Hidden Hills Community Register May 2024

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MAY 2024 in this issue CALENDAR Upcoming Community Events 14 ADAM WASSERMAN Hidden Hills’ Newest Council Member 16 CHEERS & DICE Hidden Hills Adult Bunco Bash 20 COMMUNITY RECIPE Not In It for the Dough 32 AN ARTISTIC AFFAIR Hidden Hills Hosts Wine & Paint Night 24 WINE TIPS Spring Cleaning for Your Wine Collection 36 A VISUAL GUIDE The Snakes of Hidden Hills 40 HAPPIEST TRAILS Quinn and Flash 48 finally, dry cleaning that suits your lifestyle. Enviromentally-Conscious Dry Cleaning Expert Tailoring Pick Up and Delivery Service Wedding Gown & Fine Linen Specialist 23542 CALABASAS ROAD CALABASAS, CA 91302 (818) 591-2125 10 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024

Your Community Resource Guide

The Hidden Hills Community Register and Resource Guide is a monthly publication exclusively for our community. Our mission is to spotlight the many positive aspects of life here in Hidden Hills, including the remarkable individuals, important issues, upcoming events, and stories that tie us together.

In each edition, we aim to share the spirit of our community, showcasing engaging images of our treasured moments with you and your loved ones. At times, it serves as a timeless photo album, a keepsake to cherish for years to come. Thanks to the generous support of our advertisers, we are able to bring this publication to you, free of charge. Their contributions enable us to capture and share the essence of our community, ensuring that every member can enjoy the stories within our pages each month.

As always, we are dedicated to sharing your stories and the distinct narratives that define Hidden Hills. Please reach out with your story ideas or interest in contributing. Join us by emailing editor@ hiddenhillsmag.com.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Hidden Hills Community Register and Resource Guide.

Thoughts? Story ideas? Want to be involved?


This community publication is created exclusively for you and all of our Hidden Hills neighbors and is made possible with the generous support of these local businesses.









































Published by your friends and neighbors, exclusively for our community
nic & hayley Mattson lonna Weber
May 2024 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 11


MAY 24

5/2 Landscape Committee Meeting 9 - 10 a.m.

5/6 Theater Committee Meeting 10 - 11 a.m.

5/7 Farmers Market 2 - 6 p.m.

5/7 Board of Directors Executive Session 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

5/8 Parks and Recreation Committee Meeting 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

5/9 Farmers Market 2 - 6 p.m.

5/11 Horseback riding with Janet and Rachel at Spring Valley Arena: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

5/13 City Council Meeting 5:30 p.m

5/14 Farmers Market 2 - 6 p.m.

5/15 Equestrian Services Committee Meeting 6:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

5/18 Hidden Hills Social Welcome New Residents Time TBA

5/21 Farmers Market 2 - 6 p.m.

5/21 Board of Directors Open Session Meeting 6:30 p.m.– 8:30 p.m.

5/28 Farmers Market 2 - 6 p.m.

5/29 Architectural Committee Meeting 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

14 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024


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Hidden Hills’ Newest Council Member ADAM WASSERMAN

At the meeting on March 11, your Hidden Hills City Council appointed Adam Wasserman to the City Council to fill the seat vacated earlier this year. Wasserman, a long-time Hidden Hills resident was sworn in to his seat by Judge Harwin, following the appointment. We had a chance to catch Council Member Wasserman after his swearing in to ask him a few questions:

What inspired you to run for City Council?

I have lived with my wife and children in the City of Hidden Hills for 19 years and long wanted to run for city council. I believe that I have the right experience to be a meaningful addition to our council. I’m an attorney by trade and have worked in government contracting, policy, litigation, and negotiation in my professional career. During the second part of my career, I have been an education attorney for disabled children at my public interest law firm, Education Justice Law. I also received substantial training in land use law early on, which will come in handy given our current pressures from the state. I have collaborated with university officials and government organizations, assisting with legislation and state law policies to change educational practices state-wide. As a tech entrepreneur, I created ExamSoft, which revolutionized the modern bar exam nationwide. I believe my extensive experience in both the private and government sectors, my successes in both realms, my familiarity with government body decision-making, and my conflict resolution and problem-solving skills will be valuable for the City Council and, thus, all residents of Hidden Hills.

