Someone alert the zoo! Animals are loose and causing havoc around town!

Crazy night. Experimented on some new roads and saw the power of hills in controlling temperatures. Saw deer, elk, rabbits, mice (field and kangaroo), owls, a fox, a badger, racoon, and various amphibians. Snakes aside, absolutely amazing night.

Out of all that only the fox and badger were photographed.



26 snakes were seen tonight in various states of life. I can confidently say that well over the majority were alive, but we saw so many I began to lose track of what was alive and what wasn’t. The count is 12 rattlesnakes, 10 gophersnakes, 2 kingsnakes, 1 diablo range gartersnake, and a california nightsnake. Surprisingly that was the first garter of the summer. More importantly it was a lifer nightsnake.

At first when approached it coiled into a tall ring which I had never seen a snake do before.

California Nightsnake in a tall ring

Got a headshot showing its slightly vertical pupil and some of its collar.

California Nightsnake headshot

More of its collar and pattern as it slithered by.

California Nightsnake

A great view from the top showing its pattern. The pattern on the center of its back isn’t symmetrical which is fascinating. Also a little bit of scale to show how small and thin it was.

California Nightsnake pen scale

Cropped photo of the previous one to show the pattern.

California Nightsnake

One last scale picture. Couldn’t have been more than 7 inches. Best spot on the cruise by far.

California Nightsnake hand scale

Even though the nightsnake was the highlight of the trip, many of the others were noteworthy. The first being a gorgeous thick bodied gophersnake probably 3+ feet who was moved off the road but not photographed due to heavy traffic.

Later another large gophersnake was spotted.

Northern Pacific Gophersnake

Amongst the plethora of rattlesnakes, the ones that stood out included:

the First

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

the Coiled one

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

and the Golden one with elongated diamond patterns near the head

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

Finally, it’s always nice to see large kingsnakes. This would have been the highlight of the trip had it not been for the nightsnake.

California Kingsnake