Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthopicta
THE RETURN OF THE HORNED JACK LIZARD HAS BEGUN
"Winter" in California brings hope to everyone in the herpetology world that the skies will open up and drench our drought stricken land with much needed rain. This, of course, brings out all our amphibian friends including the elusive and spectacularly awesome giant salamander. I had been watching the weather and decided to drive up to northern California to meet up with some friends to explore the coastal California redwood forests in search of all things slimy. I ended up putting 2000 miles on my truck and about 2000 clicks on my D300 shutter mechanism! We had the most amazingly epic salamander trip I could have ever imagined! A total of 22 different species of amphibians including 11 individual Coastal Giant Salamander were found during the trip. We found every one of our target species!! It was truly a trip I will never forget and I'll be gradually posting many of the photos I took. I took many longer exposure wide angle shots and I think I'll be taking more of this kind of shot in the future, although when working with subjects that move, sharpness is a problem. I'll have to balance ISO with shutter speed to reach a happy balance. I've decided to post fewer shots from each trip than I have in years past to reduce my workload and processing time and also so each photo has more of an impact.