What are you most looking forward to as an elected official?

I’m looking forward to maintaining our community’s uniqueness and representing it by cautiously fostering positive change in a manner sensitive to all our constituents. I’m excited to

work with Hidden Hills’ dedicated and talented council members. They are an incredibly diverse and experienced Council from which I’ll learn a lot. I also look forward to representing our City and our Council at events inside our community.

What are you most interested in working on to sustain or improve our great city?

I am interested in preserving the bucolic feel of our community. I also wish to help to update the ways that we work to increase productivity. Government is infamous for moving slowly, even in small cities, and I hope to improve efficiencies in our practices with the goal of increasing the speed of policy implementations. Our state has many challenges that affect the City of Hidden Hills. I am concerned about the leniency of our state, particularly considering that misdemeanor crimes can have a negative and harmful impact on our community. Public safety is of utmost importance to me.

City Council Recap

At the Special Council meeting on February 26, Resolution No. 1023 was Adopted, endorsing the Homelessness, Drug Addiction, and Theft Reduction Act—a forthcoming California ballot initiative. This landmark decision makes Hidden Hills the first city in California to throw its support behind the initiative.

During the March 11 meeting, the City Council warmly welcomed Adam Wasserman as the newest member of the Hidden Hills City Council. Wasserman’s appointment was met with unanimous approval following the withdrawal of the only other candidate, who cited Wasserman’s impressive qualifications, passion, and dedication. Wasserman will serve the remainder of the vacated term until the November election.

In addition, the City Council ratified the appointment of Michael Grant as the Interim Public Safety and Emergency Services Manager. Grant, a familiar face in Hidden Hills, was introduced to CERT members at last month’s meeting. Keep an eye out for his upcoming introduction event to the community.

City Council Meetings

Hidden Hills City Hall  6165 Spring Valley Road

City Council meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are held in the Council Chambers at the City Hall, 6165 Spring Valley Road, Hidden Hills , and are live-streamed via Zoom, designed for public participation. All meetings of the City Council are open to the public and shown live on Cable TV channel 3 and on the city’s website. Residents are encouraged to attend the meetings to learn more about city government and how it operates. Your comments and opinions are always welcome and appreciated.

Article courtesy of The City Hidden Hills.

16 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024
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On March 21, the Hidden Hills Community Center buzzed with excitement as adults from the community gathered for an exclusive Bunco Party—an evening of fun, laughter, and friendly competition. Sponsored by the Parks & Recreation Committee, the night promised an unforgettable experience for all attendees. As participants rolled the dice and strategized their moves, the atmosphere filled with anticipation and camaraderie. To complement the spirited gameplay, wine and appetizers were served while guests reveled in the opportunity to unwind and mingle with fellow neighbors. Exciting prizes added an extra layer of excitement and incentive to the game. With laughter echoing throughout the venue all night long, the event was a resounding success.

20 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024
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On April 18, Hidden Hills community members enjoyed a Wine and Paint Night exclusively for adults, where creativity and wine flowed freely. The event kicked off with a delightful array of light snacks from Daterra Kitchen, perfectly complemented by a selection of wines, setting the stage for a memorable experience. Participants then immersed themselves in painting instruction, each provided with a canvas and paint to unleash their artistic talents. Guided by an expert instructor, attendees embarked on a journey to recreate the iconic entrance gates of their Hidden Hills neighborhood, infusing their own unique flair into their masterpieces. The evening fostered a sense of relaxation and creativity among all who participated, embracing one of the many opportunities to unwind and connect with neighbo, with laughter, conversation, and brushstrokes a plenty, the Wine and Paint Night proved to be a resounding success, leaving participants with cherished memories of a night well spent.

