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San Diego County Cache Critters


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Road Runner spotted near GCVN2T in MTRP.

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We saw a roadrunner near GCVN2T on Memorial Day. I wonder if it's the same one...

Yes, it was, he mentioned your name and asked if I knew you. He also mentioned Cegrube but assured me that he liked me best.

Edited by SD Rowdies
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Another Red Diamond rattlesnake. This one was near "Warren Canyon Trail"

Unlike Harmon's 12-footer, this little guy is probably only 2 feet in length. It sure does blend in well, doesn't it?

Nice job with your camera. Y'all need one of my Texas tape measures it seems, or a tad of Texas imagination.

 

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PS Ran into my first copperhead a few days ago...I am lucky I did not get bit. (did not have my camera)

 

GB-

Copperhead? We're you at the zoo or in Texas or the Deep South or ???

-GD

I was in Virginia.

My sister's dog was killed by one of those. It bit the dog in the tongue and by the time they figured it out it was too late. She lives across the river in Maryland. There are also plenty of Cottonmouths in the area too!
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This Saturday we discovered a tiny Hummingbird's nest in a Ficus tree that is located right outside our front door! You can see just how small the nest is compared to the Ficus leaves. The egg is smaller than a jellybean! Anyhow today we found out that we are having twins! :drama: I will post more photos as things progress!

 

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This Saturday we discovered a tiny Hummingbird's nest in a Ficus tree that is located right outside our front door! You can see just how small the nest is compared to the Ficus leaves. The egg is smaller than a jellybean! Anyhow today we found out that we are having twins! :drama: I will post more photos as things progress!

 

Awwwwwhhh! How cute! Congratulations! :ninja:

 

Those are great pictures!

 

And, thatsa lotta spider webs. :ninja:

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Saturday, 6/3/2006

After a full day of hiking and jogging up, down, and around MTRP, I encountered a pair of coyote pups shortly after descending lower Oak Canyon following my last find of the day at SNIPER by The BBB. One of these youngsters scooted along before I could get out my camera but the second was less flustered by my sudden arrival and continued to explore its playground long enough to accommodate a few photos in fading light.

-GD

 

First look

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Starting to leave ...

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but curiosity prevailed

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Peek-a-boo from behind skimpy cover

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Checking me out from a safer distance

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Edited by Team Gecko
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This Saturday we discovered a tiny Hummingbird's nest in a Ficus tree that is located right outside our front door! You can see just how small the nest is compared to the Ficus leaves. The egg is smaller than a jellybean! Anyhow today we found out that we are having twins! :drama: I will post more photos as things progress!

 

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Great photos, Pat. Looking forward to seeing the babies emerge.

 

Based on the eye pattern and the slightly curved bill, this might be a female Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) or possibly a Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri). Identifying female hummers is a tricky business, though, and the females of these two species are nearly identical in appearance.

 

Here's a tentatively identified female Anna's I saw up near Beadman's El Capitan this past Saturday. You can see how this female has a relatively short, straight bill.

 

Shortly before these photos, I was treated to a Peregrine Falcon doing aerials out off the cliff we were standing on.

-GD

 

Anna's?

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Those wings really beat

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Great photos, Pat. Looking forward to seeing the babies emerge. Based on the eye pattern and the slightly curved bill, this might be a female Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) or possibly a Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri). Identifying female hummers is a tricky business, though, and the females of these two species are nearly identical in appearance.

Thanks Don! I just hope the neighborhood cats leave her alone. The last birds nest we found (not a hummer) ended in tragedy because of one of those darn cats. I suspect the hummer will do better because she is so amazingly still when she's in the nest. When she's in the nest she looks like one of those figurines my wife likes. The heck with the figurine because we have the real deal! :unsure:

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Friday, 9 June 2006

I saw quite a few Western Fence Lizards Sceloporus occidentalis on an early morning run up Iron Mountain and the surrounding trails. A curious fact about Western Fence Lizards is their presence in an area significantly reduces the incidence of Lyme disease as a result of their blood killing the Lyme disease vector in ticks that bite them.

