NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

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Y.Morgan
Posts: 131
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 10:51 pm
Location: SW New Mexico

NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 24th, 2014, 12:07 pm

Banded rock rattlesnake, male, NM:
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Banded rock, female, NM:
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Banded rock, male, NM:
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Black-tailed rattlesnakes, pair, NM:
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Red pigmy rattlesnake, NC:
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Mexican rosy boa, AZ:
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Greater earless lizard, NM:
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Grand Canyon, AZ:
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Collared lizard, male, Grand Canyon, AZ:
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California condor, Grand Canyon, AZ:
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Veiled chameleon, FL:
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Green iguana, FL:
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Western diamondback, NM:
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NM:
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Bobcat, NM:
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Banded rock rattlesnake, male, NM:
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Mountain short-horned lizard, NM:
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Gila monster, AZ:
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Sidewinder rattlesnake, in situ, CA:
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Green rat snake, AZ:
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AZ:
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Black-tailed rattlesnake, AZ:
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Western diamondback rattlesnake (a huge, pinkish specimen near home), NM:
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Another WDB, NM:
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Black-tailed, NM:
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Storms here can be very localized, NM:
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Same storm - results, NM:
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Banded rock, male, NM:
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Collared lizard, male, TX:
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Round-tailed horned lizard, NM:
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Prairie rattlesnake, NM:
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Black-tailed, NM:
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Eastern patch-nosed snake, NM:
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Round-tailed horned lizard, NM:
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Greater earless lizard, NM:
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Striped whipsnake, NM:
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Prairie rattlesnake, NM:
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Copperhead, NC:
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Painted turtle, NC:
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Variable ground snake rescued from a utility vault in November, SE NM:
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Variable (indeed) ground snake, Central NM:
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Variable ground snake, Central AZ:
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Where in the hell could such a gaudy snake possibly blend in? A bag of bacon:
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We paused for an hour during a 16-mile hike inside the Grand Canyon, AZ to watch male desert spiny lizards (magisters) jockey for territory:
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The dominant magister was exquisite:
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My last banded rock of 2013 came from a range near home that we had hiked at least 50 times over 5 years - finding a logic-defying 5 females and 0 males until this one. So much sweat, frustration, and fruitlessness. 5 years and finally a male - one of the best finds of the year, NM:
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Many of us are confounded by the way the green in male banded rocks doesn’t usually show up well in photos. One trick we have found is to pose the snake near green vegetation, which seems to help accentuate green the in the snake. Compare the above photo with this one (below) of the same snake sans vegetation. There’s some difference? Not so much now that I see it posted:
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When a huge wildfire broke out near home in May after consecutive years of horrible drought and fire, it seemed like a movie we’d already seen. Black Range on fire, NM:
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With nightly smoke-enhanced sunsets, we braced for another dry year, NM:
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But the weather patterns changed and we actually had a good monsoon. During one big storm, I was stranded overnight in a remote area near the Mexico border. Black-headed snake swimming on the road, NM:
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Couch’s spadefoot body surfing on the road:
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The deluge was so strong when this desert king snake turned up, the only place to photograph it was inside the truck. These splendida seem to thrive during heavy downpours, NM: Image

The water had already receded when I went out to photograph this flood downtown that required police blockades to prevent cars from potentially washing away, NM:
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Massive flood damage along the San Francisco river, NM:
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A smart herper would’ve avoided this road after seeing a western diamondback swim across the shoulder:
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I, on the other hand, drove up it and slept in the truck, waking the next morning to find it had rained torrentially all night. Hearing running water nearby, I discovered the road had become a river overnight.
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After being stranded in the canyon for 2 nights and 2 days, it finally warmed up enough to find my targets. Blah male and gorgeous female banded rocks, NM:
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This Mojave rattlesnake was on the crawl despite 60F temps and torrential rain , TX:
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Grand Canyon, AZ:
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Collared lizard, female, in the Grand Canyon:
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Elk, Grand Canyon, AZ:
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Two Great Basin gopher snakes, AZ:
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Mojave rattlesnake, AZ:
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Javelina, AZ:
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Madrean alligator lizard on my back deck. We find these around the house all summer, and they often come inside through the screen door, NM:
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Like finding gold...this male (upper left) and female banded rock were about 50’ apart in a mountain range that virtually no herpers can access, NM: Image

The female was one of our favorite klauberi of the year:
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On the same hike, we also found this female banded rock with newborns, NM:
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Chicken turtle, FL:
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Cottonmouth, FL:
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Cuban knight anole, FL:
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Green iguana, FL:
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From a friend’s herp book collection:
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AZ:
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Barbary sheep are evidently threatened in their native north Africa, but populations are strong in central and eastern NM:
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Oryx (aka blesboks in Africa) are also plentiful in the same general region, NM:
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Fortunately, re-establishment efforts in NM favor native animals nowadays. Bighorn sheep are increasingly common throughout their former range, NM:
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Ornate box turtle, NM:
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Redtail hawk w/ unidentified snake, NM:
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A rare winter storm brought snow and temps in the teens to the border of New and Old Mexico, then an intense bank of fog moved in:
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New (foreground) and Old (background) Mexico with 40 miles of fog in between:
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“Striped” rock rattlesnake, AZ:
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Another top find came at a banded rock locality near home that my brother (Wyeth) found. We’d hiked this spot dozens of times over the years and found only 2 males until this huge, gorgeous female buzzed, NM:
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Same snake in habitat:
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After roadcruising a Mexican hog-nosed snake that refused to sit still for a photo, we put it on ice while we lightened the cooler’s load. 24 ounces later, we opened the lid to find Mr. Hoggie contentedly drinking ice water with no signs of lethargy. We see similar behavior often in the desert where animals forget about fight and flight in favor of drink, AZ: Image