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D r o p b y t h e m a r k e t

a n d g e t l o c a l p r o d u c e , f r e s h f o o d s , a n d

d e l i g h t f u l c r a f t s !

O U R V E N D O R S :

R e y e s R a n c h - V e g e t a b l e s

H e r n a n d e z B r o t h e r s - V e g e t a b l e s & B e r r i e s

M a r i n a t e d - M a r i n a t e d M e a t s

B r o t h e r s - H u m m u s , c h i p s , & d i p s

E y e K a n d y - J e w e l r y & A c c e s s o r i e s

O u r S w e e t L i v e s - D e s s e r t s

M e G u s t a - T a m a l e s


E v e r y T u e s d a y

2 - 6 P M 2 - 6 P M

a t t h e H i d d e n H i l l s

C o m m u n i t y C e n t e r !

A s w e h e a d i n t o t h i s b e a u t i f u l

s p r i n g w e a r e s o e x c i t e d t o s e e

t h e m a r k e t g r o w ! W e n e e d

c o n t i n u e d & e v e n m o r e s u p p o r t

a n d a t t e n d a n c e f r o m t h e

c o m m u n i t y t o m a k e t h a t

h a p p e n . S e e y o u a t t h e m a r k e t !

Hidden Hills Community Recipe NOT IN IT FOR THE DOUGH!

First, I want to express my gratitude to our neighbor and friend, Mary McGinnis, for the thoughtful gift—a glass jar filled with flour and water resembling pancake batter, with a rubber band marking its starting point. As Mary strolled down the driveway, she left me with these parting words, “Just feed your new starter daily or once a week with fresh flour and water, you’ll be fine!” Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into.

Despite being a trained chef in both cooking and baking, my knowledge of sourdough and fermented foods was limited to a single class that didn’t garner much interest from my fellow students. I had heard about the pandemic trend of sourdough making that flooded social media and the internet for over a year. I questioned why I should take on a daily responsibility akin to motherhood—feeding, cleaning, understanding, compromising—when I’d soon be an empty nester.

The next morning, I stumbled upon the glass jar on the counter, which I had quickly forgotten about, only to find the starter had doubled in size with lively bubbles. The aroma emanating from the jar drew me in. Without hesitation, I gathered my scale, a fresh clean jar, a bag of flour, a jug of water, and embarked on the journey. Fast forward a few days, and according to Google, I had inadvertently “killed” my starter. Undeterred, I decided to give it another shot. I reached for a bag of bread flour and a jug of water, mixed them in a jar, and let it sit overnight. Instant gratification failed me, as there was no rise or bubbles the following morning. Nevertheless, I persisted with daily feedings like clockwork, realizing that consistency was key.

Slowly but surely, the natural yeast filled the air, bubbles formed in the jar, and my kitchen began to exude the aroma of a San Francisco bakery. I found myself fully immersed in sourdough mode, eagerly anticipating baking my first loaf. I soon realized that to achieve this, I needed to schedule my entire day around it—a commitment I initially found perplexing

As weeks passed, the starter thrived, doubling and even tripling with each feeding. I felt a sense of accomplishment seeing my efforts pay off. With each loaf, I delved deeper into the world of baking, learning the intricacies of dough handling, fermentation, and the nuances of different flours. Despite setbacks and disappointments, I persisted, eventually achieving a level of mastery that I never thought possible. The journey taught me the virtues of patience and mindfulness, grounding me in

Years later, I’m still perfecting my craft, continually experimenting with different flours and techniques. While I may never achieve the elusive “perfect loaf,” I take pride in the healthy, delicious bread I bake for my family and friends. Now, if you’re considering diving into the world of sourdough baking, I encourage you to give it a try. All you need is flour, water, and a clean glass jar. And if you’d like to skip the starter-building process, I’m happy to provide you with my dehydrated starter. If you’re interested, here’s my go-to recipe to get you started. Additionally, there’s a wealth of information available on platforms like YouTube and social media, or feel free to reach out to me for guidance and a gift of dehydrated starter. Happy baking!

