Wow, hot temperatures really do the trick for bringing out critters at night. Saw an alligator lizard, 2 california tiger salamanders, a great horned owl, lots of deer, 5 pacific gophersnakes (4 DOR), 4 califonia kingsnakes (3 DOR), and 2 DOR pacific rattlesnakes. Its depressing driving around rural california roads and seeing how heavily trafficked they are even at night. Hoping that the high mortality rate of last night is not how it will always be.
The night started strong with an alligator lizard warming up on the shoulder of the road
Surprisingly the next thing we saw was the only live Pacific Gophersnake of the night. I really love photos from the front but will experiment with other angles in the future.
After the live gopher, the many DORs began to show. Thankfully amongst the dead snakes we stumbled upon a California Kingsnake. First one of the summer! Full of energy it rattled its little tail at me.
After realizing I wasn’t a threat, it continued on its way.
The biggest surprise of the trip came on the way home and shows why you always stay vigilant. A mole salamander crossing the road. Despite not having the conventional yellow spotting of California Tiger Salamanders, I am convinced it is a morph of them due to the geographic range and lack of other moles in California.
A little closer view of the California Tiger Salamander and its grey spots
Expect different angles as I continue to experiment with the new camera.