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Similar scenario - we brought a black-tailed rattlesnake from its upgradient hideout down to the river; and damn, if it didn’t quit rattling and start drinking right away - as if its life depended on it...hmmm...NM:
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Also, Gila monsters often accept water when offered:
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I miss the backroads and backwaters of my native NC so much that the commonest sights and critters brought intense joy when I finally made it back:
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Black racer, NC:
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Eastern king, NC:
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7 in one day...T. carolina carolina yessir - eastern box turtle in situ, NC:
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Rat snake, NC:
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Pining for North Cackalacky wanes substantially when rattlers turn up in the front yard of mi casa de Nuevo México. This black-tail was on the curb DIRECTLY in front of my house...it buzzed visitors as they were leaving, NM:
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Juvenile male banded rock from a high-altitude range near home, NM:
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Adult male banded rock from same day, same range, NM:
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Scenes like these are common in the same area as the preceding klauberi:
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Banded rock rattler, NM:
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See how this prairie rattler is hiding its head? It’s not afraid; it wants to lure you a bit closer so it can spring out and envenomate your dumb ass. I know. NM:
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I always say viridis are the irasciblest of all crotes in NM, yet somehow this happened….prairie rattler bite + 22 minutes:
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See that shoe on the left (above)? That’s a middle schooler….1 of 22 to whom I was delivering a reptile presentation when the bite occurred. Their teacher was there too. Two parents as well. It’d’ve been a shame to suffer my stupidest moment audienceless. Swelling ensued at an alarming rate and within 30 minutes or so, prudence (along with lack of mobility in the hand) made it necessary to abort the presentation in favor of the 1.5-hour drive back to town. Prairie bite + 60 minutes...swelling and redness into the wrist….selfie:
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Did I mention that the bite occurred WHILE I was discussing rattlesnake safety? Prairie bite + 85 minutes...swelling past the wrist and starting to itch like crazy all over:
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At the emergency room parking lot, I waited to see what would happen. My bud (who’d been tagged by a prairie the previous year) was reassuring over the phone and ultimately saved me thousands of dollars in needless ER bills. Thanks Dude! I popped some Benadryl, soaked up some A/C, listened to an audiobook, and monitored the rate of swelling as well as an alarming case of hives. Bite + 2hr 50 minutes, hives on opposite arm:
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The obvious wave of swelling in my forearm after nearly 3 hours...no more selfies, thanks to a friend who came by:
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The bite and swelling hardly hurt at all compared to bites from banded rock rattlers, but the hives were something new. This photo was after the hives were subsiding, bite + 3 hr 11min:
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After a nap at home, the hives were gone and pain was surprisingly minimal. I knew I was out of the woods; bite + 9hrs:
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Before work the next day, bite + 18hrs:
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Cell phone selfie at office, bite + 20 hrs:
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The next night, swelling was already leaving the hand and moving past the elbow and upper arm. Bite + 32 hrs:
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2 days and 8 hrs after the bite, the hand was relatively functional:
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I’m not sure what was more surprising, the rapidity of swelling or of healing. Within 3 days of the bite, I had nearly full mobility of the finger and hand with no necrosis or numbness whatsoever. Two weeks later, I couldn’t even remember which hand was bitten. The only side effect that lingered (lingers?) is darker colored urine.

While I’m on a roll, might as well share the worst incident of the year. After finding a screamin’ male banded rock rattler in a rockslide, I reached for it with my tweezers just as a cobble rolled downhill into the hole I’d made. At first everything seemed fine and I celebrated the find, NM:
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Then, I saw a wound, and there were red bubbles emerging from it in time with the snake’s breathing. Celebration turned to despair. It was already in throes when released moments later. Through clumsiness and bad luck, I killed this gorgeous snake:
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What’s worse is that with this incident fresh on my mind, it happened again the very next weekend with a gravid female. One round rock slipped free just uphill and rolled down to hit her at the very instant she was exposed. She later birthed 2 live babies and a dead one at my bud’s place. He force-feeds her and she defecates okay, but is paralyzed over the lower half of her body. Please learn from my mistakes and be very careful when digging these snakes out!

These prairies are mean I’m telling you. This one struck wildly at me and got its fang hung on a rock somehow:
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Bottle-raised at the Rio Grande Zoo, ABQ NM:
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Banded rock, young male, AZ:
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Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake, AZ:
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Twin-spotted rattlesnake, AZ:
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The venom from these twin-spots is evidently pretty bad. My bud’s pricei bite + 11 months:
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Glossy snake, NM:
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California tree frogs, CA:
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Granite night lizard, CA:
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CA oasis and terrain:
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Sidewinder, CA:
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Some of you might remember this hybrid I posted on FHF from 2010. Consensus opinion was that it was either molossus x viridis or molossus x atrox (blacktail x prairie or blacktail x wdb), NM 2010:
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In 2013 about 5 miles from the preceding location, we found another hybrid...this one in talus. It was clearly a molossus x viridis, NM:
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It behaved a lot like a viridis (nervous and defensive) but also had mellow moments more like a molossus. Same snake with weak cell phone shot:
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Likewise, some of you might remember this male banded rock that I posted on the FHF after finding it in 2008 in TX. Mike Price honored me by giving this photo a full page in his rock rattlesnake book:
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In 2013, we finally mustered the energy to return to this god-forsaken range where temps are high, humidity is low, hikers abound, park rules are in effect, and noise from sprawl, cars, airplanes and a military base completely trump the freedom one normally enjoys when searching for banded rocks. The payoff was unreal though as we found the VERY SAME klauberi 5 YEARS LATER!, TX:
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A mating pair of blacktails, AZ:
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Security system that works on non-herpers, at least:
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NM:
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Encountered near home right at sunset, a female banded rock, NM:
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Same snake:
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The adults from this mountain range are very tiny but lovely, male banded rock, NM:
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Ring-necked snake, NM:
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Ringtail, NM:
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Scolopendra, AZ:
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Variable skink, NM:
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Whiptail, NM:
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There’s an awesome variety of western diamondbacks in NM and AZ. SE AZ:
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Same huge WDB shown at beginning of post, NM:
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Nearly patternless WDB from SW NM:
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Same night, nearby in SW NM:
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Reddish WDB, hiked in SW NM:
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Same snake:
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My favorite atrox to date. Like a ruber in SW NM:
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Even the prairies are pinkish sometimes in SW NM:
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WDB from TX:
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Gopher snake from NM:
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Great Plains skink, NM:
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NM:
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2 male banded rocks night-hiked in an hour in NM:
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Male banded rock from an obscure new range for us:
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While working for more than a week at a local jobsite, we saw numerous lesser earless lizards. Most were very skittish and took off so fast they were barely visible...no kidding. But some were curious and even gregarious. Female lesser earless lizard with gravid colors...seems a shame to call them “lesser”, NM:
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Male lesser earless, NM:
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A neonate banded rock from the northernmost locality I’ve ever seen one. My first from this range, NM:
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Chiricahuan leopard frog, AZ:
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Dust devil running parallel to the truck, AZ:
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Ornate box turtle, AZ:
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Roundtail horned lizard on a hot road, AZ:
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Checkered garter, NM:
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Collared lizard, female, NM:
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This banded rock was about to shed and didn’t move at all as we removed one rock from above it and walked around taking pics. It was still there when we came back by 30 minutes later. NM:
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Black-tailed rattler, NM:
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Another of many veiled chameleons found in FL:
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Garter snake and leopard frog as found, FL:
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The most popular alligator in FL:
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Ashy gecko, FL:
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Our favorite find in FL, a salt marsh snake:
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We palped this DOR Mojave rattler, AZ:
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Banded rock rattler, male, NM:
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Black-tailed rattler, NM:
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Montane rattler habitat, NM:
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This osprey hauled in a carp that had to be of equal weight, NM:
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Prairie dog in habitat:
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Short-horned lizard, NM:
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Ornate tree lizard, NM:
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2 female banded rocks found together right after emergence in March, AZ:
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Mule deer, AZ:
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Sonoran desert toad, NM:
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Collared lizard, female in situ on quartz, NM:
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I’m still pulling spines outta my mouth:
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Sonoran gopher snake near home, NM:
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Dedicated to its ruse, very dedicated - Mexican hognose snake, NM:
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We hiked miles to reach this new range and were rewarded big time. Banded rock rattler, male, NM:
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Same range...a huge, very gravid female:
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Immediately after taking the preceding shot, I turned south and took this shot of habitat:
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This (above) is what klaub-hunting in New Mexico is all about. We hike for days and days in extremely rugged, high-altitude terrain and often we find nothing...particularly since we’re often trying for ranges where klaub numbers are few or possibly zero. This post might give the false impression that we easily stumble over snakes here, which is just wrong. With lots of help from my friends, I saw banded rocks in 25 different ranges in 2013. I also saw blacktails in at least 20 different ranges. But for every day we found 1 montane rattler, we had at least 2 days where we found nothing…that’s 2 days of hard hiking for nothing.