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Once your starter is active, bubbly, and doubled in size (this can take 3-12 hours depending on feeding ratio), to a clean bowl, add:

• 780 grams - room temp distilled water

• 250 grams - ripe starter

• 1000 grams - high protein organic bread flour, mix by hand, cover, rest for 30 minutes. t

1. Add into your bowl, 20 grams—salt, with clawlike fingers, and mix well into the dough.

2. You will now perform your first set of stretch and folds, then cover the bowl and rest for 30 minutes.

3. For the next 3 hours, you will repeat this series of stretches and folds every 30 minutes.

4. Pre-shape for 30 minutes, shape and place dough into the banneton, and now it’s time for an overnight in the refrigerator.

You can contact me for further instructions, and I will walk you through it! Enjoy, and just remember, this will be a learning process, but worth every minute or, for me, months of trial and error!

And before I forget...Thank you, Mary, for introducing me to the world of sourdough!

May 2024 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 33

Wine Tips Spring Cleaning for Your Wine Collection

Organizing your wine collection

Spring is here, and you know what that means… spring cleaning! While spring cleaning is typically thought of as a time to go through and declutter your house, it’s also a great opportunity to clean up and organize your wine collection.

Even when stored properly, wine bottles can collect dust, become unorganized, and (gasp) even be forgotten. By taking the time to go through, organize, and clean up your wine collection this spring, you can be sure you’re not letting anything go to waste while also figuring out what bottles are hiding in the depths of your cellar.

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Assessing the inventory

Begin by inspecting each bottle in your collection. Look for any signs of damage, such as leaks or cork deterioration. Take note of wines that are approaching their peak drinking window and prioritize them for consumption. This step not only helps prevent any unpleasant surprises but also allows you to plan your future purchases more effectively.

Organizing for accessibility

Next, take the time to organize your cellar in a way that makes it easy to locate specific bottles. Whether you prefer to sort by region, varietal, or vintage, having a systematic approach will save you time and frustration when selecting wines for special occasions or everyday enjoyment. Invest in sturdy wine racks or storage bins to keep your collection neatly arranged and easily accessible.

Cleaning and maintenance

Dust and debris can accumulate in even the most meticulously maintained cellars, so it’s important to give your storage space a thorough cleaning. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently remove dust from bottles and shelves, taking care not to disturb any sediment that may have settled. Sweep or vacuum the floor to eliminate any dirt or cobwebs that may have accumulated over the months.

Additionally, check your cellar’s temperature and humidity levels to ensure they remain within the optimal range for wine storage. Aim for a consistent temperature between 55-60°F (12-15°C) and a relative humidity of around 60-70%.

Storage solutions

Consider investing in additional storage solutions to accommodate any new additions to your collection. Temperaturecontrolled wine cabinets or portable wine coolers can provide a convenient and space-efficient way to store bottles that may not fit in your main cellar. Be sure to research the best options for your needs and budget, considering factors such as capacity, temperature range, and energy efficiency.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor

Finally, take a moment to appreciate the results of your hard work. Pour yourself a glass of your favorite wine, sit back, and relax in the knowledge that your cellar is in peak condition for the year ahead. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, celebrating a special occasion, or simply unwinding after a long day, there’s nothing quite like savoring a glass of Paso Robles wine that has been carefully selected and perfectly preserved.

May 2024 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 37



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of Hidden Hills A Visual Guide to the SNAKES

Some are tiny; some are shiny. Only one is potentially deadly.

Like it or not, we live in an area where snakes are diverse and plentiful.

Here is a guide to help you identify and respect your scaly neighbors.

40 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024


Not dangerous (Non-venomous)

Harmless and beneficial gopher snakes are sometimes mistaken for dangerous rattlesnakes. Gopher snakes are often killed unnecessarily because of this confusion. (It’s also unnecessary to kill every rattlesnake.) Here’s how to tell them apart, but if you aren’t sure, keep your distance!

