Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Spring is here!

It's official. Spring is here. I don't pay any attention to calendars, etc.; it's spring when the lizards and snakes come out in force. And this has just happened on the Central Coast.
A couple of weekends ago my students and I took our first big group outing to our field site in the Carrizo Plain. I spent Saturday with the lizard crew, catching and marking lizards as part of a long-term study.

Ben and Kelsey photographing a pretty blue male Sceloporus:

Saturday night we had the first big dinner of the year, yum!

Sunday I joined the snake crew to track the rattlesnakes. About half of our snakes were out basking, and we found several new snakes as well. Here's a large male on SnakeOut Hill (so named by the students because so much snake amor has been witnessed there).

All of the snakes we captured, whether they were radiotagged or new captures, were well under normal body weight. In fact, the lizards seemed quite skinny as well. The drought last year took a terrible toll on the animals, and I really hope they recover this year so we can see how their movements and behaviors change.
Stay tuned for some snake amor photos soon! It will be happening any day now.


Alex S said...

EMily! Happy Easter ! I am so inspired to go out and catch me some snakes and leave them in Laini and Jim's mailbox. Which kind do you think they would like best?

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