Diving long-nosed snake, NM:
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NM interstate:
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Copperhead, NC:
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Flounder, NC:
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Box turtle, in situ,NC:
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Squirrel treefrog, NC:
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Opossum under tin, NC:
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Neonate red pigmy ratter, NC:
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I had to reduce the saturation on this one so the red on the chin didn’t look clownish: Image

Grand Canyon, AZ:
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Side-blotched lizard in Grand Canyon:
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Great Basin rattler (lutosis) in the ugliest, most over-grazed, bleakest terrain we saw in northern AZ:
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Splinter, a personal best:
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The banded rocks in this particular mountain range are especially speckled compared to nearby localities where the bands are cleaner, like we expect in NM. It seems no coincidence that this range is mostly granite, whereas most ranges in the region are basalt or tuff. The speckling found in mitchelli seems to have evolved as result of the granite that predominates their ranges. Maybe klauberi do the same? NM:
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Sandhill cranes with the Chiricahuas in the back, AZ:
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Neonate banded rock, female, NM:
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With banded rocks, we typically find more males at a rate of about 3 males : 2 females. In 2013, however, I saw 30 females, 23 males, and 7 unidentified = 60 total. Maybe the horrible drought across most of their range favors females, which move less frequently and are therefore less prone to desiccation and starvation? Or maybe it’s just chance? Another female klauberi from NM:
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Banded rock, male, NM:
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Normally fast and flighty, this eastern patch-nosed snake never moved as we walked around it and eventually picked it up, NM:
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Same goes for this striped whipsnake...normally a blur, this one hung out for a photo session, in situ, NM:
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NM:
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2 gravid female banded rocks that were actually touching each other when they buzzed us, NM:
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These banded rock and blacktail rattlers were also touching each other when they buzzed, NM:
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Texas horned lizard, NM:
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Banded rock rattler, male, AZ:
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Banded rock rattler, female, NM:
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Same snake:
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These guys were all hanging out together when we drove up, but after they ran a safe distance away, the deer seemed to suddenly realize there was an imposter pronghorn in their midst:
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I was a bit too rough when grabbing this guy...it was the first time it’s happened to me. TX horned lizard, NM:
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Black-tailed rattler, NM:
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Banded rock, female, NM:
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An oddly patterned black-tailed ratter, NM:
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Banded rock, male, NM:
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Despite severe cuts to the photos I wanted to post, I’ve gone on too long again. Sorry about that. If you have any questions about a particular animal or theme, please don’t hesitate to ask….I’ve got WAY more photos!
Cheers,

York

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Saunders
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Saunders » March 24th, 2014, 12:32 pm

Amazing photos and great set! I'm loving those klaubs, especially the Franklins, definitely the best locality in my opinion.

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JEDDLV
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by JEDDLV » March 24th, 2014, 2:49 pm

I really enjoyed this post, a good read, & the pics were awsome. Thanks for sharing.

Jimi
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Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Jimi » March 24th, 2014, 4:40 pm

virtually no herpers can access, NM
Missile Range? I've wondered what's north of the Organs, klaub-wise.

Nice! pick-me-up at the end of a very long Monday. Thanks for the inspiration. Hope to make it down to SW NM again this September.

And - jeez dude, can't you take a little better care of yourself? Ha ha...nice splinter, nice bite.

Do you think another benadryl would have calmed those hives down? That's kind of a scary response...I do not like hives, it's creepy as hell. Glad to see you walked off another one. Last one?

Cheers,
Jimi

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Soopaman
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Soopaman » March 24th, 2014, 5:29 pm

Wow many, you really clobbered the Klaubs! Kudos on that. Lots of really nice looking ones.

You're lucky the bite wasn't worse; I'm glad you ended up okay.

ErikNM
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 12:54 pm

Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by ErikNM » March 24th, 2014, 6:57 pm

Every year I always look forward to your posts. They never ever disappoint. And even though a lot of herpers won't include the bad (getting bit, accidently killing a snake), I am glad you do. It's happened to a lot of us and sometimes sh*t happens. Anyway, thank you again for sharing and reminding me that I live in one of the best states in the whole US.

will lattea
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Joined: August 30th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: East Coast

Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by will lattea » March 25th, 2014, 4:53 am

your hard work, honesty and humor make these posts the best year after year. thanks for sharing!

:beer:

Will

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Trey
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Location: NE OHIO

Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Trey » March 25th, 2014, 5:17 am

Thank you for the excellent post, it is great to see some of the great things my birth state has to offer. I would love to get back to NM someday. I was born in Santa Fe, we left before I turned one.

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Fieldherper
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Fieldherper » March 25th, 2014, 5:33 am

Awesome finds and photos. That's A LOT of hiking to find that many klaubs. Any pyros?

As to the bite, that's really scary stuff if you start getting hives distant from the bite site. Consider carrying some Benadryl and an Epi-pen with you in the field in the future. Your doctor can write a prescription for an Epi-pen. There have been deaths due to anaphylactic-type reactions due to snake venom itself. Previous bites or even exposure to dry venom from captive snakes greatly increase the risk. You were lucky to be able to tough out the bite, but I would encourage others to check into the ER for a similar scenario. Off soapbox now.

Thanks for a GREAT post!

FH

Y.Morgan
Posts: 131
Joined: January 28th, 2011, 10:51 pm
Location: SW New Mexico

Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 25th, 2014, 6:55 am

Thanks Saunders!
Saunders wrote:definitely the best locality in my opinion.
It's hard to argue with the crisp, clean bands of those TX klaubs...many herpers agree with you. As for me, I prefer localities where the males are electric green - where it literally looks like they're plugged in. Of course, this effect is never captured effectively in photos and it's also less noticeable in herp collections with indoor lighting. I bet most folks would go nuts if, for example, they saw the 1st klaub in my post out in habitat.

Thanks JEDDLV!

Thanks Jimi!
Jimi wrote:Missile Range?
Well, I can't really discuss localities but I will say, no, not the missile range. It's a range surrounded by private property where we are friends with a rancher who is kind enough to let us in.
Jimi wrote:Do you think another benadryl would have calmed those hives down?
Maybe? I popped 2 at the presentation site and then 2 more at the ER lot. The last 2 seemed to make a difference or maybe it just took a bit for the first ones to kick in.
Jimi wrote:Last one?
Last one in front of a school group! :lol: But out in the field, I seriously doubt it. Thanks for your comments!

Thanks Soopaman! Yep, the klaubs are our primary focus for large portions of every year.
ErikNM wrote:thank you again for sharing and reminding me that I live in one of the best states in the whole US.
Hey Erik - thanks! This is about as good a compliment as anyone could give! BTW, I recently heard that a local work contact was a model and Googled her....voila! There were lots of photos you'd taken, really nice ones too! Looks like at least as much fun as herp photography!

Thank you, Will!

