A Little Bit of Utah

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ThomWild
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A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 3rd, 2013, 2:05 pm

2012 was a very enjoyable year for me in many aspects of my life. I didn't get out herping as much as I would have liked, then again I don't know that I will ever get out as much as I would like, so I will take what I can get. I was able to find new things in old areas and old things in new areas so it all worked out nicely.

In March I was lucky enough to get the chance to tag along with Jimi in SoCal. I had a blast and am very thankful to Jimi for setting it up and allowing me to join him. Here are a few highlights from that trip.

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Here is a close up of the previous shot.
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In early spring I hit a couple of the garter dens I like to visit. On my way home from one of them I found this guy soaking up that last bit of sunlight.
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There is a canyon near my home that I have spent a lot of time in trying to find a taylori. I haven't yet had luck in that category but there is always good stuff to be seen up there.
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I think this one was hit just before I got to it. Its movements seemed normal but it always had its mouth agape.
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Last year was the first time I had seen one of these guys up this specific canyon but I lost the pics of it in a PC crash. So I was pleased I was able to find this guy in the same area this year and get some voucher pics.
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What is this strange thing I found while cruising?
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It turns out my son threw his bottle out the window on the way down the canyon and I happened upon it on the way back up. This is what I get for buckling to the kid's demands.
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Every year we take a trip to Lake Powell with my wife's family. It was a slow year as far as herps go but I did manage to find a couple of chucks in an area I was not expecting.
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It was the smallest chuck I have ever found, here is a penny for reference.
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Later on in the Summer I went camping with my family to a spot that I have visited since I was 14; luckily it hasn't changed much. I recently picked up fishing after a long absence and this place has historically been known for its trout fishing so I was pleasantly surprised to find this little guy.
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Later that evening I found this one.
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Here is a pic of the fish from the day, that is a 10" total length knife.
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Here is a shot of what really makes all of this so much fun.
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In September Tim invited me to coordinate a Rocky Mountain Chapter trip to Washington Co. and surrounding area in what became the first ever Rocky Mountain Throwdown. Josh led the other half of the chapter on a trip to New Mexico over the same weekend. Here are a few of our finds.
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Some habitat shots from the area.
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One of the highlights of my herp year was when Brian E. took pity on me and took some time to help me find my first Utah Co. Milk snake. He actually flipped it and did everything else involved in finding it so I need to thank Brian for walking me through it.
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The last few are some random shots from the year.
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Here is a humming bird nest that was above the trampoline at the inlaws. That trampoline is the cause of the toothless smiles of both of my sons in the next pictures.

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There is only one thing greater than herping for me and that is hiking and herping with my kids.
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Thanks for enduring the ride. I will send you off with a cigar to celebrate a great year! Happy New Year everyone!
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-Thomas Wilder

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Daniel D Dye
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Daniel D Dye » January 3rd, 2013, 2:28 pm

Great stuff, Tom! I'm moving to Utah!!!

Daniel

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gbin
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by gbin » January 3rd, 2013, 2:32 pm

Awesome tour! Had I been out cruising in UT and found that baby bottle lying in the middle of a dark, lonely road, it would likely have given me the creeps. ("Where's the baby that went with this? Somewhere off the side of the road?... :o ) :lol:

Gerry

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walk-about
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by walk-about » January 3rd, 2013, 2:47 pm

Yep, those are some great shots of Utah and a beautiful family. Smiles all around. When people say how America is so messed up, I know for me personally that it is those moments we spend with our families in the out of doors - those moments that keep us grounded. Already thinking of my next trip to the creek with my daughter. Great post sir.

RocK ON!

Dave

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Cole Grover
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Cole Grover » January 3rd, 2013, 2:56 pm

Rockin' post, Thomas! That's one hell of a season. I dig the milk and the happy kid photos especially.

-Cole

ThomWild
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 3rd, 2013, 3:08 pm

Daniel let me know when you make that move. In the mean time you are welcome here anytime you would like to visit.

Gerry it took a minute for me to figure out what was going on myself, but when I did I could not stop rolling.

Dave thank you. Very well stated.

Cole thanks for answering some of the questions I had about the milk, you were a big help.

I also realized I forgot to post the pic of the nest and seeing how the edit function hasn't cleared yet I will just post it here.

The nest and trampoline.
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-Thomas

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pete
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by pete » January 3rd, 2013, 4:39 pm

Absolutely fantastic post! I love the look of your rattlers.Are they lutosus were you are? you are fortunate to have such diversity around you :thumb:

ThomWild
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 4th, 2013, 7:58 pm

pete wrote:Absolutely fantastic post! I love the look of your rattlers.Are they lutosus were you are? you are fortunate to have such diversity around you :thumb:
Thank you Pete. Yes those are lutoses and they are incredibly variable along with the vagrans, milks, and to some extent the pituophis. It makes finding the "common" stuff exciting, for me anyway.

Brian Eagar
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Brian Eagar » January 8th, 2013, 12:46 pm

Great post Thomas.
I'm glad I could help with one of your memorable moments in 2012.
Now you need to go flip one in the area you have been scoping out this spring.
I'm still super jealous of your lyre find.
Nothing like good times with the kids in the outdoors. You have some great habitat pics in there as well which make me yearn for spring.
That chuck is super small and skinny. We should talk about the chucks down there some time.
Hopefully we can get out in the field again this year.

Brian

Jimi
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Jimi » January 8th, 2013, 4:41 pm

For those enjoying this "little bit of Utah", come get some of your own this field season. Watch the chapter-business forum for updates on ideas & plans as things develop. The Pres has asked me and Josh Dustin to coordinate & plan a couple Chapter trips to UT this spring & summer - probably May & August.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Rancorrye
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Rancorrye » January 8th, 2013, 9:19 pm

Looks like a good year in my book. Still love that milk!

