InSitu Rattlesnakes

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Brendan
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InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 17th, 2014, 12:26 pm

It's been a couple years since I've shared much on here. In no particular order I'll post some highlights to the last field season. All shots are of snakes which were never disturbed for any reason. These days I always do my best to leave no footprints.
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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » November 17th, 2014, 12:31 pm

Beautiful collection, thanks! Particularly love the first shot.

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pete
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by pete » November 17th, 2014, 1:02 pm

Beautiful post!
Nothing like finding something and leaving it sitting exactly where it was.

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by krismunk » November 17th, 2014, 1:29 pm

Absolutely astonishingly awesome as always :thumb:

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Jacob anderson » November 17th, 2014, 1:39 pm

Nice shots!

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Kelly Mc
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Kelly Mc » November 17th, 2014, 7:05 pm

This is the Best!!!!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by LouB747 » November 17th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Love that white Speckled?....fifth from the bottom. Great shots.

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 18th, 2014, 6:21 am

Thanks guys. After scrolling back through the post I realized I barley posted anything. Lol Seemed like I put up a lot more than I did. Forgot how long it takes to write a post.

Lou the snake you are referring to is a speck. There are three posted that would be considered "white specks" in the thread.

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Bob McKeever » November 18th, 2014, 9:07 am

Awesome is inadequate. Field effort & results that won't likely be matched anytime soon. Thanks much for sharing.
Bob

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Kfen » November 18th, 2014, 12:24 pm

Very nice post. Its good to see some people can still take awesome photos of rattlesnakes without disturbing them. I find in situ photos way more enjoyable. You have also captured some great behaviours! Is that one speckled drinking off of itself?

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 18th, 2014, 1:20 pm

Thanks Bob! Much appreciated.

Kfen.......good spot on the speck. She was first spotted coiled on an embankment and 20 mins later the sky opened up and she moved into the open to get a drink. Got a few shots before I got soaked!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by El Garia » November 18th, 2014, 1:41 pm

Excellent post, Brendan. Love the variety of sp., as well as the 'feeding shots'.

Always refreshing to see in-situ posts... :beer:


Derek


btw - Superb photography

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by IllinoisGuy » November 18th, 2014, 1:46 pm

Simply awesome. I think photographing rattlesnakes without disturbing them is the least we can do to respect them. Great shots by the way!

-Edward

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 18th, 2014, 2:07 pm

Kfen here are a bunch more "rain harvesting" shots from the rainy season this year.....

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Since I didn't post anything last year here are a few more from 2013
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Thanks Derek and Edward!!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by bgorum » November 18th, 2014, 3:16 pm

Absolutely awesome!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by soulsurvivor » November 18th, 2014, 3:33 pm

Awesome photos! I really dig the pic of the spec and blacktail in the same shot.

~Bree

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 18th, 2014, 3:45 pm

Thanks Bree. I love it too. Funny thing is I didn't even notice the blacktail till I walked away and decided I needed one more shot with my cell phone. I was so focused on the speck I didn't notice the molossus.

Thanks Bill!

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Rich in Reptiles » November 18th, 2014, 5:03 pm

I respect good in-situ photography 8-) . What awesome awesome captures!! I'm assuming you would have to spend a LOT of time out in the field to see all that, are you conducting some sort of research on rattlers??
-Bethany

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by simus343 » November 18th, 2014, 5:15 pm

Love this post. Rattlesnakes are up there in my top 3 types of snakes, and the only snake where the whole Crotalidae family makes it into my top 3 groups. You have really got my aching to at least visit the SW United States for a few months, if not move there!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Swamp Crawler » November 18th, 2014, 5:53 pm

Great Pics!!! You need to come out here to Florida and take some pics.

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 18th, 2014, 6:05 pm

Thanks Bethany. I don't do any research just my hobby which I'm passionate about. This is a super tiny cross section of the field observations I make each year. Many of these snakes I see over and over again every year and have for 7 years. It's fun getting to know them over the years and allows me more opportunity for behavioral observations the better I get to know them.

Simus it's a fun place to live and herp.

Swamp crawler I'll be there in March!!!