Thanks Trey - you gotta make a pilgrimage back one day!
Fieldherper wrote:That's A LOT of hiking to find that many klaubs. Any pyros?
Yep, SO much hiking it's kinda insane sometimes. No pyros the last 2 years. I think it's mostly just bad luck, but it's also due in part to the fact that many of the obscure localities we concentrate on are lower elevation, hot and dry - not so great for pyros. They need to make some rattles for those pyros so we can hear them when we're hiking!
Fieldherper wrote:Consider carrying some Benadryl and an Epi-pen
I carry Benadryl typically. No Epi-pen...no need. I'm not allergic to anything at all that I know of. My bud who has a similarly dubious track record with crote bites also hived up with his viridis bite. Might be something peculiar to their venom because neither of us has had this reaction to other venoms? Other than hives, we didn't have any unusual symptoms and overall, the bites were fairly mild. Thanks for your comments!

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monklet
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by monklet » March 25th, 2014, 9:57 am

Five Star post :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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ClosetHerper
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by ClosetHerper » March 25th, 2014, 11:10 am

What a report and what a load of pics.

Many beautiful and creative images in there. I especially like the pair of black-tails, the shadow of the rattler (took me a second), and the displaying spiny lizard.

Beauties!

Y.Morgan
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Joined: January 28th, 2011, 10:51 pm
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 25th, 2014, 7:22 pm

Thanks Monklet!
ClosetHerper wrote:I especially like the pair of black-tails, the shadow of the rattler (took me a second), and the displaying spiny lizard.
Thank you for noticing some of the subtler images! Maybe I shouldn't've posted the bite photos since one stupid moment seems to overshadow all the rest. I'd forgotten that the rattler shadow might be obscure at first glance - these are burned into my brain:
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That magister was one of the prettiest lizards I've ever seen and he was a stud too:
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One of the losers wasn't bad either:
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dery
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by dery » March 25th, 2014, 7:48 pm

Great post. I don't know why, but I really enjoy the shots of intoxicated and perverted fauna, and they make me smile as well. I guess it's partially due to the traits being assoscited with homo sapiens-thus they seem more sophisticated. :thumb:

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Carl Brune
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Carl Brune » March 26th, 2014, 3:38 am

Very nice post, thanks for sharing. I too liked the shadow shot.

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Kent VanSooy » March 26th, 2014, 11:53 am

Once again, it's the best post here since your last one. You immediately reeled me in with that ridiculous male klaub. I took particular note of the blacktail "french kiss", the atrox shadow, and the gophersnake at sunset. The shot of the ringtail is great, I'm still waiting to get a close look at one. I've come to expect the unusual from you (and pretty much only you would do something like it...) - the Sonora in the bag of bacon is just, well, delicious! Along with the visual delights, I learned a new phrase for my lexicon - it'd've been.

Wonderful stuff, thanks York!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by TravisK » March 26th, 2014, 3:53 pm

Nice post, took me all day while working to get through it :thumb:

Jeff Colwell
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Jeff Colwell » March 26th, 2014, 4:02 pm

Sucks about the killing/mutilating of some rattlers but hey at least you were able to get sweet pics to post here and whatever else it does for you. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelette.......All that in situ nonesense is overrated dude!
And getting bit while giving a safety talk? I never woulda thought of that, but it has to be the BEST way to help people get past all the misinformation of how bad/aggressive/useless/evil they are or whatever they thought. So much for the 'rattlers don't bite me 'cuz I don't give them a reason to' line, huh? I'm pretty sure the rattlers would thank you if they could!
Anyway enough of all that. Dude you ROCK, your pics are the best; probably the best rattler photographer EVER.
Just curious, how many times have you been tagged? True badges of HONOR! Celebrate yourself with a cold one tonight.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 26th, 2014, 4:59 pm

Thanks Carl!

Thanks Dery!
dery wrote:I don't know why, but I really enjoy the shots of intoxicated and perverted fauna, and they make me smile as well. I guess it's partially due to the traits being assoscited with homo sapiens-thus they seem more sophisticated.
I'm not sure I follow you, but if you're talking about the dead squirrel with the beer can in its grasp, twisted stuff like that makes me smile too.


Hey Kent, thanks so much for your comments - I really appreciate them.
Kent VanSooy wrote:The shot of the ringtail is great, I'm still waiting to get a close look at one.
Unfortunately, all of my photos of that ringtail's ringed tail were blurry with the poor lighting and all. I got a close look at this one - and one last year - after they crossed the road and we pulled over quickly and followed. Neither went far at all...just to the nearest decent-sized tree. Once up the tree, they seemed curious and didn't make much effort to hide on the opposite side.
Kent VanSooy wrote:the Sonora in the bag of bacon is just, well, delicious!
As if we needed further proof that it's always a good idea to have a bag of bacon along.
Kent VanSooy wrote:I learned a new phrase for my lexicon - it'd've been.
When you write and speak as slowly as I, compound contractions are your friend! Thanks again.
TravisK wrote:took me all day while working to get through it
I'm glad you liked the post Travis - thanks. I had no idea it would be so long until it was already up and then, I didn't feel like cutting. Oh well, at least you were getting paid!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by reptilist » March 26th, 2014, 5:11 pm

This is one of the most inspirational posts I've seen in years. Some of your shots are so unique, I'm just shaking my head in awe.

Terry

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TurtleTim
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by TurtleTim » March 26th, 2014, 5:13 pm

Far too many amazing pictures to pick a favorite, but the miles of fog would have been awesome to see in person. I laughed at the prairie dog living next to McDonalds. The first cropped pic just painted a far different picture in my head...lol

The picture you have titled FL cooter is a Chicken turtle. A much neater find imo!

Thanks again for sharing the pics! :thumb:

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 26th, 2014, 5:51 pm

Holy crap, Terry - thanks! I still hear tale of you from time to time through work. You're famous!
TurtleTim wrote:the miles of fog would have been awesome to see in person
It really was. I must have taken 100 photos and none of them came close to capturing it. It was sorta like the view from an airplane.
TurtleTim wrote:I laughed at the prairie dog living next to McDonalds. The first cropped pic just painted a far different picture in my head
Ha...gotcha! I thought about posting a photo like this (below) without fessing up, but the McDonalds temptation was too strong.
Image

Thanks for the turtle ID - I changed it right away. And thanks especially for your comments!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Zach Cava » March 27th, 2014, 2:59 pm

Great post. I love the ground snakes - still haven't seen one yet!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Mike VanValen » March 27th, 2014, 4:23 pm

Very cool post...one of the best in a while around here. I love the scenery as much as the serpents.

Another ID correction : the Green Treefrog is actually a Squirrel Treefrog.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Jeff Colwell » March 28th, 2014, 10:47 am

I know the pics and finds are sweet but Jesus am I really the only one finding fault with him
a) killing a snake in the process of trying to just get a pic?
b) mangling another one's face for the same reason? (Why not just try for the pic again, the next time out?)
and
c) getting bit while speaking about rattler safety in front of dozens of kids and their parents?
...Hopefully I'm just the only one willing to actually point that out. Maybe no one actually read the text?


