Tablelands.


Zayne enjoying Hot Ditch. Natural reflection from the water cured backlight shadows nicely.

Random front yard flower

1982 Shovelhead Custom Rigid. She will be mine. VERY soon…

So…yea…just a few shots to say, I’m back.  And things are getting better.  Thanks for stopping by!!


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!

Great Basin Gophersnakes

Found 5 or 6 Great Basin Gophersnake hatchlings this evening between sunset and moonrise.  All of them were very young, probably only a few days to a couple weeks old, and all were out warming themselves on the pavement for what could very well be their first meal…

Anyhow, I got some decent pictures of a couple of them, so here they are!

Time for your closeup!

Heading for the bushes...

My favorite shot of the night...

Anyhow…it was a really nice night.  I took a new Eastern Sierra Herpetology Club member out for his first roadcruise, and we were lucky enough to find several hatchlings.  Not bad, if you ask me. 

Thanks for taking the time to look!

Sunset with a Long Lens

So…I went out just before sunset last night, with the goal of finding and photographing some snakes.  No such luck.  I did run into a fantastic sunset.  Only trouble is…I didn’t have a wide lens, any filters, remote release, or tripod.  C’est la vie…you work with what you got.

So I took some unfiltered, handheld shots at 105mm and this is what I got…

Northern Inyo County

Southern Sierra Sunset

Sometimes you just gotta make do with what you got.  Thanks for looking!

Great Basin Gophersnake

Found an absolutely outstanding specimen of gophersnake last night.  At about 4 foot long, this guy was fairly calm and posed very nicely for me in a pile of rocks.  Outstanding coloration, and just a gorgeous snake in general–

Great Basin Gophersnake--Pituophis catenifer deserticola

I love these snakes.  You never know what kind of attitude you are going to get with them.  Some are large, angry, and ready to bite, and others, like this one, are quite gentle and content to pose.  Whatever you get, it will be a wonderfully adapted desert species, and a natural beauty.

Thanks for looking!

Another Shot From The Dunes…

Somehow, I forgot to upload and share this shot yesterday along with the other Eureka Sand Dunes photos…

Golden Sunrise

 Oh!!  Some may have noticed that I changed my Gravatar picture…or whatever you call it.  Thanks to my good friend and fellow photographer John Atwood for granting me permission to use his photo of me!

Copyright 2010 John Atwood

Quest for Falls…

Anyone that has visited the Eastern Sierra knows that we have a lot of streams.  Big mountains, with steep slopes, and high average snowfall combine to produce an amazing array of rivers, creeks, streams and lakes.  Most of these bodies of water eventually find a way to empty their contents into the desert floor.  What the LADWP doesn’t siphon off and irrigate away as drinking water, settles in as groundwater beneath the sand and sagebrush of the desert.  We won’t talk about the fact that it wasn’t a desert before the LADWP…that will be another post…


One of my hobbies is finding waterfalls.  I like to photograph them, and I like to sit by them, have a cigarette, and just relax.  They are magical in their presence… Aural bliss from their falling molecules of Hydrogen and Oxygen.  Visual perfection in their flexability and splendor.  Glorious in their sustenance.  But I digress…

Went for a walk up around Pine Creek yesterday.  I know of many beautiful runs and riffles on Pine Creek…it’s one of my favorite fishing creeks in the entire Eastern Sierra.  But there aren’t any fish there, so don’t bother…

Found this guy chillin’ in my path to the creek’s edge…



This was a feisty son of a bitch.  Sure…he’s one of the prettiest deserticola I’ve ever encountered…but the bastard tried to bite me at least a dozen times in the span of 5 minutes.  I like ’em like that though.  Let’s me know they got some fight in ’em.  The bastards will be just fine. 

I had to hang onto him for a couple minutes because I was with Rose and Annette, and I’m not sure Rose has had a positive experience with a wild snake before, and I wanted her to see this guy.  Anyhow…on to the water…

It was pretty blown out…hazy, mid-day sun with little saturation and WAY to stark in the shadows.  So We went up above the road, and just listened.  Sure enough, within a few minutes of walking quietly…

Hidden Falls

Hidden Falls

Jumbled Falls

Jumbled Falls

Little Falls

Little Falls

These were all in one small area, and there were many, many other little falls and cascades scattered about.  They were on the main creek and on small feeder streams coming into the creek on both sides.  Most of them ended in beautiful little runs and cascades, and there were a few little plunge pools.

I’m going back up there.  Better lighting would make this place spectacular.  Expect an update on this spot…soon…

As always, Thanks for taking the time!

Old Shots Re-visited

I got a new monitor.  YAY for ME!!  It is WAY better than the old piece of shit I was using.  Since getting it, I have been able to properly calibrate it, so that I can actually view my images the way everyone else sees them!

See…up until now…when I’ve been processing photos, I have been acutely aware of my monitor’s shortcomings, and “guessing” where the photos needed to be to ook right to other people.  Well…them days are over!

I remembered taking a bunch of photos that I never processed because I simply couldn’t get them to look good on the old monitor.  SO I have re-visited some of these images, and managed to properly process them.  So here they are!

Great Basin Gophersnake

Great Basin Gophersnake

Great Basin Gophersnake

Great Basin Gophersnake

Panamint Rattlesnake

Panamint Rattlesnake

Desert Nightsnake

Desert Nightsnake

And a closeup shot of a REALLY creepy Dobson Fly I took last night:

Creepy, creepy face.  Must be an alien...

Creepy, creepy face. Must be an alien...

Thanks for taking the time to look!!