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

Posts tagged “rattlesnake

Mojave Desert Sidewinder

I like Sidewinders.  They are a fairly small rattlesnake, with males topping out around 2-2 1/2 feet in length, and females reaching a massive 3 feet, but what they lack in body size, they typically make up for in attitude and venom production.  This little girl was fast asleep in the middle of the road.  She’s lucky my daughter and I found her first…

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Birds and a Panamint

Yup…more birds, and a BEAUTIFUL Panamint I found with my daughter…

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That little Panamint was awesome.  He was being harassed by a Raven that was evidently trying to keep him in the road to be run over.  Lucky for the snake, not so much for the Raven, we were the first car to come along, so I scared off the raven, grabbed my snake hook, and moved the little guy out of the road.

Thanks for looking!


The Buttermilks and Mono Lake

The last few days have been busy.  Zayne has been with her mother, so Kevin and I spent a bunch of time wandering around the desert, taking photos, looking for snakes and lizards, and just hanging out.  This really has been one of the most incredible weeks of my life.  We are already planning for him to come visit in August, sometime around my birthday, at least for a day or two.  It’s hard to believe I only met him 7 days ago, and here I sit, missing him, only 9 hours after dropping him at the airport.  I guess that’s life.  Anyhow…on with the photos..

Turkey Vulture

 There was a ton of Turkey Vultures flying around.  This one got fairly brave and flew right down near us, searching the boulders for food.  We also found a bunch of lizards and even a couple Panamints…
 
 

Panamint Rattler–Crotalus stephensi
Panamint Rattler–Crotalus stephensi

It was quite a lovely day…

Kevin trying to get the shot
Little Peak
Buttermilk Ridgeline

Kevin’s flight back home was this afternoon, so we left the house around 5am, and headed up to Mono Lake, to get some early morning shots before he had to go.  It was another spectacular day…

Mono Lake Tufa

Looking for a shot
South Tufa Portrait

This has been one of the most incredible weeks of my life.  I’m really glad I took a chance and reached out to my son.  I’m even more thrilled that he responded positively.  I think we have a good thing to build on here…

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Beautiful Buzztails

I went out to my friend’s house today to look at his albino rattlesnake collection.  What a spectacular treat.  Some of these are incredibly rare…

Northern Mojave het. albino--Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus

Albino Northern Mojave--Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus

The albino Northern Mojave, above, is 1 of only 6 in existence, including the original wild-caught female.  The original albino animal was caught near Ridgecrest, CA in 2001, as a sub-adult.  The above animal is one of 5 albino F2 offspring from that female produced in captivity. 

Albino Prairie--Crotalus viridis viridis

Western Diamondback--Crotalus atrox

There are several different types of albino in Western Diamondbacks–

Amelanistic--"regular" albino

"Bubblegum" Albino

"Caramel" Albino

There is also a hyper-melanistic morph–

Black Diamondback

And as is par for the course in the world of reptile breeding, they have started to combine these traits-

Caramel + Black

Above is a combination of the Caramel albino gene and the Black gene.  These are incredibly rare at this point, I’m told…

Oh…I also managed to get a shot or two of an ACTUAL Panmint Alligator Lizard.  A little while back I mis-identified an Alligator Lizard as a panamintina but I was wrong.  As luck would have it, a friend of mine caught an actual panamintina and invited me over to get a shot, since I’m likely to never have the chance again-

Panamint Alligator Lizard--Elgaria panamintina

And here it is curled next to a Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata)-

panamintina on the left; multicarinata on the right

ASll in all it was a really fun afternoon.  Thanks for taking the time to look!!


More Flowers…and Snakes…

Yup…it’s that time of year.  The time we photographers live for.  The time of year when everywhere you look there is something worth shooting…

Cultivated Honeysuckle

Cultivated Columbine

Cultivated and monsterous flower of some sort...

Sub-adult Panamint Rattlesnake

Thanks for taking the time to look!


Panamint Alley

Took  a cruise with John to Old Faithful last night.  We thought it was about time to play with a rattlesnake, so we went to one of my favorite Panamint cruising roads.  As luck would have it, we found 3 juvenile Panamint Rattlesnakes (Crotalus stephensi)!

Over the last few years, this road has been quite predictable and consistent in it’s Panamint offerings.  I think I’m gonna continue cruising here, because frankly…I love me some Panamints!

Thanks for looking!


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!!


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!