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San Diego County Cache Critters


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After a DNF at "Ripple Effect," I was walking through the bushes towards the top of a hill to the west when this guy became unhappy with me. :laughing:

 

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If finally uncoiled and retreated. It was HUGE! Well . . . maybe not HUGE, but it was the biggest snake I've seen so far, definitely more than four-feet long and almost two inches in diameter.

 

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Miragee,

 

The best part of your encounter is that you and the snake were able to withdraw without injury. Excellent work with your camera, you've proven yourself as a capable wildlife photographer.

 

I punched up the color and sharpness of the image just a bit in hopes that I might improve detail for the rattlers and found, as you can see, that the rattlers do indeed show motion blur. Doesn't that just wake you up when that happens?

 

Your next assignment is to get a defining wilderness shot of that wild and elusive specimen that we all know and love, Team geckodadicus.

 

Harmon

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Yesterday, while I was near to Sunset Gorge (@ Sunset Cliff's) I saw this flock of pelicans got right overhead. I couldn't get my camera out quick enough to get the shot that I wanted but I did get this photo. I rather like the effect.

 

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P.S. Does anyone know who Sunset Cliff is? He certainly has a nice place... :rolleyes:

Edited by Let's Look Over Thayer
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Gecko Dad, I saw this fourteen footer today.

 

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It was shaking it's maraca at me as I passed "What a Beautiful Manzanita" cache in the Horsethief Canyon area. It's a beauty but not all that friendly to me. Wonder why?

 

Did I mention the monstrous grass an' leaves?

Edited by SD Rowdies
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Wow! Nice shot Harmon! Fourteen feet, you say . . . ? :anicute:

Miragee,

 

Yeah, f'r sure, maybe fifteen but it wouldn't hold still while I used my tape-erator so I just eyeballed it for size like any good Texan would do.

 

It was hangin' around your Manzanita cache. You coulda been et girl.

 

Harmon

Edited by SD Rowdies
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Wow! Nice shot Harmon! Fourteen feet, you say . . . ? :anicute:

Miragee,

 

Yeah, f'r sure, maybe fifteen but it wouldn't hold still while I used my tape-erator so I just eyeballed it for size like any good Texan would do.

 

It was hangin' around your Manzanita cache. You coulda been et girl.

 

Harmon

My scholarly research into the 27 recognized species of the genus Crotalus, tells me that these two impressive examples found by you and Miragee are communicating the classic "1/2 second before I bite you in the butt big time" warning (also known as the 1/2BYBBT behavior pattern). I think if I came across one of these fine specimens, poised as you show them, I'd probably hang up my GPS. With my occupational/Jethro Tull induced hearing loss, I'd be a goner fer shure :anicute:

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Wow! Nice shot Harmon! Fourteen feet, you say . . . ? :)

Miragee,

 

Yeah, f'r sure, maybe fifteen but it wouldn't hold still while I used my tape-erator so I just eyeballed it for size like any good Texan would do.

 

It was hangin' around your Manzanita cache. You coulda been et girl.

 

Harmon

My scholarly research into the 27 recognized species of the genus Crotalus, tells me that these two impressive examples found by you and Miragee are communicating the classic "1/2 second before I bite you in the butt big time" warning (also known as the 1/2BYBBT behavior pattern). I think if I came across one of these fine specimens, poised as you show them, I'd probably hang up my GPS. With my occupational/Jethro Tull induced hearing loss, I'd be a goner fer shure B)

Yes indeed, that buzzer of his really woke me up. When he set it off he was stretched out along a bank to my right rather than ahead of me on the roadway so no danger from a strike. Y' just can't beat a zoom lens in these situations.

 

It also helps to grow up in bad-snake country like west and south Texas where snake encounters are a regular affair like creek-swimming in cotton-mouth country.

 

Jethro Tull eh? Lookin' at that snake the song that comes to mind is "Jump Start." Pickin' in that situation means pickin' 'em up and layin' 'em down. Yowza!

