My Sons 13th Birthday-Camping Trip with Herps - FaunaClassifieds
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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #1
My Sons 13th Birthday-Camping Trip with Herps

My Son turned 13 and we were trying to figure out what to do. He decided he wanted to go camping and bring his friends. So of course I planned a little herping into it..We set up camp and about 30 minutes later we were greated IN our campsite in between the two tents a 4' Gophersnake. With a total of (5) 12 year olds, my NOW 13 year old, and my 5 year old the first day there we decided to hike around the campgrounds. It was a hot day and lizards were running around the dry riverbed like mad. Most were too fast to catch. We did see TMTC Common Side blotch,TMTC Sceloporus occidentalis longipes - Great Basin Fence Lizard, A few what I SWEAR looked like Granite Spiny Lizards (I know they should NOT be in Orange County but these were VERY rough scaled, mostly black and about twice as large as any of the fence lizards, also a FIRST in ORANGE COUNTIES DATABASE at least 30 Aspidoscelis hyperythra beldingi - Belding's Orange-throated Whiptail. I made it MY MISSION to catch one even though they were SO FAST..I thought for sure snakes would start to show themselves. But no luck in the riverbed this day. Later that evening about 5:00 the boys wanted to do some road cruising, so I headed up the mountain to look around. We went to the top of the world and into riverside border area. We were rewarded when one of the boys said they thought they saw a snake. I started to back up and my sons says..It's a snake back up some more. I decided at that point to throw it in park and run after whatever was there.. Nice PINK speckled rattlesnake.. The boys (Not my Sons)had never seen a rattlesnake in the wild and were ALL AMAZED. We checked it out and I took quite a few pics. Unfortunately alot of them either were too exposed or blurry on its head. I did get a few decent shots though. We jumped back in the truck with a new found confidence and headed back down the road for a while. we made a U-Turn about 15 minutes later and on the way back in the EXACT SAME spot, what do you know, ANOTHER Pink Speckled.. I believe a male this time and quite a bit bigger. Well none of us had eaten since breakfast so we decided to head back to camp for dinner. The next day we were back hiking along the creek and some hiking trails when I noticed a big BLACK Heleri sitting in the shade next to some cactus. Something looked a little weird at first with its head from a distance. I thought was it dead and starting to blow up a bit? No after a closer look it was swallowing a large rat I believe, all I could see was a hairless tail sticking out of its mouth. (Sorry the tail sticking out of its mouth came out too exposed but if you look for the bright white part to the left of its head, well thats it). So COOL it is the first time I have seen a snake actually eating in the wild. Hope you enjoy..

Next find and a FIRST for OC

Then at a playground we saw this sign and I thought HOPEFULLY

First the little lady

Then the Male, he started to rattle and his rattle came off. Is that common?

In Situ with a full mouth. Can You see him?

Old 05-23-2009, 09:51 AM   #2
Now that looked like a great day!!
Old 05-23-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
Tiger Lilly
That was a great idea, and definitely looked like lots of fun! Those were some awesome pics, as well.
Old 06-11-2009, 02:57 PM   #4
Thanks for the Replies. It was a fun trip and some of the boys had never even been camping let alone see a snake in the wild.. I think I put some good herp thoughts in their minds. I quizzed them after on things like "What would you do if you saw a rattlesnake close to you?" and then have them tell me just back away slowly, don't try touching them, they will try to get away Etc. So hopefully it helps them be Herp Friendly as they grow up. And WHAT better way for my son to have a B-Day party.. Better than Disneyland in my book.. Again, Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately I have not been able to even get out too often since the last week of May.
Old 06-11-2009, 03:20 PM   #5
Mooing Tricycle
Nice finds!!!! wow! good pics too

What a great idea, and it looks like you all had a good time too
Old 06-11-2009, 06:23 PM   #6
Twizted Paths
Originally Posted by RockRatt View Post
Then the Male, he started to rattle and his rattle came off. Is that common?
It happens, there's a myth that you can tell how old they are by counting the rattles and this is just one of the reasons it isn't true.

Did you keep the rattle?

Your son's one lucky kid!
Old 06-15-2009, 12:38 AM   #7
I knew that rattlesnakes loose their rattles over time. They wear out and then break off. what surprised me was it lost all his rattles which there was about 1-1and 1/2 inches worth. I am just curious if it loses all of them will it regrow a new button then rattles each shed cycle or will it be rattle-less for life? Thanks again for the comments.. Rich
Old 06-15-2009, 11:35 AM   #8
Twizted Paths
From what I've read & been told they'll regrow with each shed. I don't mess with hots up close and personal on purpose, with my luck I try to keep it through a zoom lens

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