Mojave desert and Death Valley

In September 2014 I did a road trip to the Mojave desert with the sole purpose of finding rattlesnakes and beautiful landscapes. My guide, driver, mentor, entertainer, cost splitter, and companion for the trip was Zeev Nitzan Ginsberg. Without him there would be no trip, no snakes, and no fun.

Our transportation was a brand new Nissan Sedan rented, thanks to Zeev’s roommate Mike, at 20 dollars for a generous 200 miles a day . Despite all our attempts at being frugal with driving, in five days we had already put 1400 miles on the car. So there was nothing more to it but to drive back home to Los Angeles, park the car, and let the miles catch up with the days!

Otherwise we’d have gladly continued driving around, living on chicken soup cans, with no baths, sleeping every night crammed inside the car, and waking up happily every morning to the blinding desert sunrise!

All the snakes found on the trip were spotted by Zeev.


Sidewinder: I love this pic. Shot with a ring flash and a 100 mm Macro I was almost too close for comfort with this shot. For this one shot with perfect focus in the eyes I had to do away with about 20 that wouldn’t work!


Sidewinder (above and below)


Mojave Rattlesnake

Mojave rattlesnake: One of the most venomous of all the rattlesnake species. This one was a baby with only a knob on its tail!

Mojave rattlesnake

Mojave rattlesnake: an adult displaying a full rattle and some serious attitude! Unfortunately my ring flash packed up when we found this snake and so I had to use the inbuilt flash to get this shot. Hence the unflattering light.

Glossy snake

Glossy snake: a baby found in the Mojave desert

Desert tortise

Desert tortoise: an endangered species we were lucky to find in the Mojave desert

Mojave desert

Mojave desert: what a landscape!

Death valley

Death Valley (above and below)

Death Valley


Coyote in Death valley

Zeev and Me

Zeev and I just before we left Death Valley for Los Angeles

Ring necked snake

Ring necked snake: technically this snake doesn’t belong here since it was found by Heidi and her colleague Jackie on Mount Pisgah in Eugene Oregon. But its one of my favorite pics from the US and not having any appropriate place to post it I’ve decided to stick it in here!