Edited by SD Rowdies
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If it ain't one thing it's another ....

 

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First an angry snake near Manzanita and then a rooster near Ghost Corral ... scawy!

 

Why, I oughta . . .

Dang, you two catch on quick don't you?

Actually, this picture kinda reminds me of a song by Ernie K-Doe . . . . there is a definite resemblance . . .

"I'm Cocky But I'm Good Just Standin' on Top of 'De World?" ... ot maybe "Heebie Jeebies?"

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John wanted you to see what he's been seeing in Fallon. He's not a photographer.

 

 

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Elk? Early am..misty

 

 

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Wild horses..

 

 

 

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I wonder where the spare tire is???

 

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Peek a boo rock..of course we placed a cache there

 

 

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Edited by jahoadi and john
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If it ain't one thing it's another ....

 

48ae516b-df49-4a80-af49-e6928978b3b2.jpg

 

First an angry snake near Manzanita and then a rooster near Ghost Corral ... scawy!

 

Why, I oughta . . .

Dang, you two catch on quick don't you?

 

 

Actually, this picture kinda reminds me of a song by Ernie K-Doe . . . . there is a definite resemblance . . .

Oh geez not your Motherinlaw

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I'm sure glad I didn't see this thread before I hiked down there today . . . :D It would have ruined the surprise. ;)

 

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Thanks for the fun, Harmon. :)

Miragee,

 

Somehow I just knew that you would score FTF. Darned hot day to undertake that hike but I'll just bet that you got even with me by placing a cache in the other gap. Good going. Thanks also to Steve of the Dillon Gang.

 

Harmon

Edited by SD Rowdies
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If it ain't one thing it's another ....

 

48ae516b-df49-4a80-af49-e6928978b3b2.jpg

 

First an angry snake near Manzanita and then a rooster near Ghost Corral ... scawy!

 

Why, I oughta . . .

Dang, you two catch on quick don't you?

 

 

Actually, this picture kinda reminds me of a song by Ernie K-Doe . . . . there is a definite resemblance . . .

Oh geez not your Motherinlaw

 

 

YOU said it, not me ;)

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I'm sure glad I didn't see this thread before I hiked down there today . . . :D It would have ruined the surprise. ;)

<snip>

Thanks for the fun, Harmon. :D

Miragee,

 

Somehow I just knew that you would score FTF. Darned hot day to undertake that hike but I'll just bet that you got even with me by placing a cache in the other gap. Good going. Thanks also to Steve of the Dillon Gang.

 

Harmon

A cache . . . ? :D:) :)
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I'm sure glad I didn't see this thread before I hiked down there today . . . B) It would have ruined the surprise. B)

<snip>

Thanks for the fun, Harmon. :cool:

Miragee,

 

Somehow I just knew that you would score FTF. Darned hot day to undertake that hike but I'll just bet that you got even with me by placing a cache in the other gap. Good going. Thanks also to Steve of the Dillon Gang.

 

Harmon

A cache . . . ? ;)B) B)

Why I oughta ....

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P4300004.jpg

 

Seen this blue-belley in Daley Ranch area south today while placing a new cache, so GC and name yet to be determined ;)

 

While we were placing the cache this guy and a few others where doing thier best to ward us off with thier little bob-dance and turning the belley a bright shade of blue!

 

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Edited by CTYankee9
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Wow . . . great shot! The one I took didn't come out nearly as sharp and spectacular!

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O yes it did ...

 

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It just needed a bit of encouoragement from Photoshop to overcome the tendency of digital cameras to emphasize midtones. The two shots are a nice set.

Edited by SD Rowdies
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Wow . . . great shot! The one I took didn't come out nearly as sharp and spectacular!

7e477d46-0a66-48cb-9004-c05c2c6b9f31.jpg

O yes it did ...

 

It just needed a bit of encouoragement from Photoshop to overcome the tendency of digital cameras to emphasize midtones. The two shots are a nice set.

