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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a great ride on the track for the 12 hours of Temecula today. I was parked at the Pools and about 40 yards to the west of the pools when I was getting ready to hit the trail I came across a couple of Doe deer. I don't think they really expected anyone there on a Tuesday. The fact is there were hundreds of deer tracks all over the lower part of the trail. Of course riding up the trail were the too many to count baby side blotched lizards and striped race runners (those are the baby lizards you see running away from your tires up there.). As I was struggling, panting, sweating, and generally contemplating suicide on the ascent from the damn, I came across a road runner feasting on the little lizards. Of course you can't go to Temecula without the obligatory red tail hawk sighting. And for those who are into little furry critters there were tons of ground squirrels a rabbit that I scared the crap out of as I was coming down the back side of the dam climb. Oh and I almost killed a couple of Partridge on the trail as they scurried past me.

By the way, who's the sadist that thought that Dam climb was a good idea? Whoever you are, F you buddy!

Side note, but I also hiked the Upper San Juan Loop this afternoon and found a Two Striped Garter snake which was cool for me because I haven't seen one in the wild in AGES!
 

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Saw 3 coyotes in meadowview this morning. Or maybe the same coyote 3 times. Came upon the first as he was drinking from a puddle in the middle of the trail. I whistled at him and he scurried away. Still waiting for my first snake.
 

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Lots of deer and coyotes lately. Saw a coyote swallow a ground squirrel about 20 feet in front of me last week. He wasn't disturbed by me being there, just ate the thing and then trotted slowly down the trail. I wouldn't have thought they could eat something that big without ripping it to pieces first, it was very impressive! (Maybe not as impressive as the time I came upon a rattlesnake half-way through eating a ground squirrel - man those jaws can open wide!!!) Still lots of rattlesnake tracks but I haven't seen any in person for a while, though we did find a very cold baby gopher snake on the trail Saturday morning.

Still waiting to see a mountain lion...
 

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I came across a baby western diamond rattlesnake in Santiago Oaks on Monday. It was on the way up the new "chutes" trail. I knew I was going to do some more loops that day so I went back and shoo'd him/her off the trail with a stick (gently of course). He really didn't want to budge though. He would much rather strike at the stick I was holding. Real cute snake though. definitely a rattler from the markings, but young enough to not have any rattles on his tail. I guess that means he has never shed his skin before?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I came across a baby western diamond rattlesnake in Santiago Oaks on Monday. It was on the way up the new "chutes" trail. I knew I was going to do some more loops that day so I went back and shoo'd him/her off the trail with a stick (gently of course). He really didn't want to budge though. He would much rather strike at the stick I was holding. Real cute snake though. definitely a rattler from the markings, but young enough to not have any rattles on his tail. I guess that means he has never shed his skin before?
Actually the snake you found would have been a Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Crotalus helleri. Western diamondbacks (Crotalus atrox) do not occur in that area.
 

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I don't know if its been this summer in particular but I have seen so many rattlesnakes up in Quail Trail and Laguna Coast by my house. I think I am up to 11 and almost all have been sun bathing on the trails. Largest one I have seen is a 4 footer that I almost ran over. I think its due to the huge rabbit population that exploded from the local golf course.

The best sighting I have had is a 4 point buck with 3 does not more than 500 feet off the trail head. They didn't run and let me watch from about 200 feet away. Haven't seen a mule deer in my area since the toll road went down. Really cool :)

I see the same coyote on Quail Trail all the time. He will be walking down the trail as I am climbing up. He will spot me, walks off the trail about 2-3 feet and stops, lets me pass and he goes on his way. Crazy how desensitized they are to humans.

Last month I swear I saw the king of all road runners. He was freakin huge, like the size of a red tail hawk. Consequently, I noticed he didn't run as fast as the others :)
 

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No pictures but I have seen a lot of Doe and Trancuelas or and a coyote.
 

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Saw a long tailed weasel in San Clemente Canyon about two months ago. It is good to know we are protected from Webego in the local canyon.
 

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No pics, but the coolest things I've seen are a coyote and a bobcat. I've seen deer too, but I've seen tons of deer just while driving too. I heard a rattle snake, but didnt see him. I live and ride in central florida btw.
 

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Saw a long tailed weasel in San Clemente Canyon about two months ago. It is good to know we are protected from Webego in the local canyon.
Are those naturally occurring in that area? Or did someone's pet get loose?

I'm always seeing animals on the trails. I have seen about 20 deer throughout all my mountain biking trips. (Actually, I almost crashed into one the other day!) I have also run into a couple of coyotes on the trails. These past couple of months I have seen about 30 tarantulas and 20 baby rattlesnakes. I believe it is mating season for them this time of the year. I have also seen 1 bobcat on the trails. You don't see those very often.

I really have to start carrying a camera on my cycling trips.
I would love to see a Bobcat, I heard they are really common in the LA hills. I thought this time of year was when the snakes go into hibernation.
 

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I would love to see a Bobcat, I heard they are really common in the LA hills. I thought this time of year was when the snakes go into hibernation.
I've seen a lot of bobcats in the Cheeseboro area in the past, but not so many lately. There has been a big problem with bobcats and other predators dying after eating rodents poisoned with rat poison, and I suspect that had brought down their population size. That's one of the risks wildlife have living so close to houses; it's affected foxes, too. (No one has mentioned seeing foxes yet, but I've seen a few around Cheeseboro. They are pretty rare, though, and skittish. It's great to get a chance to see one!)

It's been too warm for the snakes to go into hibernation yet, but it's definitely past their mating season. Once it cools down more - which it's starting to do now - the snakes will pretty much disappear.
 
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