Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

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NatureStills
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Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 21st, 2012, 5:26 pm

Hey Everybody!

I haven’t posted here in a while but I thought I would share a little from 2011 which turned out to be a fantastic year for me. Almost all my trips were into Mexico this year (I have become very fond of this country as of late) so hopefully some of the animals and scenery will not be the same daily hash for you guys. Some of you may notice a similarity in photos to Rob Schell’s posts…we had shot many of the animals from the trips we shared, together, and thusly they ended up looking rather…mismo. All these photos and more can be found on my website, http://naturestills.com as well and with better resolution, color, and exposure (I don't know why some of these photos look dark on this post). Please give it a look and provide some feedback if you would be so kind :thumb:


2011 began with a short trip into the Sierra del Aguaje near San Carlos, Sonora MX. We ventured into Nacapule canyon to be greeted with a gang of Coatis with a particularly placid individual:
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We then stumbled across a Madrean Alligator Lizard and a Sierra del Aguaje Leopard Frog (Lithobates sp. aguaje = Rana sp. aguaje)
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A typical Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor), but it struck a nice, heroic pose for me
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And then here are some random photos from the trip:

Entrance to Nacapule
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Sunset over Isla Tiburon
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Ghost crab (Ocypode Occidentalis)
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That was more of a kick-back, enjoy some Mexico sun trip, but it did yield some nice shots


The next trip was into Box Canyon, CA after arriving for a new job and we were graciously awarded its most rarely seen, and sought-after resident…the might Rosy Boa:
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Shortly thereafter, Rob and I traveled into the depths of Baja and floated out to some of its beautiful islands. I will provide a link his post of the trip as there is no need to reinvent the wheel here, and he did a spectacular job of recalling events and creating a real page-turner.

Here are some of the highlights from that trip:

Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus)
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Baja California Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata saslowi)
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Isla Santa Catalina Rattlesnake (Crotalus catalinensis) – Vibora sorba (Deaf Snake) in Mexico
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Isla Santa Catalina Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus bugastrolepis)
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Isla Santa Catalina Side-blotched Lizard (Uta squamata)
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Isla Santa Catalina Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus catalinensis)
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Peninsular Chuckwalla (Sauromalus australis)
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Isla Angel de la Guarda Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus insularis)
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Baja California Coachwhip (Coluber fuliginosus)
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Arroyo Toad (Anaxyrus californicus = Bufo californicus)
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Baja California Treefrog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca hypochondriaca = Pseudacris regilla)
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Smeringurus grandis
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Isla Angel de la Guarda
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Isla Santa Catalina
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What a fantastic trip that was! Definitely got me hankerin’ for more of those desert islands, which I have already begun visiting this year.


My next trip was out to the Panamint Valley which was also a fortunate trip as we found an absolutely jaw-dropping Pit:
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I’m not much of a Pit man myself, but this guy was quite the looker!
We also stumbled upon one of my favs…

Nevada Shovel-nosed Snake (Chionactis occipitalis talpina)
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A couple weekends after that I travelled into Nevada and a little farther north of myself in California for a rocket run trip targeting the following:
Panamint Alligator Lizard (Elgaria panamintina)
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Black Toad (Bufo exsul)
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Relict Leopard Frog (Rana Onca)
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It was time for another Mexico jaunt which entailed a 15 hour drive straight through after 10 hours of work…of course this was for a girl, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. Oh and also some scuba diving...as well as this handsome fella:

Dickerson’s Collard Lizard (Crotaphytus dickersonae)
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And this girl with her piercing eye…

Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura hemilopha macrolopha)
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After getting back to work in Cali I was already itching to go out again, so Rob and I went to Hesperia with Jim Bass to satisfy Rob’s Crotaphytus addiction.

Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
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Another 2 weeks went by and I was going through some serious withdrawals myself and the only cure was some humid Mexican tropics! So off I went… Here are some highlights from that trip which included one of my favorite photos of the year of this Boa

Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)
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Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura hemilopha macrolopha)
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Tropical Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon tau tau)
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Sonoran Spiny-tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura hemilopha macrolopha)
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Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens)
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Pine Toad (Anaxyrus occidentalis = Bufo occidentalis)
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Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti cactorum)
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Sonora MX
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Butterfly Catepillar
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Mesquite Moth Catepillar
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Another week went by, and it was time again for yet another vacation (I work so hard right?). This time a little different, a diving trip to Bonaire, which is off the coast of Venezuela. This was absolute paradise! and my first foray into underwater photography, but I think I managed alright:

Bonaire Sunset
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Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) - the only herps photographed the entire trip
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Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea)
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Chain Morray (Echidna catenata)
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Brown Garden Eels (Heteroconger longissimus)
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Christmas Tree Worms (Spirobranchus giganteus)
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Longsnout Seahorse (Hippocampus reidi)
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Sergant Major Eggs (Abudefduf saxatilis)
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Solitary Disk Coral (Scolymia wellsi)
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Colorful Sponges
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Slender Filefish (Monacanthus tuckeri)
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Spotted Cleaner Shrimp (Periclimenes yucatanicus)
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Schoolmaster (Lutjanus apodus)
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Whitespotted Filefish (Cantherhines macrocerus)
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I have a ton more photos from this trip on my website but I didn't want to bog down a herp forum with too much non-herp material.

As I arrived back in America, I found out that I had been essentially laid off and not because of my frequent vacations (surprisingly). So what else do you do when you are between jobs? Herp of course! Down to Mexico! This time just to Yecora, but I had to leave early as my sister got Montezuma’s Revenge (Newbie). We managed these though:

Night Snake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea)
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Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblochi)
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Tarahumara Barking Frog (Craugastor tarahumaraensis)
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Sinaloan Toad (Ollotis mazatlanensis = Bufo mazatlanensis)
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Yecora, Sonora MX
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Beetle ID anyone???
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Hornet
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Predatory Ground Beetle
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Nearly 3 weeks went by without a trip by now (Gasp!)…I was busy with the girl…but this trip more than made up for it. It was another of mine and Rob’s grand trips so I will link his post again for reference like before and continue with the Sinaloan highlights:

Blunt-headed Treesnake (Imantodes gemmistratus)
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Collared Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata torquata)
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Mexican Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum horridum)
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Mexican Short-tailed Snake (Sympholius lippiens)
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Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake (Crotalus basiliscus)
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Sinaloan Saddled Lead-nosed Snake (Phyllorhynchus browni klauberi)
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Stripeless Snake (Coniophanes lateritius lateritius)
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Cane Toad (Rhinella marina = Bufo marinus)
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Marbled Toad (Incilius marmoreus = Bufo marmoreus)
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Mexican Leaf Frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor)
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Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens)
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Taylor’s Barking Frog (Craugastor occidentalis)
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Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti cactorum)
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Tiger Beetle
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That was the last big trip of the year. We went down to Baja a few days after the Sinaloa trip but it was short and Baja was dry so we only found a single C. cerastes. Not a bad herp year though!

I will conclude with some random photos from my job sites and a few pics from this year’s trips to whet your appetite for what promises to be an even greater year...hint…Caribbean and Mexico heavy

Randoms from the year:

Coastal Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis virgultea)
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Desert Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus variegatus)
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Great Basin Fence Lizard (Sceleoporus occidentalis longipes)
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Western Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti cactorum)
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Red Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum piceus)
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Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis lateralis = Masticophis lateralis lateralis)
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Honey Bees (Apis mellifera)
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California Poppies
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Pretty Blue Butterfly
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And a taste of 2012…

Grey Whale (Eschrichtius robustus)
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Peninsular Bighorn Sheep (Ovis Canadensis cremnobates)
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Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)
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Isla Rasa Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus tinklei)
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¡Salud!
Scott Trageser
http://naturestills.com – Visit my site for more photos of the trips! :beer:

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jordo
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by jordo » March 21st, 2012, 5:43 pm

Love the wide angle shots. Thanks for sharing.

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Nir
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Nir » March 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm

The photography is impressive!! Kudos!

This post makes me want to herp mexico... The landscape photos are breathtaking!!

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justinm
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by justinm » March 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm

EPIC!

This is one of the best photologs I've seen here in a while.

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fins72
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by fins72 » March 21st, 2012, 5:51 pm

AWESOME! The marinelife pictures were a really cool change of pace. Great photography.

