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Posted by Rust on March 31, 2003 at 14:16:38:
Just got back from a two week business trip to LA. I managed to break out and see a few things I missed on my last two trips out (basically due to dry weather). My main emphasis was Ensatina, but of course I hoped to see several other species within the same area.
The day I flew in to LAX I had a couple of hours to kill before dusk so I shot up to Tejon Pass. I wasn't out of the Jeep five minutes and got zapped (again) by some kind of stinging nettle. Maybe you guys can tell me what it's really called. It looks like something between mint and thimble berry (without the berry) and usually grows near streams and seeps. It's definitely a shade plant. I get the most incredible instand reaction (stinging/burning/itching) to it which is followed by about two weeks of residual reactions. Found the following in about an hour:
Frogs were calling but I couldn't locate one.
I had the middle weekend off, so Saturday I drove up to Breckenridge Mt first thing in the morning. There was still a little snow above 5K feet but the ground was nice and thawed (and damp!) and the gate was open. I found the following within a couple of hours:
I shot down the mountain about 1230 to run up Kern Canyon to the Greenhorn Mts. I wanted to stop along the canyon to look for B.simatus but was worried about daylight, so I drove on. Maybe next winter! I got up in the Greenhorns and started looking for Ensatina but was having no luck. After accepting defeat on this one I started back down the west side. With just twilight left I stopped at one more draw to flip a rock or two. Bingo! Those last few minutes were surprising:
A zonata shed from last year!
Sunday I drove up to Palomar. This was my real nemesis since I've been skunked here twice by drought. Ask my wife and she'll show you the picture of my $400 one-inch klauberi from last year. But this time it wasn't to be so. I found one within seconds of my first stop. I had to call her on the spot to bask in my success. HA! So Palomar produced:
So four Ensatina subs in one trip makes this one a success in my book. I was supprised though at the lack of Bratrachoseps. I'll be posting some pics later this week. I lost the use of a digital camera with my last transfer so I'm back to using 35mm for a while (don't laugh, I'm cheap).
And I'd really like to thank everyone who gave me pointers. The info was extremely useful in condensing possible sites to fit my limited free time.