 

And with a bit of clarifing and fill flash to bring out the belly color!

 

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I still think Miragee's angle on him was a bit better, more of the underside color showing!

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Really enjoyed seeing the photos of the male Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) showing its signature "blue-belly" coloration. Here's another one from back in 2004 at the long-archived Field of Dreams Cache at the edge of a northern spur of Tecolote Canyon. As I mentioned in an earlier posting to this forum, the blood of Western Fence Lizards appears to be a factor in reducing lime disease in areas they occupy (Lizard May Act As Lyme Disease Panacea).

-GD

 

Western Fence Lizard

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A short distance down canyon, this floppy-eared coyote pup was also spotted on my way to another now-archived hide called Druid Hollow.

 

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Really enjoyed seeing the photos of the male Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) showing its signature "blue-belly" coloration. Here's another one from back in 2004 at the long-archived Field of Dreams Cache at the edge of a northern spur of Tecolote Canyon. As I mentioned in an earlier posting to this forum, the blood of Western Fence Lizards appears to be a factor in reducing lime disease in areas they occupy (Lizard May Act As Lyme Disease Panacea).

-GD

 

I also looked into this info recently, being from New England and curious as to why Lymes Disease was not as prevalent here as there. Came across the same articles in a number of medical pages and the same findings were listed. I guess there are still many things to learn from the little "critters" that run around out there! Not only cool to look at and photograph, but good for us too!

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Sunday, 25 March 2007

Speaking of eagles, here is one that is a reliable (and permanent) feature at Eagle Rock along the PCT between Warner Springs and S22.

-Gecko Dad

 

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I was in the area on the third of three Mountain Lion Tagging and Tracking seminars hosted by the Anza Borrego Foundation. Not too far from the cache site, we found this coyote that apparently was killed by a lion after being discovered free-loading on the lion's fresh deer kill. It is very, very rare for a coyote, especially an old-timer like this one, to be ambushed.

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After departing the lion kill site and heading south on the PCT, I found a small patch of California Poppies, one of the few I've seen this drought-impacted spring.

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Saturday, 12 May 2007

One of the beauties of the desert after things start heating up is that the animals stick around even after the humans disappear. On Saturday, I climbed up to log the peak register for Stage benchmark in the Tierra Blanca Mountains northwest of Canebrake. The east facing canyons see very little foot traffic and had evidence of recent Bighorn activity. On my way back down a different canyon than the one I went up, I came upon this handsome Gray Fox. After it scrambled nimbly up a steep pitch out of the canyon bottom, it paused to investigate what I might be.

-GD

 

Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)

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Saturday, 5/14/2007

After hiking out from Stage, a 5-hour round trip, I headed over to log another benchmark register called Lost (Peak 865) near where Arroyo Seco del Diable intersects Vallecito Wash. This is not a USGS benchmark but it does have a Desert Peaks Section summit register. On my way in, I saw this Desert Iguana that did not seem to mind the 102-103 degree heat.

 

Dipsosaurus dorsalis

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While I was at Lost and shortly before walking over to hey! it's another cache, this tiny butterfly landed on my shirt. It was gracious enough to allow me to place it on my finger for a portrait to scale.

 

Micro-flutterby

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How about this for small?

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-GD

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I recently acquired a copy of expedition photographer Gordon Wiltse's "To the Ends of the Earth" (Norton, 2006). In the preface, he points out a simple calculation that based on an average shutter speed of 1/60 sec, his life work of 2,000 published photos represents a grand total of 30 seconds of exposed film, roughly one second for every year he has been a professional photographer.

 

For a personal calibration, I just checked and found I have 5,200 images posted to cache pages. Using the same algorithm, that translates to an underwhelming 87 seconds of my geocaching field experience. Of course, only a small fraction of these involve memorable critter encounters. Helps remind me how rare and wonderful these opportunities really are.

-GD

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