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Tonia Graves
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Tonia Graves » March 21st, 2012, 6:09 pm

Wow, you had a great year I would say! Thanks for putting this together. Btw, your Mesquite Moth Caterpillar looks like it might be a Hubbard's Small Silkmoth Caterpillar (Sphingicampa hubbardi). Oh, and great photography!

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 21st, 2012, 6:35 pm

Thanks for the ID Tonia! I've always heard those moths called Mesquite Moths but I never had binomial to go with it. Ahh the folly of common names. Any chance you can ID those beetles from Yecora?

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scottriv
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by scottriv » March 21st, 2012, 6:48 pm

Great Stuff!

I wonder what it will take for somebody to find a kingsnake on that gawd forsaken rock known as Santa Catalina? :(

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Dell Despain
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Dell Despain » March 21st, 2012, 7:00 pm

Oh damit, now I really miss Mexico.

Nice job on the knoblachi, and the S. lippiens. And that big basiliscus is a stud.

Thanks for taking the time to post up, I really enjoyed it.

-Dell

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 21st, 2012, 7:05 pm

Scottriv: I bet someone already has and just aint sharing with the rest of us :x but that rattlesnake I posted is from Isla Santa Catalina (Spelled Catalana down in Loreto) in the Sea of Cortez, not Santa Catalina Island off of our California coast. Its the famous rattleless rattlesnake!

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monklet
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by monklet » March 21st, 2012, 7:55 pm

Outstanding photography! :shock: :thumb: 8-)

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Schell
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Schell » March 21st, 2012, 7:58 pm

Nicely done Scott. We pretty much tore it up last year. I'm counting on another big year in 2012...

Y.Morgan
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Y.Morgan » March 21st, 2012, 9:01 pm

Your photos are absolutely ridiculous! You are on a whole different level than I - and most of your viewers! What a treat. So many of your images are stand-out on the merit of the subject alone; not to mention the clarity, color and composition - placid coati, ghost crab eyes, coachwhip, gaping iguana, moray, filefish, beaded, leaf frog, licking gecko, nursing bighorn, and on and on. But the ones that totally blow me away are the ones with context: Isla SC rattler w/ rock, flora & sky; Isla SC iguana with the inlet in the back = insane; ditto for the Angel collared lizard and Dickerson's with water behind; the Dickerson's with seagull behind is just wrong!; boa on cactus!; sponges; cleaner shrimp - OMG!. The best of the best.

Thanks for posting this,
York :beer:

mikemike
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by mikemike » March 21st, 2012, 9:20 pm

Awesome, Scott.

Zach_Lim
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Zach_Lim » March 21st, 2012, 11:03 pm

:shock:

Words cannot express how blown away i am with this post!
Also, knoblochi!!!

will lattea
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by will lattea » March 22nd, 2012, 6:00 am

I kinda feel like I'm gona throw up after looking at this. I'm absolutely filled with jealous rage haha. Time to go quit my job...

:beer:

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Will Wells
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Will Wells » March 22nd, 2012, 7:13 am

Incrdible photography!!!! Your post gets my adrenaline running and now I have to go do some herping.

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cachoron
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by cachoron » March 22nd, 2012, 7:35 am

WOOOOOOOOOOOWWWW

Amazing........ So many places to go, so few time

RobK

Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by RobK » March 22nd, 2012, 7:39 am

Wish we had whales in Colorado. Fantastic shots!
I need to look into this "between jobs" gig.

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bwaterherper
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by bwaterherper » March 22nd, 2012, 7:48 am

your photos make me want to throw my camera into the street; amazing shots man

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Martti Niskanen » March 22nd, 2012, 7:50 am

Wow. Quite a stunning post. Great photography and lighting.

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chrish
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by chrish » March 22nd, 2012, 1:41 pm

Outstanding. Love your website as well.

That filefish tooth photo is unbelievable.

BTW - the leftmost cormorant in your shot of 4 cormorants in a row (on your website) is a Neotropic Cormorant, not a Double-crested. The other three are DCs.

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kcmatt
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by kcmatt » March 22nd, 2012, 4:35 pm

Yes, incredible photography in addition to the species. Enjoyed all of the barkers, among many others.

