Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nightsnake neighborhood

I snapped a sequence of photos that showed this spider attack. These funnel-shaped webs were everywhere in the area and there were also countless grasshoppers flying in every direction. This grasshopper landed in the funnel-shaped web and as it struggled, the spider came running out and captured it.
The funnel web is a grasshopper's worst nightmare:
This shot shows the spider lifting it's fangs in preparation for the kill:
Death crawls closer:
After observing the funnel-web assault, I began flipping rocks on the same hill and found 2 night snakes. I took quite a few photos of those.
This night snake actually flattened it's head and made a small hiss when I lifted its rock. This is something I didn't think I would ever see a little night snake do. It is shown here still puffed:
These are Utah's state flower: the sego lily. They hint at how small the night snakes were:
A larger shot of the same type of flower:
A nocturnal snake that had to endure the sun and a few photos:
My son wanted to keep this one:
I have to admit that night snakes are pretty cool, especially their eyes, but the answer was no.
We found a basking fence lizard:
I didn't attempt to catch this one.
We saw sage lizards by the millions and I took pictures of some:
As common and colorless as sage lizards are, they are quite cool in my opinion:
Lizards always keep an eye on intruders:
I wonder how agile these guys would be without the claw footwear.
Sage and side-blotched lizards were found on the same logs. They apparently get along fine.
This side-blotched lizard was extremely good-looking with a blue leopard pattern:
We found quite a few of these mormon crickets while flipping:
The females have pointy things on their rear ends for laying eggs:
The males lack those:
Another female:
I had to photo this bumble bee on a thistle:
We found some skinks:
Skinks are just shiny, fast lizards.
These are the lampropeltis (shiny scaled) of the lizard kingdom:
This one was a biter, but I couldn't get a focused picture of that.
We found this one with a blue tail. The blue tail indicates a juvenile, even though this one was about the same size. The predator is supposed to go for the colorful tail, which easily breaks off and allows the skink to escape. We managed to let him keep his tail.
Stay still!
I managed to get one clean shot of this lightning bolt without holding it:
My son carried this gopher snake with him for over 3 hours while we herped:
I think if my son had more hands, he would carry more reptiles:
This was a cool thing to see:
A wild gopher snake feeding on a mouse. Who needs the discovery channel?
The eyes began to bug from pressure:
I am glad my Mexican black king snake doesn't require live food any more.
After his meal, the gopher snake was in a really bad mood and didn't want to be handled:
He did some hissing and striking and we let him be on his way.
This was a garter found the evening before this outing:
And another garter found near home the same day:


Kasha said...

I can't believe I braved this post! Andrew looks adorable, and I do admit those are amazing pictures.

Anonymous said...

where you find the night snakes at?

Robby said...

Utah County is where the night snakes were found.

Chris york said...

was it anywhere near Eureka or closer then that?
love to see new reptiles when i can

Robby said...

Goshen Canyon, west of the creek.

Chris York said...

have you had any more luck with the nightsnakes? I've tried flipping them over there but only luck was a few side blotched lizards and a racer. did you stay in the area right at top the hill or go further in where all the cedars are dead?