WTF? Come on guys. That's just sad.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by MassHorridus » March 28th, 2014, 11:45 am

slow clap :shock:

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Geqqo » March 28th, 2014, 12:55 pm

I agree with you Jeff. I think many more people who frequent this forum do as well. It's hard to start such a debate on forums like these. People either jump down your throat or ignore you. Perhaps many of the encouraging and awed responses are from friends or acquaintances who perhaps know more about the context? I know there are quite a few field herpers on this forum who have not chimed in who are about as hands off/insitu as it gets short of using binoculars to enjoy an animal's behavior in a wilderness setting. I am one of them. That said, I have friends who are not and we get into debates about etiquette while in the field. It's a tough situation for a forum like this in the internet community where you literally run the gamut on people who are interested in herps. There are poachers and biologists and LE and thirteen year old kids on here and dads who only go out looking for rattlesnakes so they can collect the rattles and people who don't even care about anything unless its venomous and people who enjoy it all from utas to gilas and the red efts to the hellbenders. There are people here who only road cruise and people who only hike and everyone in between. There are people who keep lists as collections and people who keep specimens as collections and people who keep photographs as collections and people who just collect memories.

These are some stunning lepidus this person gets to experience in the field and I hope one day to be able to do the same. The passion and the effort are there. Technique and field etiquette will always be debated. I do not agree with how he goes about it in most instances (especially during mating/birthing periods). He talks about finding a target after spending fruitless days of hiking prior without finding his target. To me every minute out there is the gift in and of itself. He implores us to learn from his mistakes, yet he refuses to. His posts contain bites every year and he freely admits this won't be his last. I do think it is these sort of posts that do more harm than good to our community and the impressionable children who browse these forums. I spend hundreds of hours a year within the ecosystem that rattlesnakes inhabit and encounter dozens. I have never been tagged and I have never had a close call. I do not wear gators or gloves. I wear awareness. I do not see myself in a situation where I will be envenomated in the near future.

All we can do is bring up our disagreements and hope perhaps second thoughts may occur because of them and our differences of opinions. There are a lot of impressionable kids who frequent this site. I know because I was thirteen fifteen years ago going on kingsnake and have frequented this forum/community since its inception. For everyone one of me their are five of my contemporaries racing out into the field flipping rocks till the cows come home to locate the incredible animals posted here. In this day and age of immediacy I have a lot of trepidation. It's all about now this second and I am worried about this generation and future ones. Nobody sits still anymore. It has to be now. People work fifty weeks a year spend a boatload of money on a five day trip and will do most things short of murder to find the targets they think they deserve to find. Patience. Its like watching someone driving 85 on the freeway flying past you upset you are only going 65 and then meeting him at the pump next to you three minutes later. We all will get there, to that moment, how we chose to get there is up to us.

Some of these thoughts pertain to the orignal poster and your comments, some just caught a ride on my train of thought.

Mostly what upset me here is he chose to ignore you and focus on the praise from others. I am sorry for that and I know you are frustrated.

dan

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by nhherp » March 28th, 2014, 3:25 pm

"These are some stunning lepidus this person gets to experience in the field and I hope one day to be able to do the same"

"a) killing a snake in the process of trying to just get a pic?
b) mangling another one's face for the same reason? (Why not just try for the pic again, the next time out?) "


From these comment I am guessing neither post authors have ever searched for klauberi.

I don't know York, I am sure he can defend himself, however I am familiar with how klauberi behave. The amount of energy and time it takes to see the well known locales is an investment. Its rare to get a good look, let alone a picture without touching it.. typically a person hears the buzz and looks if lucky to see a tail slipping into the rocks, IF the snake was even sitting exposed to begin with. Even the most adamant hands off person is eventually forced into manipulation.
I realize foreigners may say "but you guys live there" you can always go back, except going back still means many numerous days and hours and miles of hot rugged hikes, driving, and as mentioned there are often trips of no success. Some ranges I only get to once year or less simply due to not being able to have the free time to commit.
Some of the locales types pictured here I have never seen, and I doubt have never been photographed until now. Mr. Morgan alone mentioned he had limited exposure to only a few specimens, from some of his places over several years and visits.

Does this excuse carelessness, no but the fact that out of all these journeys and pictured animals he willingly discloses one death and another injury, I feel does speak to his concern for the animals and their safety. Talus rocks on 45 - 60+% inclines move, even when you think they wont, and they can crush you much more readily then the snake in most cases.

-N-

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by ahockenberry » March 28th, 2014, 5:48 pm

I'm speechless - :crazyeyes:
Wow, I am not sure how you will ever top that post!
It was educational
Amazing array of species and great photography
Some nice landscapes thrown in as well
Hope you heal up from the bite - ouch
Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post all the images

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » March 28th, 2014, 8:19 pm

Zach Cava wrote:I love the ground snakes - still haven't seen one yet!
Thanks Zach! I wouldn't even begin to know how to target those Sonoras...they just seem to turn up while we're hiking. Three is the most I've found in a year, by 2! Random finds each time. Keep hiking and one will drop from the sky!
Mike VanValen wrote: I love the scenery as much as the serpents. Another ID correction : the Green Treefrog is actually a Squirrel Treefrog.
I'm glad about the scenery...me too. We take tons of those landscape shots but I have to cut out most of them since this ain't the Scenery Forum and my posts are already too long. It's hurts to cut them though. Dohhh...I'm rusty with my East Coast stuff - thanks for the correction...I'll implement pronto.

