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Some NorCal Garters I Found Today

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Posted by: tspuckler at Thu Apr 8 00:20:16 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by tspuckler ]  
   

I am on my first vacation of the year, in Northern California. Today I decided to drive up the coast in search of Garter Snakes. It was sunny and about 70 degrees. I started off in the city of Santa Cruz and headed north. Here's what the coast looked like:



I walked along a trail that lead to the ocean. Alongside the trail was a small creek. After walking a bit, I turned around and headed back to by car. As I approached the car, I saw this hunting in the creek:


I was pretty excited, it is the first Coast Garter Snake I've ever seen.


Afterwards I drove further up the coast and found a marshy area to explore that was adjacent to a waterway. It wasn't long before I saw my favorite type of garter, a large female Santa Cruz Garter Snake.


As I was capturing the snake, I saw another Santa Cruz, this one a male (which was probably courting the female). He wasn't too pleased with being caught.


Here's another photo of the male - he had more contrast than the female.


Photographing wild snakes isn't always easy, but I attempted a shot of the "happy couple" before allowing them to go on their way.


After finding the snakes, I took a break to check out the seals (I've never seen Elephant Seals before).


A little while later I went back to a spot about 250 yards from where the Santa Cruz Garters were found. I was walking through the tall vegetation when I saw something that looked like a "flame" morph of Eastern Garter Snake. It was another Coast Garter, this one had a lot of red coloration.


Even its belly was suffused in red-orange.


It was one cool-looking snake.


My final stop was a secluded lake that has a good population of California King Snakes. I didn't see any kings, but did find this young male Santa Cruz Garter under a log.


It was a great day to be out looking for snakes!
Third Eye


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Some NorCal Garters I Found Today - cochran, Thu Apr 8 18:02:42 2010
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