Rattlesnake—triangular head, larger than neck; thick, dull, nonglossy body; tail is blunt with one or more rattles. Gopher Snake— head slightly larger than neck; slender, glossy body; pointed tail.

A Gopher snake makes a similar sound to a rattlesnake by hissing and rapidly moving its tail in dry grass.

LENGTH: Adults of the species can be 2.5 - 9 feet long. Hatchlings are fairly long, generally around 15 inches in length.

APPEARANCE: A large snake with heavily keeled scales, a narrow head that is slightly wider than the neck, and a protruding rostral scale on the tip of the snout that is bluntly rounded. Ground color is tan, light brown or yellowish, with large brown or blackish rounded blotches along the back and smaller markings on the sides. The dorsal blotches can fuse together, producing a very dark color. The underside is cream to yellow with dark spots. The back of the neck is often a dull orange. There is usually a dark stripe across the head in front of the eyes and a dark stripe from behind each eye to the angle of the jaw. Juveniles tend to have a darker and more compact pattern than adults.

ACTIVITY: Active in the daytime, and at night in hot weather, and specially at dusk and dawn. One of the most commonly seen snakes on roads and trails, especially in the spring when males are actively seeking a mate, and in the fall when hatchlings emerge. A good burrower, climber, and swimmer.

DEFENSE: When threatened, a gopher snake will do several things, sometimes one after the other, including: crawling away quickly to escape or hide; freezing up—making the body rigid and kinked up so it won’t be noticed or perceived as a snake; and striking at the threat to scare it off. Gopher snakes also use a more dramatic defensive behavior - sometimes, a snake will elevate its body and inflate it with air while flattening its head into a triangular shape, hissing loudly, and quickly shaking its tail back and forth to make a buzzing sound. This head-flattening and tail-rattling is usually considered to be a mimic of a rattlesnake, but the tail shaking could be a behavior similar to that of the rattlesnake that helps to warn off an animal that could be a threat to the snake by alerting it of the snake’s presence. Gopher snakes have a specially developed epiglottis (the flap at the back of the throat), which increases the sound of their hiss when air is forced through.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats mostly gophers, moles, rabbits, and mice, along with birds and their eggs and nestlings. Occasionally eats lizards and insects.

May 2024 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 41



Mildly venomous—but not considered dangerous to humans

Capable of delivering a mild venom from small fangs in the rear of the mouth, but the venom is not considered dangerous to humans. Handle this snake with caution, as some people have had unpleasant reactions to this snake’s bite, especially when the snake is allowed to chew, which helps to put more venom into the skin. Symptoms can include local swelling, redness, itching, and numbness, but the effects are not systemic.


Not dangerous (Non-venomous)

LENGTH: Adults are 26 - 70 inches in length. Average length is 3 - 4 feet.

APPEARANCE: A medium-sized muscular snake with smooth, glossy scales, a faded or bleached-out appearance, and a short tail. A tan or light brown ground color with dark brown blotches with dark edges on the back and sides and a pale, unmarked underside.

ACTIVITY: Nocturnal. Hides underground in daytime under rocks, in existing burrows, or uses its specialized nose to make its own burrow. Typically active from late February until November, depending on the weather. Most active in May. Less active during Summer.

DIET AND FEEDING: Preys mostly on sleeping diurnal (active during day) lizards, but also eats small snakes, terrestrial birds, and nocturnally-active mammals.

LENGTH: Most lyresnakes encountered are 24 - 36 inches long.

APPEARANCE: A slender snake with a broad head well-differentiated from the slim neck. The pupils are vertical, like those of a cat. Coloring closely matches a snake’s rocky habitat, from gray to light brown. There are usually about 35 dorsal blotches with light edges and, a pale crossbar in the center, and smaller irregular blotches on the lower sides. A lyreshaped marking is present on top of the head. The underside is offwhite or yellowish with dark spots.

ACTIVITY: Nocturnal, active in very dry conditions as well as during rains. Terrestrial, and good climbers. This snake often searches rock crevices for prey. It can be found during the day inside crevices in large rock outcrops, as well as crossing desert roads at night.