Thanks, Geggo, for the opportunity to discuss this stuff civilly - sincerely, I appreciate it. A previous poster was antagonistic and sarcastic and well...plain rude. Why would I acknowledge mean-spiritedness? (Although I did apparently send a PM to said rude dude that was intended elsewhere.)
Geggo wrote:Technique and field etiquette will always be debated. I do not agree with how he goes about it in most instances (especially during mating/birthing periods).
I hear where you're coming from and I suspect our dispositions are way more similar than it may seem. It's a bummer that my favorite species, banded rocks, are virtually impossible to see or photograph without moving rocks....as -N- mentioned. Of the 60 I saw this year, precisely 0 were photographable without moving rocks and most weren't even visible. I'd be one bored-ass klaub herper if I adopted a wait-for-in-situ approach! It simply doesn't work for most of our montanes (except the remarkably chilled molossus.) All the other species I generally move as little as possible. For me in the field, absolutely nothing tops a good in situ shot! Oh it'd be great if we could wait until it's not breeding and birthing season, but do you know what we'd find? Virtually nothing. The only time most of these animals surface with any sort of regularity is during the monsoon, which is when they take care of their business. The way these species survive the hot, arid desert is by being conservative and waiting for suitable weather. If you don't herp during suitable weather, you are really just hiking, not herping, which would make this the Field Hiker Forum.
Geggo wrote:To me every minute out there is the gift in and of itself.
I agree in principle! I think if you look at my posts closely, you can see my love for this place and particularly for the locations we find klaubs. It's unfortunate that after visiting the same locality DOZENS of times that I just can no longer feel that sense of wonder, but I can't. I need some more Zen maybe, but when I get to the point that I know exactly the color and shape of certain rocks on a given range, it gets old and I'm mostly results oriented. The smart thing to do would be to quit and look elsewhere but I ain't that smart. I ride past some of these ranges all the time and it just kills me knowing that I've never seen a female of My Precious in that spot. Each time I fail to find My Precious, it makes me even more determined to go back. Sick maybe, but don't think for a moment that most of my hikes aren't filled with the same sort of joy most outdoorsy people feel.
Geggo wrote:I hope one day to be able to do the same
Cool...just know up front that you ain't seeing a thing if you come during the dry season and wait for in situs. Seriously.
Geggo wrote:His posts contain bites every year and he freely admits this won't be his last.
My business and nobody else's, period. I readily state that each of my bites was an act of stupidity or carelessness or both. I'm embarrassed by them actually. But are you not interested in seeing the results of a snakebite? I think it's one subject that interests nearly everyone...especially members of a herping forum. Do you think there's no place for these sorts of photos and descriptions in a public arena? Would you advocate censorship? If not, where would be a good place? If not here on the FHF, where can one document snakebites and the effects? I'm earnest in admitting my mistakes and I would hope that after viewing some of the gruesome photos, most folks would think it unwise to be bitten. Very unwise! There are plenty of herpers on this forum who have been tagged but they have the good sense not to advertise their stupidity. I, on the other hand, am not that proud and would prefer sharing my experience and having a sub-segment of my readers think I'm a yahoo. Hell, I AM a bit of a yahoo in that respect I suppose, but that's nobody's business but mine.
Geggo wrote:perhaps second thoughts may occur because of them and our differences of opinions.
Maybe so for some of our readers...I hope more people take an attitude where they're more concerned about conservation than about raping the environment. The thing is, I think you have the wrong guy here, or at least the wrong idea about me. I have kept exactly zero snakes for myself since 1991. I have ONE friend for whom I recently started keeping the occasional klaub if I find them in NM from a rare locality. That's it. I have zero pet herps and I'm actually fairly anti-keeper...although I don't wear it on my sleeve since many of my best buds and people I respect are keepers. To me, caging a wild animal is tantamount to killing it. And selling a WC animal is like selling your soul. I don't feel much worse about the very few instances that I accidentally killed a snake than I would about bringing it home and putting it in a cage. In short, I doubt very seriously there is a more conservation-minded herper on this forum than me....unless you're talking about the ones who sit on their sofas and wish they were looking for klaubs. :lol:
Geggo wrote:There are a lot of impressionable kids who frequent this site
Including my own...PUHHH-LEASE! Their impression is, "Snakes are cool. Snakes are potentially dangerous and deserve respect. York is a dumbass for getting bitten. I'm never going to do that." Or something akin.
Geggo wrote:Nobody sits still anymore.
I have no idea what you mean. We live in a society where obesity is an epidemic. If you're asserting that somehow I lack patience or conscience or care for kids....ya know...I don't even understand how you could get that from my posts? I really don't. Regarding the viridis bite in front of the class, I said explicitly that it was my stupidest moment ever. I am horribly embarrassed by it. It is the single most embarrassing moment of my life (closely followed by the time I woke myself up with the loudest fart in the world....during final exams....in a crowded, dead-quiet undergraduate library...with hot chicks all around. It was a wooden chair too, so it sounded like a pileated woodpecker coming out of my ass. That was the 2nd most embarrassing.) But guess what....I volunteered my time and lost a full day of work to present reptiles to these kids. I spent a week bagging reptiles (temporarily) for the presentation and then had to drive back to each GPS'd location to release them. I made a mistake. How can I undo that? If there were a way to fly around earth real fast and undo it, I would've. But guess what else, I turned it into a substantial learning experience that many of the kids have described as the most meaningful lesson of the year. Thanks to my checkered history, I was neither afraid nor nervous...in fact the kids didn't even know it had happened until I showed them the blood...CALMLY. I explained to them over and over what a careless move it was. I stepped 5' back from the snake and showed how I was 100% safe from this distance. After putting the snake away, the kids came up and viewed the bite closely and I described the swelling and adrenaline-induced shaking and moderate pain. Ultimately, the entire middle school gathered in a circle and we discussed what happened and why. We discussed the importance of being aware around snakes and in the very rare case of a bite -remaining calm and how if they are ever bitten they should proceed to the hospital more quickly than a dumbass who has built up his immunity through similarly-foolish moments. It was actually quite a remarkable lesson and EVERYONE listened intently and learned something. Guess what else. I kept my appointments the following day and did herp presentations for 1st and 2nd graders followed by the high school honors biology class. My stump arm made a vivid point of the importance of respecting rattlesnakes and ALSO the reality that most bites are not fatal and that calm, rational reactions are best. Where else can a kid get that?

Regarding the snakes I killed/maimed while trying to find them. Does anyone really think that's bravado? Does anyone think I'm proud or happy about that? It's just terrible that I caused that. It makes me hurt inside just to remember it. I'd rather the rocks had smashed me....no exaggeration...it'd've hurt way less. I posted those photos and text to show what can happen. I sacrificed my own credibility to be informative to my peers. That some of you would find me foolish or stupid or careless is entirely understandable. You're right! But I am not impatient. I do care about kids. I do care about the snakes and habitat that I cherish. The obvious option to avoid injuries to snakes is to just quit trying and I can't do that. I just have to be more careful not to hurt the snakes (not myself...again, that's my own business) and to tread as lightly as possible. Unfortunately, the price for my selfish pursuits is the very rare death/injury of the very thing I care most about - after family and close friends. If it happens again, I could keep it to myself - but it would still have happened and that's what I really care about. After it happens, all I really have are detractors and we all have those.

Holy Crap, I just went UnaHerper on you....a gawdang manifesto. Thanks again on the opportunity to discuss this and I apologize for getting a bit testy and defensive at times
nhherp wrote:Talus rocks on 45 - 60+% inclines move, even when you think they wont, and they can crush you much more readily then the snake in most cases.
. -N-, thank you for your comments. If I were looking at photos of east coast herpers screwing with timber rattlers, I'd probably feel the same sort of WTF as some of them feel looking at the klaub stuff. But it's really a different ballgame here and with your vast experience, you expressed the differences more clearly and succinctly than I could have. Thanks again.
ahockenberry wrote:Hope you heal up from the bite - ouch. Thanks for sharing and taking the time to post all the images
The bite is 100% good now - I was fortunate. Thanks so much for your note...I spent at least 200 hours going through photos and preparing the post. Notes like yours make me feel slightly less foolish for doing so. :lol: Thanks!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Nate S. » March 28th, 2014, 9:38 pm

Wow incredible post one of the best I've ever seen on here! Really amazing shots and diversity. I can't believe all those banded rocks you found. I really love some of the funny/creative shots in this post too, the diamondback curled up around the Tecate was a hilarious shot among many others.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Kent VanSooy » March 29th, 2014, 6:07 am

I would hope that after viewing some of the gruesome photos, most folks would think it unwise to be bitten. Very unwise! There are plenty of herpers on this forum who have been tagged but they have the good sense not to advertise their stupidity. I, on the other hand, am not that proud and would prefer sharing my experience and having a sub-segment of my readers think I'm a yahoo.
Ah, I'm going to need and remember that in the weeks and months ahead...

...once again, thanks York.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Nshepard » March 29th, 2014, 9:58 am

York! Always great to see what you've been up to. Wish I could make it back out your way but I never seem to have the time off and enough money at the same time to make it possible. Glad you made some time to make it out here to NC.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by noah k. » March 29th, 2014, 10:08 am

Absolutely incredible. Excellent post and photographs!

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Jeff Lemm
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Jeff Lemm » March 29th, 2014, 10:27 am

Bravo!! Absolutely wonderful!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Fieldherper » March 29th, 2014, 3:35 pm

It is the single most embarrassing moment of my life (closely followed by the time I woke myself up with the loudest fart in the world....during final exams....in a crowded, dead-quiet undergraduate library...with hot chicks all around. It was a wooden chair too, so it sounded like a pileated woodpecker coming out of my ass. That was the 2nd most embarrassing.)

