Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vote for the 2015 Walnut Label

2015 Snake #1 The Golden-Eyed Rattlesnake - third of four rattlesnakes moved from the farmyard in two days in March and an especially dark one showing off its rattle at the release site (A Pile of Rattlesnakes). 
Here are photos of snakes we saw on the Dipper Ranch in 2015. Vote for your favorite below. The snake with the most votes will be featured on the label for the 2015 Dipper Ranch walnuts. I will randomly select one of the voters to get a prize -  a bag of delicious shelled walnuts.

What kind of crazy idea is this - snakes on a walnut label? You'll just have to go to past walnut label contests to get an explanation and see the snakes featured on prior labels:

2015 Snake #2 A Shiny Gopher Snake - an April 2015 brown and harmless gopher snake sunning in the farmyard.
(It Was A Brown Snake)  
  • 2007 western yellow-bellied racer
  • 2008 a handful of western yellow-bellied racers
  • 2009 coast gartersnake in yoga pose
  • 2010 blue-tongued gopher snake on old farm equipment
  • 2011 California mountain kingsnake from the springbox
  • 2012 California mountain kingsnake in buckeye tree
  • 2013 forest sharp-tailed snake
  • 2014 juvenile yellow-bellied racer

2015 Snake #3 Rattlesnake in a Log Cave - hiding under a forgotten log at this imitation forest floor near the house in July. (A Prickly Situation)   

Over nine years, we've seen a total of 155 snakes on the Dipper Ranch of 11 species and moved 43 rattlesnakes away from the farmyard.  You'd think we had seen it all, but the rattlesnake adventures this year were a reminder to stay alert, commit to a plan and then move quickly and carefully when making a Rattlesnake Decision. There hasn't been a rattlesnake on the walnut label yet - could 2015 be the year?

2015 Snake #4 Ambassador California Mountain Kingsnake - traveling to public events for a few days in April, this California mountain kingsnake taught people about the amazing variety of grassland snakes in the Santa Cruz Mountains (Counting Triads)   
Whether it is a beautiful reptile, an exciting story, or a good lesson, I encourage you to vote on your favorite 2015 Dipper Ranch snake in the comments below. If you comment as "Anonymous", give me an hint as to who you are so I can enter you into the random drawing for the bag of shelled walnuts. Please get your vote in by midnight Sunday, February 14, 2016.

2015 Snake #5 Last Rattlesnake - moved from under the water trough near the house in August, go have your babies somewhere else please.  (Last Call for Rattlesnakes 2015)   

Northern Pacific rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus
Western yellow-bellied racer, Coluber constrictor mormon
California mountain kingsnake, Lampropeltis sonata
Coast gartersnake, Thamnophis elegans terrestris
Pacific gopher snake, Pituophis catenifer catenifer
Forest sharp-tailed snake, Contia longicaudae


  1. I like the gopher snake best, and the kingsnake second.

  2. I am definitely voting for Snake #5! What a magnificent rattlesnake and the kind of photo that could illustrate a field guide! Am confident that his/her wound healed up nicely.

  3. They're all nice, but I'll vote for the California Mountain Kingsnake.

  4. #1 The Golden-Eyed Rattlesnake because it looks so creepy with that gold eye against the dark scales

  5. I like them all and it is passed the date..stopping in to say Hi.....Michelle

    1. Hi, Michelle, hope you are enjoying an early spring.

  6. So, no clear winner in this vote which means I'm gonna vote for 2015 snake number #5 because it taught me the most. Several people commented to me offline that they can't stand photos of rattlesnakes. I kinda get it but I also wish you the experiences that will one day help you work through that fear (afterall it is just a photo and a story), although always the presence of mind to stay safe and alert around real rattlesnakes. The winning random number is 14 which makes Bruce the closest and he will get the bag of walnuts with the new label. Bruce: I hope we can meet over a hike now that the wildflower season is starting.


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