DEFENSE: When threatened, a lyresnake will sometimes vibrate its tail, similar to the behavior of a rattlesnake. Sometimes, it will raise up the front of its body and strike.

DIET AND FEEDING: Primarily lizards, but also known to eat small mammals, nestling birds, and snakes.


Mildly Venomous—but not considered dangerous to humans

LENGTH: Most seen are 8 - 12 inches long, rarely over 16 inches. Hatchlings are about 7 inches in length.

APPEARANCE: A small, slender snake with a narrow, flat head, smooth scales in 19 rows, and vertical pupils. Color varies, often matching the substrate, from light gray, light brown, beige, to tan or cream, with dark brown or gray blotches on the back and sides. Usually a pair of large dark blotches on the neck and a dark bar through or behind the eyes. Whitish or yellowish and unmarked underneath.

ACTIVITY: Nocturnal and also active at dusk and dawn. Can be found under rocks, boards, logs, and other surface objects. Sometimes seen crossing roads on warm nights.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats a wide range of terrestrial vertebrates, mostly lizards and their eggs, sometimes small snakes, frogs, and salamanders.

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Not Dangerous (Non-venomous)

LENGTH: Adults are generally 3048 inches long, occasionally reaching 60 inches. Hatchlings are about 13 inches long.

APPEARANCE: A long, fast-moving snake with a thin body and a long, thin tail, large eyes, a broad, elongated head, a slender neck, and smooth scales. Dark olive brown, gray, or black ground coloring with a pale yellow or cream colored solid stripe on each side which extends from the back of the eye to or beyond the vent. The stripes are relatively narrow. The underside is cream or pale yellow, tapering to pink toward the tail.

ACTIVITY: Diurnal, often seen actively foraging in the daytime with head and forward part of the body held high up off the ground searching for prey with its acute vision. Climbs vegetation and seeks shelter in burrows, rocks, or woody debris. Very fast-moving and alert, quickly fleeing when threatened, this snake can be difficult to get close to.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats lizards (particularly spiny lizards), small rodents, small birds, frogs, salamanders, small snakes. Juveniles will consume large insects.


Not Dangerous (Non-venomous)

LENGTH: California Kingsnakes seldom exceed 48 inches. Most are commonly found at 2.5 - 3.5 feet in length. Hatchlings are about 12 inches long.

APPEARANCE: Smooth, shiny, unkeeled scales. The head is barely wider than the neck. Highly variable in appearance. Most commonly seen with alternating bands of black or brown and white or light yellow, including the underside, where the light bands become wider.

ACTIVITY: Active during daylight in cooler weather and at night, dawn, and dusk when temperatures are high.

DEFENSE: When disturbed, generally not aggressive, but sometimes vibrates the tail quickly, hisses, and rolls into a ball, hiding the head and showing the vent with it’s lining exposed.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats a wide variety of prey, including rodents and other small mammals, lizards, lizard eggs, snakes (including rattlesnakes), snake eggs, turtle eggs and hatchlings, frogs, salamanders, birds, bird eggs and chicks, and large invertebrates. A powerful constrictor, coiling tightly around its prey.

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Not dangerous (Non-venomous)

There are no venomous snakes in California that can be mistaken for this snake, but the similar-looking Arizona Coral Snake found in Arizona is venomous and dangerous.

LENGTH: 20 - 50 inches long.

APPEARANCE: A medium-sized, slender snake with a head not much


Not Dangerous (Non-venomous)

Gartersnakes have toxins in their saliva which can be deadly to their prey and their bite might produce an unpleasant reaction in humans, but they are not considered dangerous to humans.

LENGTH: Adults of this species measure 18 - 55 inches in length, but the average size is under 36 inches.

APPEARANCE: A medium-sized snake with a head barely wider than the neck and keeled dorsal scales. The eyes are relatively large compared with other garter snake species. The ground color is dark olive to black. The dorsal stripe is wide and well-defined and yellowish to bluish in color. Light stripes along the lower sides are not very distinct, often blending in with the color of the belly. There are red bars alternating with the ground color along the sides above the lateral stripes. The head is red or orangeish. The underside is bluish-gray, sometimes with dark markings.

