Upon return from my Tahoe getaway, the conditions were apt for some more cruising. The night started off well as a gophersnake was spotted off the side of the road.

Around 3 feet in length and comfortable with my presence, I was able to walk up it on the side of a recently charred hill. I also found out it is difficult to focus a photo on a charred hill.

Pacific Gophersnake

I found out why it was so comfortable. After getting too close, it darted into a nearby hole. While not a great photo, I got this shot of it entering the hole out of focus showing its speed.

Pacific Gophersnake fleeing into a hole

Two more gophersnakes were seen but were unfortunately DORs. A young rattlesnake was spotted on the road.

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

After it deemed me to not be a threat, it departed off the road showing its pattern and four rattles.

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

As the sun set I couldn’t help but photograph an owl silhoutted against the sky. Probably watching the rattlesnake.

Silhoutted Owl

Once again, the excitement of the night came from an unexpected california nightsnake. Darting across the road, it would have escaped had it not found shelter under a leaf. Once approached, it engaged in typical nightsnake behavior. It began to coil up in its tower fashion.

California Nightsnake

Cautiously, I picked it up for a closer view as it began to dart off. Was hesitant as it is mildly venemous, but it showed no interest in biting nor do I think it would have been able to do it’s tiny head. This tight shot shows off the collar on the top of its head.

California Nightsnake

For scale I brought out the same pen. This snake was much longer the first nightsnake I saw, but not much thicker. This angle shows off its pattern on its back. The blotches meeting at the middle are somewhat offset.

California Nightsnake