This made me shoot diet Mtn Dew into my sinuses and out my nose. My looked at me like, "Wtf is wrong with you?"

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by LouB747 » March 29th, 2014, 9:31 pm

Great post. I actually like seeing the bite pics with the timeline. I gotta say, if it was me, I would have been in the hospital immediately. Again, great post.

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by squamigera » March 30th, 2014, 4:49 am

You know, sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm related to this guy. I'm not as passionate about anything in my life the way that York is passionate about field herping and photography. Not mountain biking, nor rock climbing, nor even captive breeding (snakes or humans). Well, on second thought, maybe I am as passionate about my kids. Maybe.

I've made a few trips out to see York for a week of field herping and it's always an ass-kicker of a week. I'm no couch potato myself, but I always come home sore, bruised, and bleeding from the hours of hiking in difficult terrain to find just a handful of herps. And I know that York cherry picks the locales for me to find something great for the brief period I am there. I know how much fruitless hiking he does in horribly difficult terrain, either by himself or with just one friend who is nuts enough to subject himself to the same brutal treatment. These two are not the guys who are out there digging holes in talus and leaving them, or littering the landscape with empty Gatorade bottles and beer cans. I think you guys are barking up the wrong tree. Maybe some guys can go build a blind on a mountain side near some talus and photograph a klaub or two a year in situ with a 600mm lens without it ever knowing they were there. Good for them. But we're talking about animals that routinely get gassed, dens bulldozed, heads smashed, tails cut off, skinned alive, and run over on purpose. Many, many people still despise them and kill them simply because Jesus said so. Come on, guys. Do you think there is a squirrel suit flying forum where there is currently a debate going on about not posting any photos of you flying in your suit because it will encourage the kids to do so? York and I used to jump ever-increasing number of cinder block ramps on our BMX bikes when we were little because of Evel Knievel. If no one inspires the kids, then maybe they can all just sit around their entire lives and play on their iPhones or watch Facebook all day. Maybe a post like this will at least inspire some of them to actually get outside and explore.

The French kissing molossus has to be one of my favorite photos ever. And you got a double self portrait in their eyes. Awesome!

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by JakeScott » March 30th, 2014, 5:48 pm

So many things I like about this post. I like the photos (duh). I like the stories. I like the fact that you are honest and admit when things go wrong. But this isn't facebook (as you pointed out) and I can't just simply "like" with a little thumbs-up icon. I like that fact. I think more people need to be vulnerable and talk about their misfortunes, since ever single long-term herper has had them. Thanks for taking the, no doubt lots, of time to create this post.

I don't often comment on posts, but when I do, they are usually amazing.

-Jake

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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by jason folt » March 30th, 2014, 10:43 pm

Obviously lots of hard work and dedication went into your year, and the results speak for themselves.

Please be safe in 2014. I like to see your posts each year, and would like to continue to see them. The physician in me cringes each round...

Y.Morgan
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » April 1st, 2014, 7:37 pm

Y.Morgan wrote:the diamondback curled up around the Tecate was a hilarious shot among many others.
Thanks Nate S., for your note; it came at a good time! That WDB shot happened on its own...obviously herps lean more toward Mexican beer the closer you get to the border. :lol:
Kent VanSooy wrote:Ah, I'm going to need and remember that in the weeks and months ahead
Well Kent, I'm 100% sure you're wise enough to remember that with no help from me, but I'll tell you - the timeliness of your supportive note was excellent. I checked the forum real quickly as I was headed out for a weekend of herping - expecting to see more hate mail. But nope! It was a good way to head out the door. Thank you!
Nshepard wrote:Wish I could make it back out your way but I never seem to have the time off and enough money at the same time to make it possible. Glad you made some time to make it out here to NC.
Nate! Whassup? Lemme know when you do make it out and we'll go look for meanie greenies! My trip to NC was good even though my timing could not have been worse. Remember that October storm when it rained for 5 straight days and temps dropped from 80 to 50? That was my window for fishing and herping. There was finally one good day at the very end...and wow, was it a great day! Thanks for your note.

Thanks so much Noah and Jeff!
Fieldherper wrote:This made me shoot diet Mtn Dew into my sinuses and out my nose
And here I was regretting that disclosure. Mtn Dew out the nose means it was all worth it :D Thanks for fessing up!
LouB747 wrote:I actually like seeing the bite pics with the timeline.
Thanks for your note and for letting me know this. I've been debating whether to include bite photos in the future if there are any. I probably will.
squamigera wrote:nor even captive breeding (snakes or humans)
:lol: Glad to see you here, Man! Thanks for having my back! We need to catch up soon!
squamigera wrote:The French kissing molossus has to be one of my favorite photos ever
That was a lucky one! One time, their tongues actually stuck together for a second or 2 - it was cool to see! BTW, did you see that craziness I posted above? I actually said that I'm patient! WTF? I must've been high on myself. Persistent? Very. Patient? Hmmmm.
JakeScott wrote: think more people need to be vulnerable and talk about their misfortunes
Jake, thanks for taking the time to comment on this post and for this note in particular. I don't wish misfortune on anyone, but if they're going to have it while herping, I'd like to see pics and hear about it. Why not?
jason folt wrote:Please be safe in 2014.
Thanks, Jason for your note and good wishes. I'll try!

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Ameron
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I Agree with Terry (Reptilist)

Post by Ameron » April 2nd, 2014, 3:00 pm

"This is one of the most inspirational posts I've seen in years. Some of your shots are so unique, I'm just shaking my head in awe." Terry

The word awesome is very overused these days. This is one instance where it is not. I enjoyed your visual feast tremendously. (Wow, the photos of the Chihuahuan Desert were spectacular, especially those taken at sunset. I want to move to New Mexico.)

Thanks for giving us a visual tutorial on what happens after a Rattlesnake bite, and the timelines involved. That was very helpful, and may save much money for other herpers who now know what to expect.

I was particularly moved by your admission of foolishness acts – rattlesnake bite, damaging snakes when digging them out of the ground. It is a rare trait for a man to admit that he was wrong, and to seek to teach others from his example.

I've been down Foolish Lane myself, more than once. It's always good to depart from it and glance at it from a remote perspective. As I grow older, I grow wiser, and I make fewer mistakes for which my reptiles companions must pay.

Ever forward!

Don Jacobson
Portland/Vancouver

1.0 Boa constrictor imperator (Hog Island)
1.0 Lampropeltis triangulum nelsoni
1.0 Agrionemys horsfieldii kazakhstanica

Flicker link below shows some photos of my 55-gallon vivarium & snakes.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Y.Morgan
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » April 2nd, 2014, 6:26 pm

Thanks for those excellent compliments, Ameron!
Ameron wrote:visual tutorial on what happens after a Rattlesnake bite, and the timelines involved. That was very helpful, and may save much money for other herpers who now know what to expect.
It is very important to note that this was MY experience for this particular bite! Every bite is different and nobody reading this should use this bite or my response as a model. I have some immunity built up from previous boneheaded moves, plus viridis venom is not so toxic and I'm not so cautious. If you are ever bitten, please get to a hospital ASAP as your reaction could be entirely different! Thanks again.

