Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pacific gopher snake
Pituophis catenifer catenifer

I grabbed its tail with hopes to get it to move off the trail. There are so many mountain bikers at Fort Ord that I didn't want it to get run over. Much to my surprise, instead of slithering off, I could feel it vibrate like a couple beats of a cell phone's silent mode. Then it crouched as shown above. I'm guessing it was a young rattlesnake! I need to learn a little more about recognizing snakes. It still looks like a gopher snake to me.

ps 05/10/10 - I originally posted this under rattlesnake? Thanks to Cindy's comment below, this is confirmed to be a gopher snake (I corrected the ID above). I'll have to inform my mother-in-law. She was hiking with us that day and my pulling the tail of a baby rattlesnake has been one of her after-dinner stories. See Cindy's Dipper Ranch post for excellent rattlesnake information.

wild hollyhock / dwarf checkerbloom
Sidalcea malviflora

I'm fairly sure about this ID. Basing it solely on what looks similar.