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JAMAUGHN
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by JAMAUGHN » March 22nd, 2012, 4:38 pm

Wow. I'd say more, but I hurt my jaw when it hit the ground as I went through this post. Thanks for sharing all of this.

JimM

RobertH
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by RobertH » March 22nd, 2012, 6:07 pm

Fantastic photography, not just the herps, but the landscape, marine life and other shots as well. You've instantaneously become a major inspiration to my 10-year old son Nicholas, a fledgling wildlife photographer. I've bookmarked your website :thumb:

Robert

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intermedius
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by intermedius » March 23rd, 2012, 5:07 am

Absolutely stunning photographs of the herps and landscape. Makes me just wanna fly down to Mazatlan and Yecora to find all those herps.

Sincerely,

Justin

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 23rd, 2012, 7:00 am

Wow thanks for all the kind words guys. I didn't expect that good of a reception!

RobertH - I'm flattered that I'm now the inspiration for your son. If he ever has any question just send me a PM and I'd be glad to help him out.

Crish - You're absolutely right, thank you for finding that! Makes the shot even cooler.

I'm on my way down to Sonora or the first 2012 mainland trip. I'll reply to any more responses when I get back next week.

Cheers!

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M Wolverton
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by M Wolverton » March 23rd, 2012, 7:52 am

Excellent post!

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Ross Padilla
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Ross Padilla » March 23rd, 2012, 7:54 am

Wow, that was amazing! That's the most brown colored Box Canyon Rosy I've seen. The Collared lizard on the beach was a great shot. :thumb:

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Thamnophis
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Thamnophis » March 23rd, 2012, 8:06 am

Those pictures are fantastic! Can't stop looking at them... :thumb:

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Don Cascabel
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Don Cascabel » March 24th, 2012, 7:48 pm

Awesome post and great photography. We need more herpers like you man, hitting some of the lesser known spots. Like Isla Raza! Really? What made you go there?

Man does this post bring back some memories for me! Awesome... I love Sonora. Haven't been since 2010 though... maybe I will make it up there this year. Where did you find the knoblochi? If you don't mind me asking? I found a really good looking spot for those things in 2010.... but all we found there were silus and lepidus :(

Cheers,

Chris

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dezertwerx
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by dezertwerx » March 26th, 2012, 5:03 pm

Great photography Scott! Glad I stopped in to check out this post, Stellar!

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 27th, 2012, 8:22 pm

Again, thanks guys for the kind remarks. I'm glad everyone is liking this post!

Don - I went to Isla Rasa for the bird colonies and kinda just for the heck of it. What else am I going to do? :thumb: I like getting to places that aren't heavily traveled, they are more interesting to me. The knoblochi was from the southern part of the Sonoran/Chihuahuan border...it's just luck of the draw sometimes :? If my post inspires you to get up to Sonora then I've done my job!

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Dell Despain
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Dell Despain » March 28th, 2012, 6:53 am

Don Cascabel wrote:. but all we found there were silus and lepidus
Oh, you poor thing Don...only silus & lepidus. I "really" feel bad for you. How do you put up with those junk snakes?

Image
;)
-Dell

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Bill Love
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Bill Love » March 28th, 2012, 10:17 am

Very nice work, with lots of artsiness to boot.

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CCarille
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by CCarille » March 28th, 2012, 10:26 am

Really fantastic post! Wonderful photography as well! I really loved the first D. catilinensis photo and the photo of the Boa coming out of the catci was nice.

You really seem to have a knack for underwater photography as well, what do you shoot with?

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » March 30th, 2012, 4:07 pm

CCarille - I shoot with a Nikon D7000 (Soon to be replaced with the D800) in a Subal housing with Sea&Sea ys-250 strobes. Underwater photography offers a whole new set of challenges but the rewards are well worth it. You just can't find the same colors on land!

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Steve Atkins
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by Steve Atkins » March 31st, 2012, 4:24 am

wow. Amazing, all the way around. I just picked up an ikelite housing for camera, you've got me excited now.

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NatureStills
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Re: Year End Review - Mexico Galore! DUW

Post by NatureStills » April 1st, 2012, 6:28 pm

Let me know how you like that Ikelite housing. What body are you putting in it?

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