Third Eye - Herping California 2014  
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Although it has been unseasonably warm and dry, the weather for my trip was mainly cool and rainy. I started things off by herping the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Skyline Drive

There were many flowers in bloom, such as this Western Hound's Tongue, which is named for its leaves, that are about the same size and shape as a dog's tongue.
Western Hound's Tongue

Fence Lizards were the most commonly seen reptile on the trip.
Fence Lizard

The cool, damp conditions proved to be favorable to finding Pacific Ringneck Snakes.
Pacific Ringneck Snake

A Coast Garter Snake with a bit of "extra red" color.
Coast Garter Snake

The variability of colors and patterns of Western Fence Lizards provides the opportunity to seen some rather attractive versions of this normally brown reptile. This one was a bit on the yellow side.
Western Fence Lizard

Miner's Lettuce.
Miner's Lettuce

You know what else likes cool, damp conditions? Answer: Jerusalem Crickets.
Jerusalem Cricket

A pond in the mountains had a fair number of Santa Cruz Garter Snakes around its edges. Here's one of them.

Western Skinks were pretty easy to find and catch.
Western Skink

Cool Caterpillar.
Cool Caterpillar.

Southern Alligator Lizard.
Southern Alligator Lizard

Of course there were amphibians to be seen as well, the most common were Slender Salamanders.
Slender Salamander

Darkling Beetle.
Darkling Beetle

California Toads were seen in better numbers than past visits.
California Toad

Click here to see Part 2