Southern California

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

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Mulebrother
Posts: 364
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:31 am
Location: A bunker near Mountainburg AR

Southern California

Post by Mulebrother »

California's been good to me

Hope it don't fall into the sea

Sometimes you got to trust yourself

It ain't like anywhere else



-Tom Petty, from the 1994 soundtrack of the movie "She's the one"



Truer words have not been spoken. Didnt have time for many herp trips last year, so we were chomping at the bit for a herping adventure this spring. Since southern California has gotten SOME rain, we thought it'd be as good a time as any to give it a try. Southern California is one of the last places in the US with a high herp density of things I havent seen. It was my first visit to "the golden state", and I must say, I GET why people move to San Diego. Sunny & 70 degree days are hard to beat. Such diverse habitat(s) really close together- one night we went from 48 and windy to 78 and calm in about 20 miles. Anyway, I loved loved loved it, not to mention the fact that we did pretty good on our targets. We only missed 2 (coachwhip and Cali king), so I'll definitely head back out some day! BIG thanks to Jeff for meeting up with us and showing us around and several others that gave us info. Your generosity made this a wonderful herp trip.

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First snake of the trip was this little Speckled rattlesnake. He was hanging out about 1 ft from a popular hiking trail! Thats his head peakin over the rock in the lower center of the pic.












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Not a herp, but I took pics of it anyway...Hadrurus arizonesis I guess.









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Long-nosed Snake Rhinocheilus lecontei. In this area, they lack the red you see on them further east. Clarus phase I think they call it.












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Leaf Toed Gecko Phyllodactylus nocticolus















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Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus















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Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus - this one had a neat 'reticulated' pattern.















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One of my big targets- Sidewinder! Crotalus cerastes












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Decent camoflauge, dont you think?















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Another one high on my list, and that I didnt expect to find. Western Shovel-nosed Snake Chionactis occipitalis















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How the other 20 pictures I took of this one turned out...















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Striped Racer Masticophis lateralis















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Side-Blotched lizard Uta stansburiana















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Striped racer, again. Was interesting to see how closely their head resembles bilineatus.












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Granite Night lizard Xantusia henshawi















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Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber One of the calmest crotes I've ever seen!















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DOR ruber. Sad sight for sure!















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Rosy Boa Lichanura trivirgata . Was very suprised to road cruise something at like 68 degrees!















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San Diego Mtn Kingsnake Lampropeltis zonata. Also high on my wish list.















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Juvenile gopher snake Pituophis catenifer















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Southern Alligator lizard Elgaria multicarinata















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I think this is the first time I've ever shot a picture of a skink.















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Come to think of it, I think this is the first time I've ever shot a close up of a fence lizard as well.












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"The lizard whisperer" put this one to sleep...















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Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii















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Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii















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Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii















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Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii















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Large gopher snake, in situ.















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Pituophis cantenifer















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Pituophis cantenifer















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Crotalus ruber catching some morning rays on the side of the road.















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Unlike the other one we found, this one turned all atroxy on us!















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....Which made for some awesome pics.















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Such an awesome snake! You socal guys are so lucky...















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Obligatory Sceloporus on a log shot.















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Southern Pacific rattlesnake Crotalus oreganus helleri















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"he's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes..." -Quint from the move Jaws.



I must say, these certainly lived up to the hype about them being crazy high strung death machines.















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The one on the left was flipped under a board, while the black one on the right was cruising through the grass as I took a step back. Needless to say, he let me know where he was!















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Definitely the calmer of the 2.















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Best pic I could get of this guy. He was not having any of our photo taking.















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Side-Blotched lizard Uta stansburiana















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Side-Blotched lizard Uta stansburiana















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Another Side-Blotched lizard. They were the only ones that would stay long enough to shoot a picture of. Saw a ton of whiptails, but didnt get a decent pic!












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Another high on my list: Chuckwalla Sauromalus ater















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These guys are incredibly alert...if you've ever gotten a chuck in hand, you've done something!















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If it wasnt for Glenn's 300mm lens, we wouldnt have gotten ANY pics.