 

One of the many juvenile camo artists spotted along the trail near Two Crows.

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And this old-timer was hanging out on the Iron Mountain summit rocks

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-GD

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Saturday, 10 June 2006

An itty bitty beetle encountered near El Cajon Mountain: #1 Top of the World. There are 350,000 named species of beetles (Order Coleoptera, the largest group in the animal world) with 24,000 different varieties in the United States and Canada - more than the number of plant species. This 1/8th-inch critter alighted on Ruscal's arm and posed just long enough for me to take a photo.

-GD

 

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To add to the hummingbirds nesting in Pat's yard, we have a couple of newly fledged ones in the trees next to our balcony. They're flying in short stints and then waiting for parent(s) to come back and feed them.

 

I've put some on my Flickr page but here are a few...

 

Dinner time:

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Parent arriving:

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Blowing raspberries at me:

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Great photos Toby! Ours new hummers are still in the eggs! But I should be breaking out the cigars pretty soon! :lol:

 

Those are really great shots on your flickr page! What kind of camera are you using?

 

A Nikon D50, digital SLR. The hummer pics were taken using my bigger zoom lens (Sigma 28-300mm). It's a new toy of mine, only had it a month or so. The shots at the baseball were taken on a midweek day game, ticket courtesy of our very own Flagman :P

Edited by Dr. Boggis
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Great photos Toby! Ours new hummers are still in the eggs! But I should be breaking out the cigars pretty soon! :D

 

Those are really great shots on your flickr page! What kind of camera are you using?

A Nikon D50, digital SLR. The hummer pics were taken using my bigger zoom lens (Sigma 28-300mm). It's a new toy of mine, only had it a month or so. The shots at the baseball were taken on a midweek day game, ticket courtesy of our very own Flagman :D

It takes great photos! You had great seats at the ballgame! Still no baby hummers here yet...
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Saturday, 6/24/2006

A Side-blotched Lizard camped out on what appears to be a trail duck above Dolomite Point. I had hoped to beat the heat and hike up Carrizo Mountain shortly before sunrise but the lowest nighttime temperature at the Painted Gorge trailhead was a steamy 93 degrees (at 4 am) and a spectacular tropical lightning storm convinced me to head for safer climbing conditions. I also saw another California Whipsnake but it quickly disappeared into a half-dollar size hole beneath a rock before any chance for a photo.

 

It didn't quack like a duck ...

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Lightshow over the Jacumba Mountains

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Saturday, 6/24/2006

Fastest lizard in the West! I saw this same Zebra-tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides) twice - heading up and heading back - while hiking near Sweeney Pass in pursuit of Pegged This Cache. This one had a small orange spot in an outer fold behind each of its hind legs but otherwise was quite monochromatic. When I stepped near a larger stationary ZTL farther up canyon, it scooted directly away from me and across the wash so fast it was literally a blur that hardly seemed to touch the ground. Of course at 102 degrees, I imagine that ground was pretty warm on the toes.

-Gecko Dad

 

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Sumrall and I went out to replace Close to Home 2 today.

The cache guardian was back.

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and his friend

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The thing that gets me about the first snake...is...I walked above him banging my stick on the ground...and walked within 3 feet of him and he never made a rattle or moved. I was picking up trash above him when Sumrall noticed him. We checked him out...got the camera...took his pic...still he did not care. I went around the other side and used my stick to pull the rocks from the cache hiding spot...while keeping an eye on him...he slowly moved into the hole one over from the cache. I have never seen a rattle snake care so little about what was going on around him. He never rattled or even entered a defensive posture....even though we had banged and stomped before finding him and after finding him. I worked around him replacing the cache and cleaning up the trash/old cache litter around him. I guess this is a good and a bad thing...good because no one likes a pissed off snake and bad because some one could step on, grab or ??? and this guy would probable never rattle just bite.

