So, where's Waldo these days? He's wherever you folk find him.
My new duties with the THS have me so buried that I can't play where's Waldo any more. Perhaps the day will come when I have too much time on my hands again. When that happens, we'll play some more Waldo games.
It was another one of those inglorious winters this year weather-wise. We had April weather in January and February, and January weather in March thus far. The herps under watch don't know whether to defecate or go blind. The Gila Monsters got jacked up early and split, but not before we got to see lots of burrow action. The atrox have yet to bask enmasse anyplace I've been. Four is the most that I've seen out. And I have only encountered one snake on the road thus far--a DOR atrox.
But the tortoises have been putting on quite a show for us. At one point, we had 8 visible on our little hill. This ties a record set back in 2001 of the most tortoises viewed before the first day of spring on that hill.
Without further adieu, we'll let the images tell the story.
Image 1: The Lazy M Gila Monster, Hill 97. This image was taken on 2 January. The dude cleared out in early February. I hope so see him again next November.
Image 2: A small female tortoise out basking on 11 February. Note the green lips, a sign of early feeding.
Image 3: Pair of male atrox out basking on the shelf of the den we call AD Zero. This marginal image is the best I've taken of basking this spring. 11 February, 2012
Image 4: A nearly impossible image to get, a pair of Gila Monsters in deep in our communal den. At one point, we had three monsters visible this spring. 4 February 2012 (Hans-Werner Herrmann).
Images 5 - 7: A sequence of the tortoise we called "Slone's Tortoise." On 29 January, she is edging toward the apron of the burrow. On 29 January, she is out, but has not fed yet. On 18 February, she has obviously been browsing.
Image 8: Female Gila Monster number 19, a new monster for our study. She was found out moving around on 4 March, but one of the students of Kevin Bonine's herp class.
Image 9: The "Twin Saguaro" old male tortoise out browsing on 22 February. Sights like this are to die for!
That's all that's fit to spit. I expect BIG things in the days ahead.