at Sat Jan 26 17:16:23 2013 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Zach_MexMilk ]
Fueled by an exciting and relatively productive Coastal outing yesterday (http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=14984), I once again hit the field in hope of finding some early season reptiles and amphibians. As yesterday was spent surveying the coastal marshes and ponds, I decided to add some elevation in my herping. By 10am I was in the cool and damp Santa Cruz Mountain Range.
With temperatures around the low 60s, I decided to walk a few trails that led through redwoods into grassy fields near a sag pond in hopes of encountering an Aquatic Gartersnake. About 20 minutes of walking revealed an unfamiliar sight. Ahead of me on the trail was a snake I have seen in the wild many times (hell, I found on yesterday!). However, this was the first time I have ever seen one surface active or “on the crawl”. I guess when it rains boas, it pours boas.
Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae)
Uplifted by this very interesting find, I visit an area where I found a baby California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata multifasciata) a few months back (October 2012). The area is situated between redwoods and pine/oak with rocks and logs to flip. Under a large, rotten log was a herp I have not seen in over 2 years! I LOVE toads (I think they are adorable) and was very excited to see one!
Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas halophilus)
A few unproductive rocks away were two Sharp-tailed Snakes (Contia tenius). I have never been able to get decent photographs of these tiny snakes, so I was stoked to be able to try my luck again.
A day in the Santa Cruz Mountain Range would not be complete without some orange. Under rocks were many neonate Pacific Ringnecked Snakes (Diadophis punctatus amabilis)
Here is to the Year of the Snake. Last year was personally tough for me, but herping was always there to clear my head. Nothing beats hitting the field and finding some herps. Targets this year for me:
1. California Striped Racer
2. California Nightsnake
3. San Francisco Gartersnake
I have to make this happen!
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