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Today's outting in San Mateo County

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Posted by: Zach_MexMilk at Thu Nov 10 21:52:21 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Zach_MexMilk ]  
   

The Weather had been warming up a tad bit here in the Bay Area, hitting about low 60s during the day, yet rather cold at night (50's to even high 40s). Craving to get out of the house, I took advantage of a day off and headed to one of my haunts in San Mateo county to see if anything was moving.
Arrived at the spot at around 2:30pm, and already the air temp was getting cooler, lingering around 57F. Due to recent rain and cold weather, the grass in the area were becoming green again. However, soil was still dust dry...my optimism was very low.

Began looking under rocks and AC and scared up some Scelops. and many, many Alligator lizards. All super heated by the midday sun, so bolted before I can snap away. Under the boards were also many Ringnecked snakes (Diadophis), which again, like the lizards, bolted into tunnels and holes once the sunlight hit them. Gorgeous snakes!

Finally, some pictures.

Walking through the grass, I noticed movement. With a quick grab, I found the first non-ringnecked snake of the day.

Beautiful YoY Pacific Gopher Snake





Under a board came two more YoY gophers, probably from the same clutch. I managed to photograph one while the other shot down a hole



Finishing up with more alligator lizards, I headed towards an old corral/barn to find a very interesting, yet unsettling site.




A small hole in the wall of the structured, about up 8 inches from the ground, housed countless neonate NorPac Rattlers and one HUGE adult. The neonates near the entrance of the hole saw me coming and retreated inwards, hence my lame picture.

A bit timid now from that ratehr unexpected Crote encounter, I began looking more closely at the structure...




Yep, crawling with rattlesnakes. I'm not the biggest fan of venomous snakes, so I started getting a bit paranoid about my surroundings. At one point, I reached down for my bag and felt a sharp sting on my fingers! I was about to freak out for a sec until I saw a clump of stinging nettle near whre my bag has been.....or was it a well hidden snake in the clump? I guess it was the latter as I am typing right now and haven't blacked out yet!

Overall, pretty good day. Was hoping for a late, late season zonata or a sweet Santa Cruz garter, but I'll take any snake in the fall/winter anytime!

Total species:

TMTC Scelops.
7 Elgaria
10 Diadophis
3 Pituophis
atleast 6 Crotes


   

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>> Next Message:  RE: Today's outting in San Mateo County - daneby, Thu Nov 10 22:37:02 2011