Edited by GoBolts!
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Sumrall and I went out to replace [url=http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=07979ff7-The thing that gets me about the first snake...is...I walked above him banging my stick on the ground...and walked within 3 feet of him and he never made a rattle or moved. I was picking up trash above him when Sumrall noticed him. We checked him out...got the camera...took his pic...still he did not care. I went around the other side and used my stick to pull the rocks from the cache hiding spot...while keeping an eye on him...he slowly moved into the hole one over from the cache. I have never seen a rattle snake care so little about what was going on around him. He never rattled or even entered a defensive posture....even though we had banged and stomped before finding him and after finding him. I worked around him replacing the cache and cleaning up the trash/old cache litter around him. I guess this is a good and a bad thing...good because no one likes a pissed off snake and bad because some one could step on, grab or ??? and this guy would probable never rattle just bite.

Back in the spring of 1972 while doing a 10-day, 100-mile solo trip throughout the Los Padres/San Rafael Wilderness area behind Santa Barbara, I encountered a similarly mellow Western Rattlesnake, sharing my campsite in the Sespe River gorge. I ended up watching it off and on for the better part of an afternoon. A sizable bulge in its body (anyone ever read Le Petite Prince in French class?) indicated it had recently caught a rodent of some type and was using its energy to digest that meal.

 

Not sure if a similar post-mealtime situation helps explain the behavior you experienced. The hint of "racoon tail" in the photo suggests you were dealing with a Red Diamond. In my experience, Red Diamonds tend to go the other way if given an option but any inidividual snake can behave unexpectedly. Treating rattlesnake encounters with caution is always the prudent recourse.

-GD

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We finally had one of our Hummer babies today! I was trying to get a quick shot but as you can see my autofocus was not working too well so it didn't come out very clear. Tomorrow I will try again but this time use the manual focus! :laughing:

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A better shot of Momma

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Baby Huey....

Edited by TrailGators
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We finally had one of our Hummer babies today! I was trying to get a quick shot but as you can see my autofocus was not working too well so it didn't come out very clear. Tomorrow I will try again but this time use the manual focus! :laughing:

e7815579-f480-4b36-b202-a43290aa58f1.jpg

A better shot of Momma

5cc269ea-be70-47d3-b3d4-358373fb58c5.jpg

Baby Huey....

Congratulations pappa.

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Sumrall and I went out to replace [url=http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=07979ff7-The thing that gets me about the first snake...is...I walked above him banging my stick on the ground...and walked within 3 feet of him and he never made a rattle or moved. I was picking up trash above him when Sumrall noticed him. We checked him out...got the camera...took his pic...still he did not care. I went around the other side and used my stick to pull the rocks from the cache hiding spot...while keeping an eye on him...he slowly moved into the hole one over from the cache. I have never seen a rattle snake care so little about what was going on around him. He never rattled or even entered a defensive posture....even though we had banged and stomped before finding him and after finding him. I worked around him replacing the cache and cleaning up the trash/old cache litter around him. I guess this is a good and a bad thing...good because no one likes a pissed off snake and bad because some one could step on, grab or ??? and this guy would probable never rattle just bite.

Back in the spring of 1972 while doing a 10-day, 100-mile solo trip throughout the Los Padres/San Rafael Wilderness area behind Santa Barbara, I encountered a similarly mellow Western Rattlesnake, sharing my campsite in the Sespe River gorge. I ended up watching it off and on for the better part of an afternoon. A sizable bulge in its body (anyone ever read Le Petite Prince in French class?) indicated it had recently caught a rodent of some type and was using its energy to digest that meal.

 

Not sure if a similar post-mealtime situation helps explain the behavior you experienced. The hint of "racoon tail" in the photo suggests you were dealing with a Red Diamond. In my experience, Red Diamonds tend to go the other way if given an option but any inidividual snake can behave unexpectedly. Treating rattlesnake encounters with caution is always the prudent recourse.

-GD

 

Thanks Don...(we love your photos) I always try to give them a wide berth. I also try to poke around with my stick before entering an area ware I can't see all areas where a snake could be...however comma I would prefer if rattlers would let me know they are around...especially when they are that hidden.

 

PS Sumrall has read that book...and it is one of her favorites.

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