Monday, June 14, 2010

Gopher Snakes in Rock Piles

A common but spectacular sight in Utah Valley:

We tried our luck with some rock piles:

The cactus flowers were worth a look:

In each of the many

colors:

This was a breeding pair of gopher snakes. They were copulating when found and then decided to take off in different directions when they saw us. Both of these gopher snakes were about 5 feet long.

Judging by their huge heads, these were really old gopher snakes. The male, being held on the right, had girth like a python.

Another pose with the well-fed couple:

We made sure they escaped in the same direction:

Both didn't quite fit in this hiding spot:

Some of the scenery. We also observed a juvenile hawk being chased away from a high cliff nest repeatedly. It was complaining loudly and kept trying to return to the nest, which probably had this year's chicks in it. We were fortunate to have found any snakes in this small canyon with a hawks' nest overlooking almost every part of the rock slides.

This is the first bat that I have ever flipped. It literally scared the pee out of it:

The bat made some of the most unusual noises that I have ever heard. I thought that bats hung out in groups and in caves.

I put the thing back by the bark to allow it to climb back in and it gave us a bat farewell.

We stumbled upon 2 fawns:

These fawns froze and wouldn't move a muscle:

The fawns wouldn't even flee when approached:

It was cool to be able to pet wild fawns, but

then we wondered if the mom would abandon them because of our scent.

8 comments:

Richard King said...

Nice snakes and an interesting blog.

Jen said...

O my gosh! Those are the best gopher snakes I have ever seen! And I can't believe you got to pet those fawns!! That is so amazing!!!

AMBIVALENCE said...

You certainly have had some amazing experiences to blog about. I didn't realise those gopher snakes were as big as that. Those bright red cacti flowers must have been nice to look at.

Nolelaw said...

My brother in law and I caught a fawn once. After showing it off for an hour or so we let it go. Several days later while on a hike I found a dead fawn that looked just like the one we caught. Can't help but think it was the same deer. Oh well. Food for the buzzards.

Michele said...

What a great collection of photos you have. The gopher snakes are much bigger than I would have imagined. Here in South Africa you get egg eaters that I have caught, and also quite a few venomous snakes like cobras and puff adders. Bearded Dragons are my favorite reptiles!

reptilelover123 said...

WOW, those photos are amazing, where do you go looking for those snakes and stuff, I would love to find anything like those.ortnesto

reptilelover123 said...

WOW, those photos are amazing, where do you go looking for thos reptiles and stuff, I'd love to find something like those.

Jeremy_m said...

wow, nice stuff! gorgous and healthy pair of gophers you came across there.
but yikes- I wouldn't be so worried about the scent abandonment (chances of that are minimal) as what would happen if the mother came back while you were there! That would be a very dangerous situation to be in indeed, and could easily end with one or more of you seriously injured, maimed, or even dead.
That being said, I would have done exactly the same thing! ˆ¬ˆ