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San Diego County Cache Critters


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Yes, I know...Not "just a hat" or "juste un chapeau" (pour les francophiles!!!!)

That was one creepy snake!!!

 

 

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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Cool pics guys, thanks for sharing them. Never cached with the worry about rattlers :ph34r:

 

Here in the UK our critters seem tame in comparison, but I thought to post this pic of a Swan which was guarding a cache locally to me. What attracted me to it was the fact that its beak has suffered fish hook damage, but it didn't put it off trying to peck my camera moments after I took the photo :ph34r:

 

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Yesterday, while caching with duganrm, we encountered a variety of critters. This well-cammoed horned lizard was skittering around on a trail in Rancho San Diego.

 

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Later, we saw this very long, very big rattlesnake crossing the road in front of the vehicle

 

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After I took that picture, and the snake was safely coiled in the bushes, he rattled very loudly to warn me from trying to take any more pictures.

 

Finally, we encountered a very mad, menacing, drooling opossum hanging out near "Race the Truck Dale."

 

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Sunday, 8/13/2006

Enjoyed seeing a number of Yellow-bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris) on a day hike with Groovy to Little Baldy. We spent nearly all day enjoying the scenery, the wildlife, and some incredible photo ops.

-GD

 

One of a pair of marmots spotted in and around this downed tree on our hike up the mountain

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A Long-eared Chipmunk (Tamius quadrimaculatus) that paused only momentarily before a typical dash to safety

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Marmot-in-a-hole checking us out toward the end of our hike. This photo was taken from less than 3 feet away, timed to coincide with one of its periodic popups.

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Sunday, 8/13/2006

Enjoyed seeing a number of Yellow-bellied Marmots (Marmota flaviventris) on a day hike with Groovy to Little Baldy. We spent nearly all day enjoying the scenery, the wildlife, and some incredible photo ops.

-GD

 

One of a pair of marmots spotted in and around this downed tree on our hike up the mountain

4bfa7067-6e7e-4c64-8942-0aae142f1e42.jpg

 

A Long-eared Chipmunk (Tamius quadrimaculatus) that paused only momentarily before a typical dash to safety

efb2f5d8-2803-45b6-9bf6-8c669048a2be.jpg

 

Marmot-in-a-hole checking us out toward the end of our hike. This photo was taken from less than 3 feet away, timed to coincide with one of its periodic popups.

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Love the last photo there where you're getting checked out. He's (or she) is cute! :tired:

Edited by Team Geogeeks
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Sunday, 9/3/2006

I was blessed with an opportunity to observe a group of five Bighorn ewes shortly after beginning a descent from The Bald Italian 10064', otherwise known as Mount San Antonio aka Mount Baldy. After spotting the first ewe near the height of nearby thunderstorm activity, I sat down to finish my lunch and watch her behavior. Over the course of a half hour she grazed within 100 yards of her starting point, then plopped down right at the edge of a ridge. About ten minutes later, a head popped up. Then another. Eventually all five were on display. They ambled slowly eastward and upward along a very barren ridge, providing some fine viewing and photography opportunities. I ended up watching them for a total of 90 minutes when I realized I needed to hit the trail.

-GD

 

Thundercloud Skyline

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Two heads

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End-to-end

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Three of five

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Pose for the camera

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Calling the stragglers

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Last look

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Saturday, 9/16/2006

Not exactly San Diego but it was on the walk to a cache called A Sign of the Times in Winchester, Hampshire (England).

Interesting coincidence...

 

As soon as I get my camera downloaded, I was going upload some pictures of swans taken while searching for a cache along a canal in England. Mine were taken in Oxfordshire, though... :)

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As promised...

 

13Sep2006 - Swan and Cygnet at the beginning of the hunt for Never at Sea - Wharf (GCN5GR) in Oxfordshire

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14Sep2006 - Two swans seen while walking along the towpath between Never at Sea - Two Boats (GCN5JB) and Never at Sea - Cuttle Inn (GCN5HQ) in Warwickshire

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18Sep2006 - Two pheasants walking on a wall near Staward Gorge (GCN152) in Northumberland

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21Sep2006 - Ducks and Geese near Racecourse View (GCRJAE) in Cambridgeshire

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Edited by Let's Look Over Thayer
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Switching to animals without feathers...

 

15Sep2006 -- A slug at the cache location for Rainbow Forge Dam (GCPYAV) near Sheffield. (The cache also had slugs in it. Bleah!)

