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

Posts tagged “snakes

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.

Goldfinch

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!!

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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!


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!


What a GORGEOUS Day!!

Ahh…it felt like Spring.  Hell, it almost felt like summer!  Woke up to a gorgeous sunrise, and had my first cup of coffee on the front porch listening to the sparrows as the sun crept up over the hills…

Sparrow at Sunrise

I got home from work and the Sphinx moths were back out, only this time they were after the freshly blossomed lilacs…

I had to go down to Big Pine to water some animals for a friend who is out of town.  For giggles, I cruised up one of my favorite roads to see if by chance the snakes were awake, and wouldn’t you know it…

Panamint Rattlesnake--Crotalus stephensi

This little juvenile Panamint was very cool, chilling in the road on the way back down.  So it’s official.  First snake of the year means spring is officially here!  I don’t care the weather thinks…

Thanks for looking!


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!


Wounded Coachwhip

I got a call about 2 weeks ago.  A friend of mine caught a Red Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum piceus) in his backyard, and wanted to know if I could help it.  It had a small, but fairly deep skin injury.  Kind of looked like he got stuck on a thorn, and it ripped him open, and pushed the skin up underneath itself.  So I brought this thing home to see if I could help.  He ate a live hopper mouse straight away, so the first hurdle was past…getting him to eat.

I pulled the flapper out using tweezers, and tried to let it heal back down in place, but it didn’t work.  After 3 days, it was dry, and curling back underneath, so I moistened it with some betadine, straightened out the flapper, and cut it off. 

This morning, he ate a frozen and then thawed hopper mouse, which is a fantastic sign of recuperation and adapting to captivity, and the wound is showing signs of healing.

You can see the wound site there below the markings on his neck...

Closeup of the wound

You can see in the closeup that the remaining healthy skin has started to heal and form scarring where it has re-attached to the underlying flesh.  You can also see signs of scale definition beginning to re-develope in the flesh, itself.  Luckily, it wasn’t an injury that was deep enough to cause muscle damage, and while it will be a decent scar…he should have a complete recovery, and make a fantastic addition to the collection.  It is, afterall, illegal to release them from captivity once they have been captured…

Thanks for taking the time to look!