I can walk, but I will crawl there

California Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes)

One of the most interesting snakes in my small collection. Lyre Snakes are medium sized, rear-fanged snakes that range in the Southwestern United States and into Mexico. Nocturnal and mildly venomous, these snakes prey primarily on lizards and small rodents.

This specimen is housed in an front-opening, glass display tank with under-tank heating. At night, an infrared heat bulb is turned on so that the snake can be observed. 

So I am contemplating a short field herping trip for this upcoming three day weekend. Should I head up to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range for some Mountain Garters, Sierra Garters, and Rubber Boas, or head down south for some desert species?

California Red-sided Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)- Marin County, CA

California Red-sided Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)- Marin County, CA

Cartilaginous Fish Skeleton- San Mateo County, CA
A piece of cartilaginous (cartilage) skeleton that I found on a beach. A part of a fin, as well as a small piece of spinal chord, can be seen. This most likely came from a shark species.

Cartilaginous Fish Skeleton- San Mateo County, CA

A piece of cartilaginous (cartilage) skeleton that I found on a beach. A part of a fin, as well as a small piece of spinal chord, can be seen. This most likely came from a shark species.

Monkeyface Prickleback (Cebidichthys violaceus)- San Mateo County, CA

Although this fish is often called an eel, it is actually closer related to perch.

Tide-poolin’

Taking a break from field herping, I spent the day along the coast fishing for eels and checking out tidepools with Jared and Aron. The tidepools were teeming with life- various species of crabs, limpets, hermit crabs, snails, anemones, chitons, and fish. Using home-made poke poles, we managed to catch plenty of Monkey-face Prickleback Eels, as well.

Make sure to check out Aron’s amazing photography blog at http://www.waterbody.tumblr.com

Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii)- Santa Clara County, CA

Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii)- Santa Clara County, CA

Tarantula (Genus: Aphonopelma)- Santa Clara County, CA

A Creek in the Diablo Mountain Range 

Rocky, sun-exposed creeks offer prime habitat for Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs.

A Creek in the Diablo Mountain Range

Rocky, sun-exposed creeks offer prime habitat for Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs.

A Day in the Diablo Range

I spent the day hiking and herping within the Diablo Mountain Range with Owen Holt. The weather was nice and warm as we walked along sun exposed creeks in search of newly metamorphed frogs. All the bodies of water we inspected had large populations of Foothill Yellow-legged Frogs, as well as invasive Bullfrogs.

While driving to a spot, we spotted a male tarantula crossing the road! This was a first for me!

Despite being bone dry out, the scenery was gorgeous. Creeks with fish and frogs, live oak trees stretching for miles, and basalt rock outcroppings (which should be home to the elusive Diablo Mountain Kingsnake) really made my day.