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Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, September 2, 2012

There has to be a name for this

After my brief encounter with the wolves on Friday, I picked up a refuge vehicle and went back to my regularly scheduled activities.  It was my day for restocking all the pamphlet boxes on the refuge entrance roads.  To add a little excitement to this chore, I would also be adding hunting permit pamphlets.  Hunting season on the refuge began Sept. 1. 

As I reach each entrance road, I always take a drive down each one to check to see that everything is in good condition, and just provide an official presence once a week.  Of course, I’m also hoping to see whatever wildlife is along the way.

As I rode with Ashlyn to the wolf pens that morning, she mentioned that she had seen an awful lot of snakes on the road in the mornings.  I told her that I hadn’t ever seen a snake on this refuge this year or during my time here five years ago.  (Warning: snake pictures ahead)

This phenomena has happened to me before.  If there’s a certain species I want to see, I spend a lot of time looking and looking for it to no avail.  Then once I find one, it seems to appear again almost every time I turn around.  There must be a name for this phenomena.

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I’ve seen rattlesnakes and cottonmouths on various refuges, but I’ve never seen a copperhead snake.  So you know what suddenly appeared on the side of one of the back roads Friday afternoon.

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A great big copperhead!  I kept my distance and used my telephoto lens, but I was excited to see this venomous snake.  It is one of the three pit vipers found on the refuge.

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Wouldn’t you know it, I came across a second one on my drive back from working the Gateway VC late this afternoon.  I suppose now, since I’ve finally seen one, they will appear every time I drive down one of these roads.

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Two swallow-tailed butterflies were also on the road…

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and before I knew it, a dozen or so more had joined that pair.  There must have been something in the soil along the road that these guys needed for so many of them to stop at the same place.

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My next surprise while monitoring the back roads was to come upon a great blue heron just walking down the road.  I thought that was a little unusual.

The last two days were spent working at both VCs, and nothing very exciting happened there.  I’ve got three days off now, so I’ll have to find an adventure or two to go on.

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                                                                                THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. Looks like Mr. Copperhead has been eating pretty well in the refuge.

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  2. The heron was looking for snakes.

    Nice pictures. I like that you caught him tasting the air.

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  3. I like the heron just strolling down the road. But you can keep the snakes. Does anyone go hiking/biking on those roads? Will you have to wear orange now when you are out and about - due to the hunting?

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  4. Better seeing those copperheads driving by instead of when you're walking by. Sometimes you just have to thank your luck stars, to see them instead of step on them... :cO

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  5. That looks like one BIG Copperhead!

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  6. I like those butterflies MUCH better than that snake. You certain got some great shots both of them.

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  7. Beautiful copperhead! I've been wanting to see a snake ever since we got to Arizona in January. We've now been all over AZ and now into Utah and I've yet to see one. Maybe I'll get lucky now.

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  8. When we lived in Texas we had a copperhead that came into my flowerbeds. I guess thats why the next area to the West was called Copper Canyon. I don't mind snakes, but would not want to step on that one!

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  9. Yep...snakes make me wet myself....right ahead of toads and frogs....But!! How wonderful for someone like you to spot a species you love in the wild...along with butterflies and bears...I would be reluctant to leave if I were you..(and I definitely am NOT)..but I know how much you love this stuff.

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  10. I admire your photography, however, I wouldn't have even trusted a telephoto lens. :))
    But you did a great job, love the butterflies. Here in Indiana this year with the drought so bad
    you would see several just on a piece of mud trying to get moisture.

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  11. Almost seems like wild life is drawn to you, Judy! The only thing we've seen similar to the butterflies (beautiful, btw) was when we got caught in a moth migration (huge moths) in Colorado. Thought we'd never get rid of them. We were also in SD one year when the roads were turned slippery because of dead grasshoppers. Was like black ice!

    Your photography never ceases to amaze me, Judy. You really have talent.

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  12. Beautiful photos AGAIN Judy. And another terrific THE END! I never seem to be able to get a non blurry flying or take off picture.
    We used to have copperheads in our woodpile which was pretty nerve wracking when you went out to load up the cart with wood. I prefer black snakes myself.

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  13. butterflies...yes
    heron...yes
    any more snakes...NO NO NO

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  14. That phenomena is almost like the one where once you learn a new word or new idea, then it seems to pop up all over the place. Since Murphy already has a law named after him, maybe you could do the honors on the "looking for animals law"?

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  15. Hate snakes. I can deal with just about anything else. Annie you aren't seeing snakes they are hybernating right now. Although a couple of folks have been bitten lately. The rattle snakes were lacking rattles.

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  16. Strange traffic you have on the roads there. We mainly have cars and bicycles.

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  17. Well, if I have to see snakes, it's better that they be while I'm in the car. Now I need to see some more bear photos please so I can get the snakes out of my mind ... ;-)

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  18. odd looking copperhead... although he/she has the markings of one the color is different from all the ones I have seen over the years...

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  19. Great shots. I had mentioned this same phenomena in a post and a friend called it synchronicity - whatever it's called it's cool.

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  20. I'm with Marsha. . .love the butterflies. . .the snake. . .mmm. . .not so much. . .but I know what you are saying. . .I would like to get a pic of a rattlesnake in the wild. . .not up close and personal you understand. . .but with the telephoto. . .yes!

    Janice
    ReadyToGoFullTimeRVing.blogspot.com

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  21. Snakes are OK, butterflies are OK, herons are OK. But tell us about hunting on the wildlife refuge. Isn't a wildlife refuge a place where wildlife can find refuge? Are we missing something?

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  22. I can't believe all the stuff you happen to see just driving along the road in your car - snakes, bears, herons, butterflys etc. Pretty amazing and great photos.

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  23. You can even make snakes look beautiful. The markings on that snake are just gorgeous but if I had seen it I would have run the other direction. Don't know what it's called but I'm sure glad it happens to you and we get to see all your beautiful pictures of all the creatures.

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  24. I have the same thing happen with me about cars. Whenever I buy a new car, suddenly that model and/or color is the only one I see on the roads. LOL Your photos, as always, are amazing. I especially like the one of the heron; "I am king of the road here". The snakes, nope, not for me.

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  25. Glad you used the telephoto lens, I would not get closer than 20 feet unless I had a shotgun:)

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  26. I keep hearing about the Copperheads but I have never seen one, thanks for the picture.

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  27. Thank God for telephoto lenses!

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  28. butterbean carpenterSeptember 10, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Howdy Judy & Emma,
    Great pics as usual, Judy!!! Love the bear families, birds, turtles, deer and the snakes!!! Do remember copperheads will just sit and wait for a chance to strike and THAT BABY CAN HIT FROM A LONG WAY!!! I've heard of those 4-5' ones, but even though we've hunted for them have never seen one; have seen & caught ones over 3'!! The Eastern diamond-back rattlesnake is the longest rattler in the nation, 6-9'long and do not like to run away from danger; so BE EXTRA CAREFUL.. I'm sure you've already heard this warning before!! Hope the medicine really does help OL' ARTHR and keep him calm; He gives me fitz every once in a while.. Check on the Escapees CARE facilities, we visited and they are really nice with good caregivers; I hadn't heard about the 'having to have someone of your own'!! Dennis Hill's mother was there(Care) before she bought her 'squatter's shak' there; she was single.. I don't know about animals though!!! Check it out!!!

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