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17Sep2006 -- This horse is at Rivaulx Abbey in Yorkshire. The nearby cache was Rest a While (GCTBH4).

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24Sep2006 -- Ponies near Stargate P51000 (GCVE7W) in Hertfordshire

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13Sep2006 -- And last, but certainly not least, a very rare unicorn that we saw while hunting for Dirty Drunken Deddington (GCHWVF).

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Technically, this is not a Cache Critter since we weren't caching at the time. We did stop to log Duncan!'s Run Away! cache on the way home, though, so maybe it kind of, sort of, counts...

 

Heerman's Gull (non-breeding plumage). The photo was taken in San Diego Harbor from the flying bridge of the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, a Liberty ship that supported the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

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You two are lucky that you got away from the Pet Sematary before dark!!! :D

Ms. LLOT and I found this cache one evening last summer. It was just getting dark as we found it...

Did you notice the subtle addition to the photo? When I showed it to Rocketman he didn't notice...

Missed it completely! ;) Good thing it was getting dark or we might have had to change our shorts! :rolleyes:

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Here are some pics of a hawk being chased by two crows near KEANA. They were really giving that hawk what-for!

 

J&J

 

Those photos remind me of an owl-hawk aerial combat Steve Dillon (The Dillon Gang) and I observed in the among the palms near Pushawalla Power Path #17 back on 4 June 2005. At first one owl was hassling the hawk, then another joined in. It was very early light and too fast to keep up with my camera so the attached shot is very blurry. One of the owls hit the hawk so hard that we both heard a loud "thunk". That was the last we saw of the hawk or the owls.

-GD

 

Contact!

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Sunday, 9/17/2006

This little English warbler(?) was guarding Kings Horses, part of the Seagulls Ships & Sites Multi-cache in Portsmouth, England. This intermediate cache was a large ammo box hidden between an old stone wall and some protective bushes and only a few yards off a walkway to a popular beach area. This shot was taken while I was kneeling down over the cache container to open it up. Only the bird and I knew what was transpiring back here out of sight of the occassional Sunday afternoon strollers.

-GD

 

And what are YOU up to back there?

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Friday, 9/29/2006

I enjoyed watching a Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) cruising just above the chapparel from my lunch spot adjacent to Champagne Summit Redux. A Harrier's narrow banded tail is similar to that of a Cooper's Hawk but the conspicuous white rump patch is distinctive to Harriers. They have owl-like disk-shaped face masks that helps focus the sounds of field mice to their very sensitive ears. Harriers hunt small birds and mammals. Older bird books refer to them as Marsh Hawks. Their natural range includes much of the U.S. as well as Eurasia.

-GD

 

Northern Harrier

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This Red-Tail was south of "Tanks for the Cache" (GCYH05) on my abortive attempt to reach Airplane Grave Yard (GCVJJD). It was a snap shot (better to get a bad shot than no shot I always say). I had lined up for another shot only to find that my CF was full. By the time I changed my "film", it had flown off.

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I had much better luck with this Red-Tail, who was sitting a pole between the aptly named Poleline Cache (GCR2PT) and the equally aptly named POLE LINE ROAD (GCR2G8) There are a couple of other shots of this same bird attached to my log entry for Poleline Cache

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Saturday, 10/28/2006

Bighorns seen in Borrego Palm Canyon between First Grove and Second Grove on a climb of Indianhead. You can reach this area via the Alternate Trail near our Just Frogs cache.

 

This morning, Ruscal and I started from the campground trailhead around 7:50 am following a very nice sunrise. Immediately above First Grove, we encountered a pair of bighorn rams, one an old-timer and the other a younger protégé just coming into his prime. Since we were not in a particular hurry, we walked along at an easy pace as they moved along slowly while browsing, grazing, and occasionally drinking from the creek. About 1/2 mile upstream, they started watching the opposite slope and soon, with a clatter, a ewe and two sub-yearlings could be seen bounding from rock to rock on a descent to the creek bed. This threesome crossed over to the rams but their seemed to be a game of hide-and-seek and they never actually got together as a group. Eventually the ewe and youngsters crossed back over, the rams wandered into the open to give them a long, long look, and then both groups went their separate ways. In addition to photographing these magnificent animals in unbelievably nice lighting, I took some Quicktime clips of them on the move, including the large ram head butting a barrel cactus in a half-hearted attempt to overturn it.

-GD

 

The younger ram

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Browsing and drinking

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Ewe and sub-yearlings

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The big guy

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Borrego Buds

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