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

Posts tagged “reptiles

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!

Wild Iris

Well, flowers are starting to bloom, and spring is trying to be here, but for some reason, this cold wind just doesn’t seem to want to release its grip on the valley.  So rather than battle the wind and shoot fast shutter speeds, or wait for the wind (and the Iris) to die, I decided to just go with it…

Wild Iris

 There was a couple of other photographers out shooting, but the color never popped, and the wind was incessant.    Rather than battle the conditions, I went with it, stopped down to f/22, and even dropped a 3stop ND filter on to slow it down and really exaggerate the blur.  I think it came out fairly neat!

The Victoria and Wild Rose are blooming in the front yard, too…



Wild Rose

And this is the closest I have ever gotten to a good shot of a Whiptail lizard…

Great Basin Whiptail--Aspidocelis tigris tigris

 One of these days, spring will actually get here and stay for a little while…

Thanks for looking!

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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Walking Around Out Back

Went for a walk through the desert out behind the house this afternoon.  No snakes, but bunches of lizards and birds…

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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!

Walk in the Desert

Well…I went in to town today to try and find some local characters to interview and photograph.  I didn’t find the folks I was looking for, but I ran into a good friend of mine, and we decided to go for a quick walk in the desert to see what was moving.  So we hopped in my car, head to the Volcanic Tablelands, and started hunting around the rocks…

Western Sagebrush Lizard


Barred Spiny Lizard


Great Basin Collared Lizard


Great Basin Collared Lizard

Not a bad day for a quick trip.  The sun was out, the wind was relatively calm, and there were some really nice lizards that decided to come out and play.  It does a body good!

Thanks for coming along!

Backyard Bird Watching

Backyard bird watching.  It’s almost cliché.  People are hustlin’ and bustlin’ around this great big world of ours, and not leaving anytime to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  Money is tight, job security is low, taxes and inflation continue growing…  It seems the only thing we have any ability to control anymore is how we respond to the rapidly changing stimuli.

That’s why I LOVE my backyard.  Let me explain…  I live in the High Desert.  My house is situated at about 5,000′, right on the feet of the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California.  I can look out my living room window and I have an unobstructed view for close to 10 miles, all the way up the western slope of the White Mountain peaks, which is the western most border of Nevada.  Now…there is a major highway running through there, and a multitude of high-power, high-tension lines zig-zagging back and forth.  Views are spectacular, but these ugly lines are very destructive to landscape compositions.  But the wildlife is incredible…

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It’s amazing how curative a backyard like mine can be.  I’m gonna tell you guys a little secret…I lost my job last week.  Yea, right in the middle of my visit with my son, I found out that I was no longer employed.  But it’s OK.  I had an incredible week visiting with my son, and my emotional well-being has never been more positive.  Even being unemployed and quickly running out of money, I can’t help but smile.  I walk out back, and it just happens.  Something will come through.  I have a lot of experience in a lot of fields.  I’ve done everything from flippin’ burgers and pouring drinks to antique restorations and hotel management.  I also found out about some pretty cool job openings in my area, including backcountry habitat recovery and wildlife rehabilitation, and not only would I LOVE to have either of those jobs…I’m fairly well qualified for both.  So something will come through.  Just gotta ride this wave for a few days…

Thanks for taking the time to stop and look!