ACTIVITY: Primarily active during daylight. A good swimmer.

DEFENSE: Often escapes into water when threatened. When first handled, typical of gartersnakes, this snake often releases cloacal contents and musk, and strikes.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats a wide variety of prey, including frogs and newts and their larvae, fish, birds, and their eggs, small mammals, reptiles, earthworms, slugs, and leeches.

wider than the cylindrical body with smooth, shiny scales. Black, red, and off-white or grayish-white rings circle the body. The red bands are noticeably wider than the others, with the white bands wider than the black. Some black bands may widen and cross over the red bands on the back, especially in populations in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Typically, 60 percent or more of the triads have complete red bands with no black crossovers. The bands continue around the belly, but the coloring is paler, and the black and white bands are reduced in size, giving the belly a reddish coloring. The nose is black, sometimes with some red.

ACTIVITY: Secretive, but not rare in suitable habitat. Spends most of the time underground, under surface objects, or inside rock crevices. Occasionally seen active on the ground in the daytime, especially near shaded streams on hot sunny days. Active during the day at high altitudes during times of low nighttime temperatures (which is typical habitat.) When temperatures are more moderate, it can be crepuscular, nocturnal, and diurnal. During very hot weather, activity is primarily nocturnal. This snake is normally active at temperatures between approximately 55 - 85 degrees.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats lizards, small mammals, nestling birds, bird eggs, amphibians, and occasionally snakes, including its own species.


Not Dangerous (Non-poisonous)

LENGTH: Most snakes seen are 26 - 36 inches in length.

APPEARANCE: A fast, moderately-sized slender striped snake with smooth scales, large eyes, and a large scale over the tip of the snout. Well-camouflaged, this snake is gray to brown with dark brown sides (without any light stripes) and a broad yellow or tan stripe down the middle of the back (which is narrower than the stripe found on other subspecies of patchnosed snakes). The underside is cream-colored, sometimes shading to pale orange at the tail end. The sides may be dark on all but the lowermost 1 or 2 scale rows. The top of the head is brown. The width of the pale middorsal stripe is usually 1 full scale bordered by 2 half scales.

ACTIVITY: Diurnal - active during daylight, even in times of extreme heat. Terrestrial, but also climbs shrubs in pursuit of prey. Burrows into loose soil. Able to move very quickly. Acute vision allows this snake to escape quickly when threatened, making it sometimes difficult to observe or capture during the heat of the day. Enlarged back teeth might be used to envenomate prey. The enlarged rostral scale (on the tip of the nose) is thought to be useful in excavating buried lizard eggs. It may also be used to dig into underground burrows.

DEFENSE: When cornered, will inflate the body and strike.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats mostly lizards, especially whiptails, along with small mammals, and possibly small snakes, nestling birds, reptile eggs, and amphibians.

44 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024


Not Dangerous (Non-venomous)

LENGTH: The typical total length of an adult ring-necked snake is about 11 - 16 inches.

APPEARANCE: A small, thin snake with smooth scales. Gray, bluegray, blackish, or dark olive dorsal coloring, with a bright orange to reddish underside, speckled with black markings. The underside of the tail is a bright reddish orange. A narrow orange band around the neck, 1-2 scale rows wide.

ACTIVITY: Secretive - usually found under the cover of rocks, wood, bark, boards, and other surface debris, but occasionally seen moving on the surface on cloudy days, at dusk, or at night.

DEFENSE: When disturbed, coils its tail like a corkscrew, exposing the underside which is usually bright red. It may also smear musk and cloacal contents.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats slender salamanders and other small salamanders, tadpoles, small frogs, small snakes, lizards, worms, slugs, and insects.


Not Dangerous (Non-venomous)

LENGTH: Adults are 36 - 66 inches long. The only longer snake in California is the Gophersnake.