Viperas.de
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Viperas.de » April 2nd, 2014, 6:56 pm

Awesome Thread ! Thanks for posting !

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Will Wells
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Will Wells » April 3rd, 2014, 5:28 am

Incredible post and photos as usual. This really got me fired up for the upcoming season. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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moloch
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by moloch » April 3rd, 2014, 8:29 pm

Yani,

I love the shot of the Grand Canyon & Collared Lizard ... superb! That "dominant magister" was also exceptionally good ... love to see behavioural shots like these.

Regards,
David

millmoss
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by millmoss » April 4th, 2014, 5:53 am

I've been thinking about this post all morning.

For me, the following comments just don't square up.

You say:
Does anyone think I'm proud or happy about that? It's just terrible that I caused that. It makes me hurt inside just to remember it. I'd rather the rocks had smashed me....no exaggeration...it'd've hurt way less.
But you aren't going to stop. Regardless of the very real risk to the snakes. What that tells me is that the real effect on you is negligible.

You also say:
I'd be one bored-ass klaub herper if I adopted a wait-for-in-situ approach!
To which I would reply, "Well, then you can be a bored-ass klaub herper, or you can be a hypocrite, or you can be an ass. But you're going to sort of have to chose one." You're not addicted. You can stop. Or be upfront about this being all about you, and not about the snake.

That they are hard to get in situ doesn't matter. That you don't collect doesn't matter. That the people back east looking for Timbers do far worse doesn't matter.

As far as the bite goes, as someone who also does education in front of kids, my first thought was "Wow. What if he had a bad reaction to the bite? How traumatic would that have been for those kids?"

That you survived relatively unscathed without hospitalization is an even worse lesson for those kids, who I'm sure were given an update of your condition. I'm not sure how you don't see the harm there.

This is the second story I've heard of an educator getting bit by a venomous snake in front of kids. If it were up to me, you wouldn't be able to handle live venomous snakes in front of anyone anymore.

ramblon
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by ramblon » April 4th, 2014, 8:39 am

You are the definition of a field herper/photographer, you document and catch the entire essence of what we do better than any I see here. It's a very relatable "style" to me. It's posts like this that almost make me want to share again, then I see the critics and remember why I stopped.

The good, the bad and the ugly, don't censor any of it. It's honest, entertaining and educational. Look forward to next year!

:beer:

Y.Morgan
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by Y.Morgan » April 4th, 2014, 6:08 pm

Thank you, Viperas.de!
Will Wells wrote:This really got me fired up for the upcoming season.
Me too, Will - I'm already hittin' it! Thanks for your note!
moloch wrote:I love the shot of the Grand Canyon & Collared Lizard
That shot reminds me of many of your photos....cool lizard in situ with habitat in the background. My posts are always inspired by the way you include habitat in your posts. Thanks, David!
millmoss wrote: "Well, then you can be a bored-ass klaub herper, or you can be a hypocrite, or you can be an ass. But you're going to sort of have to chose one." You're not addicted. You can stop. Or be upfront about this being all about you, and not about the snake.
Hi, Millmoss. Is this upfront enough?....it IS about me and not the snakes. If it were about the snakes, the best thing I could do is stay home. Many herpers have run over a snake while road-cruising. Does that mean we as a group should stop road-cruising lest we become a hypocrite or ass? (These are different categories?) Probably, the conservation-minded should stop pursuing herps altogether since handling, photographing and even our mere presence can interrupt natural processes and cause stress that might ultimately harm our beloveds. Furthermore, if we really love our natural world, the best way to prove it is to stay home in a city far away from anything we might harm. Enough. In 6 years of living in the SW, I have found more than 550 montane rattlers (klaubs, molossus, willardi, pricei, and mitchelli combined) in rocky habitat. Of those 550+, I have killed/maimed 3 including the two posted here. That's 0.5%...half of one percent. It's still unacceptable and I strive to do better. I remember those 3 deaths that I caused better than any other find, but I simply am not going to quit looking. It's too important to me. I will be more careful, but I WILL keep looking. It is selfish. It IS all about me...which is what other nature-lovers must admit if they look closely enough at what they do for fun.
millmoss wrote:That you survived relatively unscathed without hospitalization is an even worse lesson for those kids, who I'm sure were given an update of your condition. I'm not sure how you don't see the harm there.
I'm not sure how one with such a limited understanding of the occurrence could see harm - or anything else really. In my experience, Americans are supremely aware of the dangers - to a fault...to the point that many won't venture at all into areas that might have snakes. "After a bite, how long do I have until I die?" The biggest challenge I have in talking to the general public about snake bites is convincing them that in the unlikely event of a bite, their chances of surviving (and living a normal life) are actually quite good if they keep their heads and get medical attention. I emphasize this point all the time and the snakebite in question gave me a good platform to demonstrate it. So many people have an attitude like "those poor, impressionable kids". Whaaaa? They're like little adults with more enthusiasm and better memories. I'm 100% sure that no kid who saw the bite or its aftermath came away thinking York was "virtually unscathed". They were alarmed (rightfully so) but listened intently while I described the dangers and how they should react if bitten. The swollen arm brought it home way more than mere words.
millmoss wrote:If it were up to me, you wouldn't be able to handle live venomous snakes in front of anyone anymore.
Again, I'm not sure how you could come to such a concrete conclusion with the limited information you have. The professional educators who were there are able to make truly informed decisions because they saw the incident and how it impacted their kids - short term and long term. They can evaluate the presentations I give in general and how I handled this extremely embarrassing and unfortunate accident. They can judge me as a person and a presenter much more accurately than someone who simply reads my FHF posts. So far, they have shown no enthusiasm for the ban you'd mandate. However, if they do come to this conclusion, I will certainly respect their informed opinions. It's really unfortunate, millmoss, that with all the images in this post the only ones that inspired your response were negative. I regret that. p.s. Who sez I'm not addicted? :lol:
ramblon wrote:The good, the bad and the ugly, don't censor any of it. It's honest, entertaining and educational.
Man - ramblon - I can't thank you enough for that! The whole philosophical justification thing is a beat down! Makes me want to crawl in a hole. I don't want to censor my posts but sometimes it seems like one stupid incident overrides all the good stuff. Knowing there are some folks out there who value the bad and the ugly too - that helps! Thanks again. :beer:

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nhherp
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Re: NM, AZ, FL, NC, CA, & TX - Shuffled

Post by nhherp » April 4th, 2014, 7:53 pm

"Many herpers have run over a snake while road-cruising".

Agreed, and there probably many who wouldn't admit it .
I have had the disappointed evening of traveling the same road being hunted by others obviously road cruising.. They had no idea they had hit a baby viridis followed by a little blackhead' and later a nightsnake. Yeah they saw the big stuff but missed the little guys in pursuit. I wondered later if it had been them for sure but based on the several dead on a road with little traffic I didn't have many other options to blame. i got tired and went home for night I left those dead snakes there for them to see' probably didn't register though
I remember well the first time I hit a snake, it was a corn on a hot Georgia afternoon when I wasn't paying attention in route to an area for the evening

On a side note ' any time your near that McD's and feel like getting out let me know if you want shoot me a PM for info. Im located about 40 min south of there along the mountain.

-N-

Great post I always enjoy your catalogue of our various forms!

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