© All CONTENT & PHOTOGRAPHS G.J. VERSPUI 2016 ©
Unless mentioned otherwise.
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All Lizard photo's are made 'In Situ', unless mentioned otherwise
August 26th - October 5th
My job is always fun and sometimes I even wake up in places with some nice unseen herp species for me.
This time we had a 6 weeks training with the Royal Marines (UK) and the USMC at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base.
When ever I had some time for myself I tried to find some local wildlife around the desert camp we stayed in most of the time.
One of my buddies (Leon) came along many times and we choose the early morning, late afternoon and when it was dark for herping.
The times we went out were limited because of the work that had to be done first.
The next photo's you will see are all taken close to our desert camp or on the ranges we visited during the first 4 weeks.
After 4 weeks we had a weekend off from work, so Leon and I grabbed a rental car just big enough for the both of us and used this weekend for visiting Joshua Tree NP and Anza Borrego Desert State Park.
The first night we did some road cruising in Joshua Tree NP and found a juvenile Sidewinder and a juvenile Glossy Snake, we also walked around a bit, but that did not deliver any animals.
The next morning we pretended to be tourists and made some photo's in the NP before we drove towards Borrego Springs.
After finding us a place to sleep we drove up the mountain road and checked out some areas where we could do a night search.
The late afternoon we used to do a quick recon on the Palms Canyon and we decided to walk up that canyon again the next morning.
After a great dinner and sucking some wifi we started the night adventure, road cruising, some walks and our hopes were very high, partly because of the enthusiastic tips that Priscilla Horta gave us about one of her favorite places for herping, "if you don't find any snakes there you must really be a retard".....
After some hours with only spiders and some gecko's we were almost crying and went to the bar to fight off the tears with some beers and use the wifi for reaching our loved ones at home.
The bar was almost empty, only a woman and a man who looked a bit pissed already were inside, it turned out that we walked into a great episode of the Jerry Springer show.
The guy who looked like a typical German porn star had made a promise to the woman which she only mentioned to us 200 times: "he promised me a threesome".... but the 3rd person was not there, so our presence was welcome I think...
The strangest thing was that she accused him of sleeping with her daughter, (love is a strange thing) he just smiled and said: "What? She is smart, she is beautiful, she can make her own choices".
Meanwhile we were at attempt 27 of her getting me into the magical 3 sided sport session, I was lucky to have my beer bottle still in my hands to push her face away from my face more than once. Her hands were trying to open certain clothing parts and my buddy was making pictures with a big smile...Cheers Mate, I hope you deleted them by now!
Around 02:00 we (Leon and me) went to our room and slept for a few hours.
Around 07:00 we drove to the Palm Canyon and started to walk, for lizards the morning is much more productive than the late afternoon and in the middle of the Palm area we found a nice Red Diamond Rattlesnake.
So this morning made us feel a bit less retarded!
The rest of the day we tried to get fat, eating burgers and car-sized ice creams still didn't work.
In Palm Springs we searched for Coachella Fringe-toed Lizards and we succeeded!! Also a juvenile Sidewinder was found with a very big prey in its belly, it was almost unable to move around, I guess that is why it was just under a bush in the shade at the hottest time of day.
The evening was used for some road cruising and walks in rocky areas south of Barstow, but not much came up except for a Desert Night Lizard.
In the last week I found a good place close to the camp where several Sidewinders were active, one of them was really beautiful!
The last 3 days were spend in Las Vegas, because of my lost creditcard I could not pick up my rental car so no herping was done in that area, so I did what they all do: shopping, drink tea and go to bed early.
A big thanks to the people who helped me with information on where to go: Priscilla Horta, Jeroen Speybroeck and Bobby Bok.
1. California Tree Frog - Pseudacris cadaverina
2. Desert Iguana - Dipsosaurus dorsalis
3. Common Chuckwalla - Sauromales ater
4. Baja California Collared Lizard - Crotaphytes vestigium
5. Zebra-tailed Lizard - Callisaurus draconoides
6. Coachella Fringe-toed Lizard - Uma inornata
7. Long-tailed Brush Lizard - Urosaurus graciosus
8. Granite Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus orcutti
9. Western Banded Gecko - Coleonyx variegatus
10. Common Side-blotched Lizard - Uta stansburiana
11. Desert Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma platyrhinos
12. Banded Rock Lizard - Petrosaurus mearnsi
13. Desert Night Lizard - Xantusia vigilis
14. Tiger Whiptail - Aspidoscelis tigris
15. Peninsular Leaf-toed Gecko - Phyllodactylus nocticolus
16. Desert Tortoise - Gopherus agassizii
17. Desert Glossy Snake - Arizona elegans eburnata
18. Western Coachwhip - Masticophis flagellum
19. Sidewinder - Crotalus cerastes
20. Red Diamond Rattlesnake - Crotalus ruber
21. Adder - Vipera berus (back home)