The last report centered on chuckwallas. It was sent out one damn day too soon--for
I got a much better picture of one of them the next day. Pic 1 is of a
chuckwalla found just east of the Picacho Mountains on 4 December 2010, (note
the juvenile tail pattern), and the second is of the one just above the dead tortoise at Ragged Top. Both were very
difficult photos to get.
The petroglyphs shown in pic 3 were found by my wife Dianna and I on her
birthday. In all, we saw round 50
boulders thusly decorated by the ancient ones. From what I saw on these rocks,
these ancients ones were either well endowed--or at least fancied that they
Pic 4 is of one of TWO Gila Monsters in what I call the "Marco Polo"
den. I now have enough characters on this animal to backtrack through all Suizo
Monsters to see if we know him. But I have not yet done that. Past experience
has taught us that whenever there are two in a den together, they are normally
boy/girl. And the male is usually the one in front.
Pic 5 and 6: HESU Den Number 1, outside and inside the Gila hole. I still have
not seen enough
of this monster to ascertain who he is, but I expect he is HS9--The Pilgrim.
While I have yet
to see her, the signal plainly indicates that female HS13 "Farrah" is
behind him. And The Pilgrim is acting
like there is something behind him--as he is visible with every visit this
winter. They usually wiggle backwards at our approach, but he is staying put
during all of our inept attempts to photo him. So, I'm saying this is pairing
number 2 on our hill. This den has been utilized by several different monsters
through the years, going back to our first study subject HS1,
"Geronimo." He was captured in this hole in March 2001.
Pic 7: "The Monster of the Decade"--the Lazy M monster-still home on
Hill 97. While I also suspect a pairing here, that is pure speculation. I have
been watching this lair since November of 2000. In 2005, there were three
monsters stacked like cordwood in the entrance way where you seeing Lazy M.
Three is the most I've ever seen in one hole.
Pic 8: A photo of the alpha male Crotalus atrox in a den I call
"ADO." (Atrox den # 0). It's a long story how it earned that number,
so I will spare you that detail. But I found the place in 1998, and it had as
many as six atrox in it at its peak. By
2005, the den died, and stayed that way until 2010. I have counted five
atrox in the hole, and expect that they are all still there--tucked behind the
alpha male. "Hiding the girls" is a commonly observed behavior with
atrox as well as Gila Monsters during the colder months.
Pic 9 and 10: The first time ever witnessed in over 20 years of herping
Arizona, a tiger rattlesnake 100% out of crevice basking in January.
Previously, I've seen them out like this every month except
January. This is CT#6, "Gracie." I'm thinking I see a food bolus in
her flank, but that could be a relic of something underneath her. It was
suggested that she might be basking because she is pregnant. As she has given
birth two consecutive years in a row now, that would be incredible! In the 15
minutes it took me to do her write up, her body temps increased dramatically.
The temp near her coil was 40 C! (~104 degrees F)
Pic 11: The view from the Marco Polo HESU Den on our hill, looking south. What
a view our mystery monster has--eh?
Best to all, roger
Labels: Arizona, Crotalus, field research, heloderma, Sauromalus