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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I made a venture through Northern California last week and wanted to share. Since we dont have a field herping subforum, and my trip is mostly plant based, I figured this would be a good place to post it. In no way will I give out any locality data for the darlingtonia, pinguicula, or cypripedium. Everything else is ok :)

Day one was spent in Del Norte county in the Siskiyou Mts. This is an amazing place full of all kinds of strange plants and animals. Much of the mountain is made up of serpentine soils which is toxic to most plants. Some plants fare very well in it however. The most interesting serpentine habitat is serpentine bogs and seeps. Here are some very cool and rare plants found in these micro habitats.

Firtst stop is a VERY easily accessible spot as it was made open to the public. This is a very large darlingtonia bog

The view from where we parked



Darlingtonia californica (cobra lily)







California lady slipper orchid (cypripedium californicum) is also found in this bog, though it is not abundant. I suspect due to the fact that this site is made public, the orchids get picked often. Unfortunately, none, were in bloom, but were in seed. I will be planning on going back in the spring to get pics of them in bloom.



The second spot is very much not open to the public. It is a hike to get to, but very very worth it! This spot is right next to a beautiful creek and the plants are located on a very steep hillside with a very large seep running down it. The plants cover the entire hillside. It is quite impressive! I must have found 5 different species of orchid here. Unfortunately, they were all in seed as well. Again, I will go back in the spring to see them in bloom. I also found a very rare tiger lilly species there. lilium pardalinum ssp unknown.

The walk up the creek to get the the seep




And the seep






This group of plants were growing right off the edge of the rock. The rhizomes were hanging and the pitchers curved upward giving them a very unique look. Very cool.





And further up the hillside.... more cobra lilies.... and some orchids!




An orchid of some sort. unfortunately, I couldn't identify it. Could be a piperia or platanthera



and another one



And this locality has LOTS of california lady slippers (cypripedium californicum)



Foothill yellow legged frogs (rana boylii) are common along this creek as well as in the next site below.





The next spot is a creek that flows out over an enormous rock and creates a little boggy area before it flows into the river. This spot is LOADED with California butterwort (pinguicula macrocerus) and cypripedium californicum. They are EVERYWHERE!!

First, habitat shots. The pinguicula form very large colonies amongst the rocks and grasses in this spot. It is such a cool site!




And the pings!






From here, it was on to the redwoods to see some very large trees! I'll post that next. I love northern california!!!

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Norcal trip....Cobra lilies in the wild (Continued)

We hit up some prime old growth redwood forests on this trip as well. One of my favorites is Jedediah smith redwoods. Amazing!!! Here are some pics





BIG TREE!!!



I'm a tree hugger



This is the corkscrew tree located in prairie creek redwood state park.




I'm not even going to comment on this tree which is also located in prairie creek redwoods.....



I'm not going to comment on what a passing group of people said while I took this picture either...... :)



We ran into a couple hippie dudes that were quite interesting as well.....




this guy lost his ear hair somewhere in the middle of the above pic and this one



We said good bye to the weird hippie dudes and made our way to the drive thru....



The food wasn't very good, but the company was rad!!!



And the establishment was quite impressive!

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After finishing up at the drive thru, we headed further south to the bay area.... NIGHTMARE!!! I HATE TRAFFIC!!!!! AND ONE WAY STREETS!!!! AND FREEWAYS THAT SUDDENLY TURN INTO DOWNTOWN SAN FRANCISCO!!!!!

.... but the bridge is pretty :)




After the brige crossing, I somehow managed to get confused as the freeway suddenly turned into a main street in downtown san fran and i ended up accidentally driving back over the golden gate bridge. as if paying the toll once wasn't bad enough.... we had to go over the bridge a third time and pay the toll..... again.... but it was for good reason. Picked up a rather BEAUTIFUL plump mantella madagascariensis for $25!!

Once I got my froggy, we headed to the east bay to one of my favorite bay area haunts... Mt. Diablo. Oh what a wonderful mountain!





The sandstone formations there are incredible! Pics never do it justice... Gotta see it in person!!



The kids had a blast here as there are foot holds and hand holds everywhere so they could climb on everything...and they did....
This pic is great. They found a spot that is like a little amphitheater and proceeded to act out their favorite movies as if it were a play. Very cute.




And there are giant spiders here too

A calisoga longitarsus burrow



And the spider that was inside the burrow. 3 inch legspans on these accompanied with a severe temper problem




I took her home as they make very interesting captives.

There are more big spiders here too... Aphonopelma smithi. These guys are very docile and about 4 to 5 inch legspan. This one is a mature male



I did find 2 females. Here is a picture of both of them together!



Sunset approached by this time and we started our way down the mountain.



After the sun went down, we found these little guys on the road.

California toad (bufo boreus halophilus)



And 2 northern pacific rattlesnakes (crotalus oreganus oreganus) I only managed a picture of one animal.