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MattSullivan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by MattSullivan » November 18th, 2014, 8:14 pm

damn dude these are all awesome. the white speck buddied up with the blacktail is my favorite

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by DevinBergquist » November 19th, 2014, 8:27 am

Good stuff Brendan, glad you decided to post again. I agree with Matt, that speck and blacktail together is an awesome shot. I really like the atrox shot above it too, the lighting is perfect. Well done, I always look forward to your posts.

Devin

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 19th, 2014, 9:23 am

Thanks Devin. I figured since I took a break from social media for a while my posting here wouldn't be too redundant.

Matt it was one of those memorable moments I won't forget.

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Jimi
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Jimi » November 19th, 2014, 9:26 am

Glad to see you're still out doing your thing Brendan. Curious - did you just luck into those neonates in set 1, or had you been monitoring the moms throughout June (or whenever)? And were those mosquitoes, or just some other little flies, on the neonate tiger? (think it's a tiger, can't see enough to be sure myself) Looks kinda hellish...skeeters in the desert are just so...desperate. So driven. Yuck.

On a more serious and perhaps less interesting-to-you note - you've now got some pretty interesting and unique longitudinal data of known individuals. There is a lot more information that could be harvested from those raw data. If you were so inclined, I'd suggest you get with a snake population biologist (demographic modeler) and see what they might be able to use from your data set. There are individual, population, and "nuisance" parameters that might be estimable from your data. And who knows what other on-going studies might be benefit from your information. You might make some good contacts that way too, and learn some things you don't already know.

Best,
Jimi

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Bryan Hamilton » November 19th, 2014, 9:26 am

Beautiful work Brendan. Incredible natural history captured, the feeding observations I especially enjoyed. It seems like mitchelli is feeding on a lot of birds? I love the piles of lutosus.

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 19th, 2014, 12:37 pm

Hey Jimi great to hear from you. Yes I'm still at it as much as ever. I located that momma speck about a week before she delivered her babies. Specks are a really hard animal to observe immediately post partum, at least for me. Of more than 40 gravid females that I may encounter in mid to late summer I am never really able to get photos of mom with babies. It's only happened less than a half dozen times over hundreds of individuals. One season I had nearly 15 gravid specks communally associating and never got to see one baby. LOL I think its because this species tends to have babies below the surface and babies don't come back out till it's time to split. That or I just suck!! The photos of the atrox giving birth above is the first time I have even been present for an actual birthing and later got to see her with the babies for almost a week before they shed and split. I have seen lots of cases of mommas and babies together in other species such as atrox and molossus and even klauberi, just not pyrrhus. Working on getting some of this stuff published through the proper channels.

Hey Bryan, thank you. Yes I have at least 10 observations of pyrrhus predating on various birds. They love em!!
Forgot a few of these

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The spoils of victory
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Y.Morgan » November 20th, 2014, 8:54 pm

So glad to see you post here, Brendan! Your "oh, by the way" shots tacked onto the end are better than anything I see in a given year. I'm doing something wrong! Your dedication and effort are so evident in your posts! The rainwater shots are outstanding and the combat and the birthing and the feeding...just amazing. You even managed to catch some of the more nervous montanes doing there thing. And an arboreal klaub! From my perspective, this post cannot be topped! :beer:
York

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 21st, 2014, 5:51 am

Thanks very much York. From my perspective there are tons of people doing beneficial research on rattlesnakes but almost all of the studies involve direct contact with the snakes on a semi regular basis. In time there are behavioral alterations that take place and you never really get a 100% unbiased perspective on what's going on. My methods and those of a few others may be primitive but they lend themselves to a different perspective. I think both are important for a more complete picture of what's really going on.

I keep adding because it's really hard to sum up a full field season in 20-30 photos

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Y.Morgan » November 21st, 2014, 8:44 am

Brendan wrote:My methods and those of a few others may be primitive but they lend themselves to a different perspective.
What do you mean by "primitive"? Just that you aren't handling the snakes and collecting those sorts of data? Obviously, you're treading lightly, but is there something else about your approach that is primitive? Just curious.

