Third Eye - Herping California 2019  
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California April 5-13 - it finally stopped raining after several weeks of precipitation. I decided to check out the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Santa Cruz Mountains

The state flower, California Poppy, was in bloom at a number of places that I visited. It can be orange, yellow, or a combination of both colors.
California Poppy

Coast Range Fence Lizards were easily found, though usually hidden on the first few days of the trip, due to lack of sun.
Coast Range Fence Lizard

I came across a few Rubber Boas, one of the smallest members of its family and the northernmost ranging of all boas.
Rubber Boa

A secluded pond nestled in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

An "in situ" Santa Cruz Garter Snake basking at the edge of the pond.
Santa Cruz Garter Snake

A bird that acts like a duck but isn't one - Pied-billed Grebe.
Pied-billed Grebe

It's always nice to find a Pacific Gopher Snake (the largest serpent in the land) on the first day of the trip.
Pacific Gopher Snake

An amphibian that tends to walk rather than hop - California Toad.
California Toad.

A Northern Pacific Rattlesnake, the only one that I found on the trip.
Northern Pacific Rattlesnake

The damp conditions were favorable for California Slender Salamanders, a lungless amphibian that needs moisture to breathe.
California Slender Salamander

The most commonly encountered serpent - Coast Garter Snake.
Coast Garter Snake

There was no shortage of Darkling Beetles.
Darkling Beetle

A nice looking Santa Cruz Garter Snake.
Santa Cruz Garter Snake

Sierran Treefrogs have many hues and patterns - and the ability to change color.
Sierran Treefrog

A Southern Alligator Lizard, a slow-moving reptile that can defend itself if it needs to.
Southern Alligator Lizard

Click here to see Part 2