And now, some landscapes-






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And now, everything else...






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A rock.















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A limb.















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Some tex-mex place in Julian, CA















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A burnt stump.















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Nothing like a good Cabernet and nachos.















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AMAZING fish tacos.















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A big @ss scorpion running across the road.















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The flume.















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Rattlesnake eggs, Barrett Junction, CA.















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Some habitat that should have been put in the landscapes above.















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More flume.















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More rocks, and our guide.















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Pretty flowers.


















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Guy at Barrett Junction Cafe that sounded like the guy on Jaws that says "UH WHAAAT?" when someone says tiger shark.












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I recommend the fried cod.












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And this is why...















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Frazzled herper.















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Big regret, not getting something here.















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Cool train tressel.















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Cozy cabin.















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Scenery.















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Bacon Cheeseburger, Julian CA.















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Jeremy, near the END.















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Ice Cream, with apple pie, Julian, CA.















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Downtown Julian, CA.















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Miner's diner, Julian, CA.















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Random strangers in Miner's diner.















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Go hogs. I think there is a rattlesnake under that hat.















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Fish Tacos, San Diego Brewing company. Fantastic.















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One of these gentlemen is eating humus and on his second glass of beer with a 8% alcohol content. The other guy is Jeremy.















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Me with a gopher snake















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Cotijas taco shop. This meal was incredible. On the right side of the plate you see 'hot carrots'..something i'd never had...they was GOOD!















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Guy Fleming sign. First line says it all...















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Looking for Ruby-throated whiptails















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Talking to a park volunteer. He told us they'd removed a helleri from the beach a few days prior. Had a pic and everything...















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Actually saw a whale from here...but of course, no one had their camera up.















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Two old surfer dudes.















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Checking the rocks for the aforementioned helleri.















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Silver strand beach. Where many go to try to become navy seals and fail.















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Random lady looking at gull on a dumpster.












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Turns out they WILL give you a ticket for not paying for parking.















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Bay bridge.















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Some flavor of Naval Special warfare training.















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Wondered how long I could shoot these pics without having someone tell me to leave. Such is the life of a navy seal fan-boy...












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Couple of ships under construction.















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First helleri found under this board...which was likely the most unlikely board to find one under in my opinon.















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theboywhoflies.com Check it out.















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Shooting chuckwallas.















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Stone Brewerey...















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Ceviche. this would be called 'fish salsa' in Arkansas.















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Sausauges with greens. Mac & Cheese with sausage on the side. Fantastic.















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Russian imperial stout with 12% alcohol content. You dont need 6 of these to get where you are going...















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Another herp trip in the books.












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Good herping-

User avatar
The Real Snake Man
Posts: 405
Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX

Re: Southern California

Post by The Real Snake Man »

Now that's a post right there: great Southwestern herps, good Mexican food and barbecue, and good old American landscapes. Really entertaining stuff, looks like you've had a lot of fun.

-Gene

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Kent VanSooy
Posts: 1100
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:51 am
Location: Oceanside

Re: Southern California

Post by Kent VanSooy »

Very nice! That one "crazy high strung death machine" - the lighter of the pair - is rather unusual, and almost kinda pretty. Great variety and shots of the locals, thanks for sharing!

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John Koerner
Posts: 19
Joined: April 17th, 2015, 8:55 pm
Location: San Dimas, CA
Contact:

Re: Southern California

Post by John Koerner »

Wonderful stories, and wow to all the photos.

Looked like a lot of fun :)

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LouB747
Posts: 1184
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:50 am
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Southern California

Post by LouB747 »

Great fun post. Makes me want to get out and herp, and isn't that what it's all about.

User avatar
Mulebrother
Posts: 364
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:31 am
Location: A bunker near Mountainburg AR

Re: Southern California

Post by Mulebrother »

Thanks for the kind words. It was a great trip, thats for sure! Next time, will have to try a little earlier and concentrate on kingsnakes!

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: Southern California

Post by hellihooks »

good stuff... if and when you want to herp the Mojave, drop me a line... :thumb:

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