I meant to say earlier how ridiculous the blue and white specks look when they're not on granite. They don't blend in at all with vegetation! It's hard to believe they could be so successful at catching birds.
Brendan wrote:I keep adding because it's really hard to sum up a full field season in 20-30 photos
KEEP ADDING! I want to see more! :thumb:

Thanks,
York

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 21st, 2014, 10:13 am

Primitive by "scientific method" standards. I'm not testing hypothesis and collecting hard evidence that the snakes I've been seeing for the past 7 years are indeed the same snakes I "think" they are. My eyes could be lying to me. LOL

They are very successful at birds! Even in vegetation they look just like all the other random rock scattered below.

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Y.Morgan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Y.Morgan » November 21st, 2014, 6:17 pm

Okay, you just topped it with that kaleidoscope of specks surrounding a New Mexican klaub!

I dunno...when I glance at your shots of white specks up off the ground, my first thought is, "Hey, there's a white speck!" :D They stand out! But obviously they must be very cryptic to birds. That white one beside the water is especially interesting. It doesn't look like such great habitat for crotes - especially up off the ground. And the incredible array of other colors is mind boggling. Thanks for posting more shots - I really enjoyed them!
York

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Rich in Reptiles » November 21st, 2014, 8:34 pm

Wow, more amazing captures!!! I bet it's awesome to be so "in tune" with those populations and to know their habits and behaviors so well. I hope you consider contributing to the forum more often. You certainly have seen some amazing sights! Thanks for sharing!

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 22nd, 2014, 6:48 am

York the snake in the brittle bush was due to a flash flood which forced several animals up into the bushes and trees. The rain came down in buckets for 20 mins and filled the entire canyon. We had tracked down 7 animals prior to the rain and I sat and watched the last snake drink off her coils as the rain started but it got bad fast and I had a bail. The car was .5mi away and water levels were rising fast. By the time I got back to the truck the rain was staring to let up so we decided to go back out and check on the animals to see what they had done. Several had moved up into bushes and trees and a few new aninals actually popped out from hiding. Saw a molossus 6ft up in a tree.
Yeah NM was kind to us this season. Saw some stunners in many new ranges.

Thank you RnR!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by The Real Snake Man » November 22nd, 2014, 2:31 pm

Wow, that's a truly impressive collection of beautifully photographed field observations. I guess it goes without saying that you see stuff other than Crotalus in the field; mind sharing any of that stuff too?

-Gene

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by condyle » November 22nd, 2014, 9:56 pm

Who can't LOVE Crots after this post?!!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by shredsteban » November 23rd, 2014, 12:17 am

Brendan, awesome stuff. I'm always impressed by your skill and findings. It's also so much more satisfying seeing your photos on a bigger screen than my cell phone!

Nick

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by JEDDLV » November 23rd, 2014, 3:37 pm

Great stuff Brendan, even saw a few that I hadn't seen before. One of the best posts I've seen on here. Thanks for sharing.

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by daniel » November 23rd, 2014, 8:16 pm

This is my favorite post I've seen here. I absolutely love the photos of the neonates and mothers, especially the atrox! I also really love the drinking after rainstorm photos. You are a gifted naturalist!

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 24th, 2014, 9:26 am

The Real Snake Man wrote:Wow, that's a truly impressive collection of beautifully photographed field observations. I guess it goes without saying that you see stuff other than Crotalus in the field; mind sharing any of that stuff too?

-Gene
Thanks very much Gene. I do come across a fair number of non crotaline reptiles in the course of looking for rattlesnakes but I am not sure I have any photos that would really be too exciting. About the most exciting things I see are gila monsters, green rats, mountain kings and rosy boas. I don't put much effort into good photos of them (other than Gilas) since they are usually not just sitting still waiting for me to snap pics and move on. If I have to take the time to pose a snake I usually don't get good photos. I'd post a few here but I think I'd be getting off topic in my own post.

Thanks Nick! I know what your saying. Photos on IG are not the same!

Much apprecaited JEDDLV!! Glad to know you enjoyed it.

