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Uncle Rico

Snakes

So after a fairly sustained dry spell, I've seen a rash of snakes lately. In the past 2 weeks, I've seen 5 Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes and 1 King Snake in my local hills. Yay! That's more snakes than I've seen in the last 2 years. Anybody else experiencing an up-tick in snake sightings or am I just getting lucky?
Hikin_Jim

You're just lucky...

Actually, I've been seeing more snakes than usual as well.  I saw three rattlers in 5 days last month.

HJ
Taco

Must be hungry!
outwhere

Them dang rattlesnakes always look so mean  Twisted Evil ... they scare me enough just knowing what the are capable of doing - but to thrown in that scary look is just down right evil  Wink  

Seriously though I wish the thought of walking into, or make that 'near', a rattler didn't freak me out to the extent it does...
atomicoyote

outwhere

Yeah - and from what some buddies have told me - those pesky rattlers don't always scram when they supposedly 'feel our vibes' heading their way.  What's up with that ? Maybe they're just tired of too many people on their turf and it's their way of weeding out some of us weak heart hikers Wink Wink

atomicoyote wrote:
mcphersonm80

A few months back, we noticed more gopher snakes than we had seen in the previous 5 years combined...  haven't seen one for a while though.

Now I'm noticing a lot of striped racers and ringnecks, but strangely haven't seen a single rattler this year (and not for lack of trying).  Confused

But yeah overall the snake counts seem way up.
tekewin

Re: Snakes

Uncle Rico wrote:
So after a fairly sustained dry spell, I've seen a rash of snakes lately. In the past 2 weeks, I've seen 5 Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes and 1 King Snake in my local hills. Yay! That's more snakes than I've seen in the last 2 years. Anybody else experiencing an up-tick in snake sightings or am I just getting lucky?


Well, it is the peak of snake season, but maybe you've had some "luck" as well. I've only seen two rattlesnakes this year so far and I've been in some snakey areas.  I saw one every trip to the Gabes last year.  Almost stepped on this fine garter specimen a few weeks ago.

mcphersonm80

Alright, who's the prankster who stuck this on the trail today after my comment earlier?  Shocked

[/img]

(Gabrielino Trail between Red Box and Switzer)
Mike P

Re: Snakes

tekewin wrote:
... Almost stepped on this fine garter specimen a few weeks ago.



Just got home from hiking in Muir Woods, Mt Tam, and Golden Gate Nat'l
Rec. Area. Beautifully green up there...!

Anyhow, it was nice to see the thread on my favorite animals. Tekewin, your serpent picture is of a Western Patch-nosed snake. Great pic!!
cougarmagic

I'll bite.  I think I've seen as many snakes this season as I have in the past 10 years combined.  Seems every third or fourth hike in the Simi Hills with the dogs we see one.

Mike P - what's the deal?  What causes a population explosion?  

I've seen a few gopher snakes too.  No king snakes though.
Mike P

cougarmagic wrote:
I'll bite.
OK, but you're not venomous...Smile

cougarmagic wrote:
I think I've seen as many snakes this season as I have in the past 10 years combined.  Seems every third or fourth hike in the Simi Hills with the dogs we see one.

Mike P - what's the deal?  What causes a population explosion?  

I've seen a few gopher snakes too.  No king snakes though.


J, pure conjecture on my part... but, I don't believe that there is a population explosion of snakes. Perhaps there is a decrease in snake food (mice, rats, etc.) due to drought and the snakes are moving around a bit more?

As for my experiences this year on the trail, I have seen the usual number of snakes and I ALWAYS look for them.

Interestingly, this last week up north around Muir Beach, where I usually see garter snakes we saw only one. Normally, there are quite a few that are seen. It's dry up there too. (I was on a river otter quest but came up empty-handed with them, too.)
Uncle Rico

Luck is holding. Saw this handsome fellow tonight.



Quote:
Alright, who's the prankster who stuck this on the trail today after my comment earlier?


Beautiful shot McP. How do you get them to pose so nicely for you? Every time I see a rattler, they immediately slither off into the brush all angry and whatnot.

Quote:
Almost stepped on this fine garter specimen a few weeks ago.


Ditto comment above teke.
mcphersonm80

Uncle Rico wrote:
Luck is holding. Saw this handsome fellow tonight.


Nice Smile   Which trail was this on?


Quote:
Beautiful shot McP. How do you get them to pose so nicely for you? Every time I see a rattler, they immediately slither off into the brush all angry and whatnot.


This guy was stubborn. We had just done almost the entire Strawberry loop band with less than a mile to go to Switzer when he very angrily "greeted" us. He was in his defensive posture at first, hissing and rattling aggressively, and then calmed down into a coil where he sat and refused to move, occasionally wiggling his tongue at us. We were stuck up on the canyon wall, so to get around him we either would have to bushwack down a super steep canyon wall (and presumably stumble into a pit of his cousins), backtrack about a mile to where we could access the road, or perform a heroic leap over him to continue on the trail.

We opted to just wait 15 minutes or so and he finally slithered away. I've never come across one so stubborn, it was pretty annoying but also fascinating to be able to observe one for so long.
Uncle Rico

Quote:
Which trail was this on?


This is an unnamed connector trail on the west end of the Simi Hills. He moved off pretty rapidly when I approached to get a pic or 2.
cab

I jumped over a rattlesnake once after getting tired of waiting for it to move.  I think I set simultaneous Olympic records in both the long jump and high jump with that one...
Taco

Ran into a buncha Gopher Snakes in Eaton Canyon today. They chill with their head above water and then look worryingly at you and slip away before you can catch em!
fortified

One rattler almost an hour after sunset. That's the latest I ever saw (heard) one. Doing something between a fast walk, and slow jog connecting from Mt. Lowe road to Echo Mt., on the Mt. Lowe Railway Trail. Their is no where to go. I didn't know my foot was perhaps a foot away until my next foot passed. Then it rattled. I think we surprised each other------this guy was loud, and really pissed off. A couple tarantulas the last couple nights also.
Anyone ever seen a Tarantula Hawk sting a Tarantula? I have seen it a few times. If you see a Tarantula in August- September, stay quiet, and watch it cross the path . Odds are there is the wasp close by waiting. They sting the Tarantula, to paralyze it, carry the huge thing into the bushes, and lays eggs inside. I also just read the wasps rarely, but they have stung humans and is "the second most painful insect sting in North America"
fortified

NOT A RATTLE SNAKE BUT..... How about a bear on Mendocino and Braeburn in Altadena. That is over a mile in from the hills. This is the farthest I have ever heard a bear into the city. That is the area on the top of the Altadena country club. The time was middle of the day, Saturday.

http://www.altadenapoint.com/2014...-mendocino-altadena-braeburn-area

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