California, June 2012

Roxanne, Ryan, and I made a trip out to California in early June 2012. Ryan and I went first, because Roxanne had to work. We flew into LA and drove out to San Diego County desert. Night cruising produced some snakes.

Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus).

A young Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata).

A large Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus). This species always seems tough to pose.

Check out those jowls...

Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus).

Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus).

Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Chionactis occipitalis annulata).

A Blindsnake/Threadsnake (Leptotyphlops humilis). First example of this species I've ever seen.

Another look. The snake never did sit still, and eventually it just went completely crazy and I gave up trying to get a better picture.

A Roadrunner seen the next morning.

Ryan and I took a hike up a canyon.

Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana), as found.

Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana), as found.

California Treefrog (Pseudacris cadaverina) tadpoles.

California Treefrogs (Pseudacris cadaverina), as found.

I think this is a House Finch?

Granite Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus orcutti), as found.

Granite Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus orcutti).

Another Roadrunner.

Colorado Desert Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma notata). First time I've ever seen this species. This was the best look I got.

Ryan at the place we stayed.

Next, we drove to San Diego.

Ryan at the San Diego Zoo.

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), living wild amongst the beasts at the San Diego Zoo.

Ryan I met up with my old friends Pete and Dan:

Pete Junior, Pete, myself, Ryan, Dan, and Daniella.

Pete, myself, and Dan.

Ryan and I then drove up to LA and picked up Roxanne. We had dinner with Roxanne's cousin Doris and her husband Craig in Marina Del Rey.

Doris and Roxanne.

The next day we met up with another old friend of mine, Jeff, in Santa Monica:

Jeff, Abbey, and Olivia.

Jeff and me.

The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

We then drove to Ridgecrest to see my folks. We were joined by my brother Chris and his sons Kyle and Nick.

The next morning we went for a hike in the local hills:


Chris and Kyle.

Nick was a real mountain goat.


A Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister), as found.

Another Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister).

In the afternoon, we made ice cream with the old-school hand-crank White Mountain freezer:

Roxanne and Ryan.

Kyle and Ryan.

Kyle and Grandpa.

Grandma and Grandpa.

Some of us went looking for snakes:

A Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei).

A young Panamint Rattlesnake (Crotalus stephensi).

A Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans). Three of these were seen.

A young Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer), as found on the road.

Another look at the Gopher Snake.

Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei). A couple more of these were seen on this trip that are not shown.

A young Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes).

The next day Ryan, Roxanne, and I went for a hike in the hills east of Randsburg. It was hot and dry and we didn't see much.

The canyon we hiked up.

Another view of the canyon.

Roxanne and Ryan, wearing my dad's hats...

Some burros we saw that evening.

Wait, what's that on the road?!

A young Panamint Rattlesnake (Crotalus stephensi).

Another look at the stephensi.

The next day Roxanne and went for hike in the Coso Mountains.

Roxanne and the Astro-Artz Cabin.

A Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides), shown as found just downhill from the cabin.

The canyon we hiked up.

Desert Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus magister), as found. Several of these were seen in the lower part of the canyon.

A Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), as found in the lazy lizard posture. This species appeared to replace the Desert Spiny as we made our way up the canyon.

A cactus growing out of a rock.

The view at the top of the canyon.

More views.

A Petroglyph.

Yours truly.

A hawk in a Joshua Tree, with the High Sierras in the background.

A closer look at the hawk.

We did some road cruising that night.

A young Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer).

A larger Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer), as found.

Ryan and the Gopher Snake.

The next day, I went for a hike on the east slope of the Sierras.

The view from where I started. I hiked up the ridge on the right.

The view from the ridge. I hiked up this canyon.

Looking out into the southern Owens Valley.

I hope this lizard appreciates the view.

The sun setting on the Trona Pinnacles. Time for the last night of snake hunting of the trip.

Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus).

Smith's Black-headed Snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi) -- the first example of this species I've ever seen. Now I've seen every snake from the Ridgecrest area, except for Leptotyphlops. BTW, the Ridgecrest area is rather vaguely defined in my head -- but the Leptotyphlops I saw earlier on this trip in San Diego County definitely doesn't count!

Another look.

Close up.

In hand.

A Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes), last snake of the trip.

Tired boots. Threw them out at the end of our time in Ridgecrest. That's all. It was a great trip, seeing family and friends, hiking, and (at least for me) seeing some reptiles.