APPEARANCE: A slender, fastmoving snake with smooth scales, a large head and eyes, a thin neck, and a long, thin tail. (There is no well-defined stripe lengthwise on the body in this species.) The braided appearance of scales on the tail (like a whip) gives this species its common name. Color is variable; light brown, pink, or reddish above. The dark coloring is interspersed with light coloring, creating a banded or saddled appearance, with dark coloring surrounding the light scales. Dark (often black) blotches across the top of the neck, sometimes with white, sometimes with body color, in between. (Sometimes, the neck and much of the head are solid black.) Color typically changes to a solid tan or reddish coloring along the length of the long, thin tail.

ACTIVITY: Active in the daytime. Able to tolerate high temperatures. Moves very quickly. Emerges from winter site relatively late (April - May) due to the species preference for warm temperatures. Coachwhips are good climbers, able to climb bushes and trees. Often seen moving quickly even on hot sunny days, but often seen basking on roads in the early morning or resting underneath boards or other surface objects. Frequently run over by vehicles and found dead on the road, partly due to the tendency of this snake to stop and eat small roadkilled animals.

DEFENSE: Often strikes aggressively when threatened or handled.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats small mammals, including bats, nestling and adult birds, bird eggs, lizards, snakes, amphibians, and carrion. Hatchlings and juveniles will eat large invertebrates.

Female Wellness


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Dangerously venomous

Rattlesnakes are important members of the natural community. They will not attack, but if disturbed or cornered, they will defend themselves. Reasonable watchfulness should be sufficient to avoid snakebite. Give them distance and respect. “Rattlesnakes are also among the most reasonable forms of dangerous wildlife: their first line of defense is to remain motionless; if you surprise them or cut off their retreat, they offer an audio warning; if you get too close, they head for cover. Venom is intended for prey, so they’re reluctant to bite, and 25 to 50 percent of all bites are dry—no venom is injected.” Leslie Anthony. Snakebit: Confessions of a Herpetologist. Greystone Books, 2008.

LENGTH: Adults 30 - 44 inches long, sometimes up to 54 inches. Newborns are about 10 inches long.

APPEARANCE: A heavy-bodied pit viper, with a thin neck, a large triangular head, and a rattle on the end of the tail consisting of loose

interlocking hollow segments. A new rattle segment is added each time the skin is shed, which can be more than one time per year. Pupils are elliptical. Scales are keeled. Young are born with a bright yellow tail with no rattle - just a single button which does not make a sound. They grow rattles and lose the yellow color as they age. The pattern is brighter on juveniles than on adults.

ACTIVITY: Primarily nocturnal and crepuscular during periods of excessive daytime heat, but also active during daylight when the temperature is more moderate. Not active during cooler periods in Winter.

DIET AND FEEDING: Eats birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, and small mammals, including mice, rats, rabbits, hares, and ground squirrels. (Adult California Ground Squirrels are immune to rattlesnake venom and will intensely confront any snake they feel to be a threat.)

46 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024

Prey is found while the snake is actively moving or by ambush, where the snake waits near lizard or rodent trails, striking at and releasing passing prey. The snake then follows the trail of the envenomated animal and swallows it whole. They use their natural camouflage to hunt by sitting still, without rattling, trying to remain invisible as they wait for a warm-blooded prey animal to pass close enough to strike. Rattlesnakes are often portrayed with the body partly coiled, the tail rattling loudly, and the head raised up and ready to strike, but they do not need to coil up this way to strike and bite. This display is a warning not to come any closer. It’s a defensive behavior that some rattlesnakes use when they sense that crawling away would put them in danger of attack.

May 2024 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 47
Happiest Trails: with Quinn and Flash RESIDENTS SHARE THEIR FAVORITES TRAILS HIDDEN HILLS O ver the weekend we had a fun trail ride at Wingfield and Roundmeadow. The rains have brought so much greenery for us to enjoy! Share your photos with us at editor@hiddenhillsmag.com ‘The best seat ...’ 48 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | May 2024

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