A random rest stop made for some great western fence lizard shots (sceloperus occidentalis occidentalis)





And a cute little baby one!!



From here, we made our way to lake shasta!!!! Another AMAZING place in northern California. The pictures say it all! These pics were taken outside of Samwell cave on the north end of the lake.




And here is the cave







We made our way to the camp ground where we set up and the place is loaded with amazing manzanita trees!!! These particular plants are either arctostaphylos manzanita or arctostaphylos viscida

our campsite



Some great pics of manzanita trees. They have the strangest shape sometimes. Often, half the branch will die back and it leaves these really cool patterns and unique looks






And I will end this post with some scenic shots over lake shasta. I encourage anyone willing to make the trip to explore northern california. It is very unique and breath taking....... Just stay out of the city :)








Hope you all enjoyed..... I certainly did!!

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just an FYI..

I did post some cobra lilies up for trade not long before I made this post. These plants are NOT collected from the wild!! They are plants that I have been growing for several years and are pups from my original parent plants. Just wanted to straighten out any confusion before it happens :)

Josh
 

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Wow... thanks for posting all these pics! That must've been an EXCELLENT time! I need to put this down on my to-do list.
 

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Awesome pics!! Mt. Diablo is literally my backyard. I grew up exploring fossil ridge, rock city, and whatever other nook and cranny i could get to with my bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Awesome pics!! Mt. Diablo is literally my backyard. I grew up exploring fossil ridge, rock city, and whatever other nook and cranny i could get to with my bike.
I used to live in concord so I frequently made tracks to mt diablo. It is my favorite place in the east bay. There is a lot of cool stuff do be found there. You ever see the mt diablo zonata? That would be a cool find!
 

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Not sure if i have seen the mt diablo zonata, however i did come a cross a dead kingsnake (farmer had cut its head off :mad:, dumbass) It was black with a whitish/yellow banding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Josh, that was an awesome trip account and the photos are just beautiful. But where are the salamanders? :)))
Hahaha yeah I know... No cauate pics. It was very dry and pretty hot. I did however manage to find a few caudates, mostly batrachoceps attenuatus... About a dozen of them. I was quite surprised to find an aneides vagrans! These are the coolest salamanders! I'll post some pics of a few sallies just for you John. Any idea when you will be out this way? If I were you, I would plan a trip based on what you want to see most. Hydromantes brunnus is a February find. Hyromantes shastae and sp. Owens valley along with batrachoceps campi and robustus are march/April finds as are many of the southern ensatina. Hydromantes platycephalus is pretty much a summer find aside from one population that is near Owens valley. And everything else is pretty much an April/may find. I vote late April into early may. You will find the most species and you will also get to see many orchid species in bloom. I will show you some pretty cool spots :)

Josh

Josh
 

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This is the main area where I grew up. The first 18 years of my life were in the redding area near shasta lake. Now I have been living in humboldt county for 10 years and love it here. The beach is a 10 minute drive and the redwoods are basically our in our back yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This is the main area where I grew up. The first 18 years of my life were in the redding area near shasta lake. Now I have been living in humboldt county for 10 years and love it here. The beach is a 10 minute drive and the redwoods are basically our in our back yards.
I may have to meet up with you next time I'm in your area. I would love to eventually move to that area.
 

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Re: Norcal trip....Cobra lilies in the wild (Continued)



No pics of Roosevelt Elk?

Thanks for the pics! I forget what we have around here. Crazy coincidence, I was camping at Jedediah Smith the same week. Did we have awesome weather or what? I hiked a ton, but all I spotted "herp-wise" were thamnophis.

I frequently made tracks to mt diablo. It is my favorite place in the east bay. There is a lot of cool stuff do be found there. You ever see the mt diablo zonata? That would be a cool find!
They are up there, but they are hard to find without destroying habitat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: Norcal trip....Cobra lilies in the wild (Continued)



No pics of Roosevelt Elk?

Thanks for the pics! I forget what we have around here. Crazy coincidence, I was camping at Jedediah Smith the same week. Did we have awesome weather or what? I hiked a ton, but all I spotted "herp-wise" were thamnophis.



They are up there, but they are hard to find without destroying habitat.

Yeah that is the only thing that sucks about zonata hahaha!

What thamnophis did you find? Infernalis?

The weather was amazing! I didnt want to leave at all. Yeah we didnt go down to the area the Roosevelt elk are found in prairie creek. Maybe next time. I gotta get back down there soon.

Josh
 

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I was in prarie creek redwoods this last weekend as well. Visiting family thought the non mentioned tree was a riot.
I may have to meet up with you next time I'm in your area. I would love to eventually move to that area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I was in prarie creek redwoods this last weekend as well. Visiting family thought the non mentioned tree was a riot.
Oh you definitely can't go to prairie creek without visiting the non mentioned tree!! It's worth hours of good laughs!
 
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