Tuesday, July 27, 2010

People's Park Amphibian

07/18/2010 @ 12:43:07 PM PDT
I found this Aboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) while working in a garden adjacent to People's Park in Berkeley, CA. It lived among the discarded hypodermic needles of the drug addicts that habituate the park. I moved it away from the fence to the other side of the garden, picking it up with cupped hands, which was the right way to do so. I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out that these things have a mouth full of nasty-looking teeth and they are sometimes liable to bite if you grab them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tour de Snake

I usually spend at least 4 hours of my weekend road cycling in unbelievably gorgeous coastside San Mateo County, where I'm always on the lookout for snakes. This past Saturday paid off with two good catches.

07/11/2010 @ 12:43:07 PM PDT
At a little past the midway point of the 61-mile ride, my chain came off. After I put it back on, I reached to this piece of cardboard to wipe the grease off my fingers. Lo and behold, a nice 4ish foot Pacific gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer), was using it for its bedroom ceiling.

07/11/2010 @ 12:43:52 PM PDT
As usual, we got a rattlesnake impersonation act. They can be pretty convincing to the less-herp inclined.

07/11/2010 @ 1:03:14 PM PDT
A few miles further along in the ride, we came upon this California yellow-bellied racer (Coluber mormon). This was the first time I've caught one of these. Here it's sunning itself on the road.

07/11/2010 @ 1:04:13 PM PDT
And here it's posing as I hold its tail. Thanks to my riding buddy for being patient with the snake freak.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Southern Alligator Lizard

07/02/2010 @ 7:30:30 PM PDT
I saw this 10-inch long Southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata) while riding up a rural/suburban lane in Woodside tonight. It was hard to get him off the road as he kept trying to hide under my shoe. I finally picked him up and put him in the grass.

07/02/2010 @ 7:30:48 PM PDT

07/02/2010 @ 7:32:12 PM PDT