Daniel thank you very much!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by cameron.rognan » November 25th, 2014, 2:41 pm

Brendan

Awesome photos and natural observations as always. I'm still hoping to see male combat like that someday. Great work!

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 26th, 2014, 8:46 am

cameron.rognan wrote:Brendan

Awesome photos and natural observations as always. I'm still hoping to see male combat like that someday. Great work!
Thanks Cameron! Based on all the amazing things you've seen in the past few years I would say it's just a matter of time. I wanna see some of your local winders battle! ;)

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by justinm » November 26th, 2014, 9:11 am

Brendan,

I'm sure I can't appreciate how much work goes into finding this many neonates. I've only seen it twice and I know I was lucky, but had worked the field a lot. Your posts are always a favorite. Thanks for the photos and documentation. This is simply outstanding, I will revisit this a few times surely as the Winter here is upon me.


Justin Michels

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » November 26th, 2014, 9:55 am

justinm wrote:Brendan,

I'm sure I can't appreciate how much work goes into finding this many neonates. I've only seen it twice and I know I was lucky, but had worked the field a lot. Your posts are always a favorite. Thanks for the photos and documentation. This is simply outstanding, I will revisit this a few times surely as the Winter here is upon me.


Justin Michels
Thanks Justin. Each year it seems to be pot luck for seeing neonates with mom. I encountered a bunch of klaubs with fresh babies but the photo ops usually suck. It's not like they just lay out in the open for you to come by a snap pics. I almost always see neonate pricei as well but have never seen one with mom. The specks are my biggest PITA only because I locate sometimes up to 40 or 50 gravid females in the summer season but actually getting to see one or two drop is a huge challenge. I just think they rarely drop on the surface unless the rookery site is just perfect. I'll keep trying though. Many times it's just a matter of the right place at the right time.

B

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by The Real Snake Man » November 30th, 2014, 12:03 am

Brendan wrote:Thanks very much Gene. I do come across a fair number of non crotaline reptiles in the course of looking for rattlesnakes but I am not sure I have any photos that would really be too exciting. About the most exciting things I see are gila monsters, green rats, mountain kings and rosy boas. I don't put much effort into good photos of them (other than Gilas) since they are usually not just sitting still waiting for me to snap pics and move on. If I have to take the time to pose a snake I usually don't get good photos. I'd post a few here but I think I'd be getting off topic in my own post.
Definitely understandable, after discovering this year just how much work goes into good snake photography I know the importance of prioritizing. So where are you based then (I'm guessing Arizona)? Seems like you get into the Sky Islands quite a bit. No willardi?

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by ahockenberry » November 30th, 2014, 6:06 pm

Brendan - AWESOME !!
Wow, I lost track of the number of species
You put on a clinic with these
All Killer shots !
Thanks for sharing
Ashley

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » December 1st, 2014, 10:58 am

The Real Snake Man wrote:
Brendan wrote:Thanks very much Gene. I do come across a fair number of non crotaline reptiles in the course of looking for rattlesnakes but I am not sure I have any photos that would really be too exciting. About the most exciting things I see are gila monsters, green rats, mountain kings and rosy boas. I don't put much effort into good photos of them (other than Gilas) since they are usually not just sitting still waiting for me to snap pics and move on. If I have to take the time to pose a snake I usually don't get good photos. I'd post a few here but I think I'd be getting off topic in my own post.
Definitely understandable, after discovering this year just how much work goes into good snake photography I know the importance of prioritizing. So where are you based then (I'm guessing Arizona)? Seems like you get into the Sky Islands quite a bit. No willardi?
Yeah I just didn't include any in my post. I only looked for them once this season. I spent more time in new ranges for klauberi and forgot about willies.
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Thanks Ashley!!

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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Norman D » December 14th, 2014, 10:10 pm

Brendan, you always amaze me with your photography and observations! I always look forward to your posts! Thanks for sharing!

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Brendan
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Re: InSitu Rattlesnakes

Post by Brendan » December 19th, 2014, 4:25 pm

Norman D wrote:Brendan, you always amaze me with your photography and observations! I always look forward to your posts! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks buddy! You've made just as many cool observations the last few years!

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