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Brendan
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Brendan » January 9th, 2013, 8:00 am

Nice assortment of Utah fauna! Love the GB variety.

ThomWild
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 9th, 2013, 8:12 am

Thanks everyone.

Rye just let me know when you want to get out.

Brian I was hoping to discuss the chucks with you at the pickling party. We will have to get out sometime to make up for it. I also still owe you lunch.

-Thomas

Zach_Lim
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Zach_Lim » January 9th, 2013, 8:40 am

Beautiful post. The habitat shots are amazing, as well as all the species you were able to find.

Love the shot of the road-cruised bottle!

Nice family photo, too.

That Lampropeltis triangulum is AMAZING. First second glance I totally saw a Utah pyro! Are the milks in the Utah area broken into subspecies yet?

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Biker Dave
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Biker Dave » January 9th, 2013, 4:09 pm

Good stuff! Looks like you had a great year....


But I have one question ..... you show a shot of all the trout ready to get grilled and then there is a pic of you and the boys cooking hot dogs. What gives! :lol: :lol: :lol:

ThomWild
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 9th, 2013, 5:44 pm

Biker Dave wrote:But I have one question ..... you show a shot of all the trout ready to get grilled and then there is a pic of you and the boys cooking hot dogs. What gives! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Good pick-up, I was waiting for somebody to pick up on that and the answer is I personally can't stand the taste of fish. Luckily I have family that lives close that can't get enough of it. So I do the catching of the fish and they do the eating of the fish. The best part of the deal is that if I clean the fish before I deliver them, the fam throws in some ice cream. There are few things I like more than a good ice cream.

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dery
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by dery » January 9th, 2013, 6:09 pm

What kind of bird made the nest, is there a hatchling or herp or an invert in there?

MuayThaipan
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by MuayThaipan » January 9th, 2013, 7:22 pm

I'll be in Utah as part of my walkabout in late June/early July near Provo looking for rubbber boas if you'd like to get together I'll be all over the state from Moab onward. See next May I'm loading up a bedroll and a pop up tent and heading out on my motorcycle basically doing a "Big Year" but with snakes hittin Texarkana south Tx then to the pecos on to Az then up to Utah then Idaho. Sleeping under the stars and basically being totally free for the first time. If you'd like to help a fellow herper gone walkabout when I hit Ut let me know.

Jimi
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Jimi » January 10th, 2013, 8:18 am

If you'd like to help a fellow herper gone walkabout when I hit Ut let me know.
Absolutely, just give us another holler when the time gets closer - maybe 4-6 weeks before you come?

Sounds fun. Too bad about that timing though - not the best season here for encountering a lot of taxa. But the landscapes are there all year round!

That bike - is it a dedicated street-bike, or is it something with adventure-bike or even dual-sport capabilities? I ask because of the suggestions we might make - don't want to sell you short, or steer you wrong. Lots and lots of unpaved miles out here, some well-engineered etc, some hideous (or sweet! depending on your tastes).

Cheers,
Jimi

ThomWild
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by ThomWild » January 10th, 2013, 9:42 am

Zach_Lim wrote:That Lampropeltis triangulum is AMAZING. First second glance I totally saw a Utah pyro! Are the milks in the Utah area broken into subspecies yet?
I am probably not the one to comment on this. Others like Brian and Cole are as good as they come when it comes to triangulum, maybe they will add some incite on the matter.

I know the Milks can vary quite a bit throughout their range in Utah but I think that fits the mold for triangulum across its range. As far as the subs go I know of some preliminary undergrad work that was done with the populations in the Stansburys and other areas of Utah but no genetic analysis beyond that. Speaking of triangulum as a whole, some will tell you that there really shouldn't be any subs.
dery wrote:What kind of bird made the nest, is there a hatchling or herp or an invert in there?
It is a hummingbird nest, I have no idea what kind. In the pic there is one hatchling and an egg that later hatched. They both survived nesting, it was hilarious to see both of them almost full grown in the nest with the mother (I think) trying to get in as well.
MuayThaipan wrote:I'll be in Utah as part of my walkabout in late June/early July near Provo looking for rubbber boas if you'd like to get together I'll be all over the state from Moab onward. See next May I'm loading up a bedroll and a pop up tent and heading out on my motorcycle basically doing a "Big Year" but with snakes hittin Texarkana south Tx then to the pecos on to Az then up to Utah then Idaho. Sleeping under the stars and basically being totally free for the first time. If you'd like to help a fellow herper gone walkabout when I hit Ut let me know.
Like Jimi said, anytime. Keep us posted on details.

-Thomas

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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by mikemike » January 10th, 2013, 10:02 am

Awesome stuff, Thomas! Looks like you had a pretty good year!

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Jeremy Westerman » January 23rd, 2013, 11:40 pm

That doesn't count as road cruising a "milk" Thomas. Good find anyways. My GPS has a man over board bread crumb feature, the minute a kid starts screaming you can hit MOB and pull over and back track to the MOB to see if he tossed it out the window or if it is a false alarm. Amazing that your bottle wasn't DOR by the time you came back to it.

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Speckled Rosy
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by Speckled Rosy » January 24th, 2013, 9:30 am

Great post! The Utah Milk is really cool!

Looks like some beautiful country too..

-Dan

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kcmatt
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Re: A Little Bit of Utah

Post by kcmatt » January 25th, 2013, 8:23 am

Nice post. I think I recognize that road and bottles are a very uncommon find there, congratulations.

Indeed, nothing like having the family out enjoying it with you. Looks like you might need to put a net on that tramp!

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