Friday, August 5, 2011

Suizo Report -- Where's Waldo?

Howdy Herpers, 5 August 2011

Back when we were all much younger, typing boy here sent out a Steve Barten image of a young Arizona Black Rattlesnake cryptically coiled somewhere within its framework. Many of you were on that snake like stink on a monkey. It amazed me how good some of you were at the game of spotting a snake that you had no business seeing.

We used the cartoon character "Waldo" of "Where's Waldo?" fame to spark the search images of the all American herper crowd. It never occurred to me that people wouldn't know who the hell Waldo is. It must have indeed been a mystery to some of our foreign guests. (That's right, dudes and dudesses, these emails cross oceans. Please join me in giving a big, world wide Arizona howdy to Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Australia.)

I would not have our foreign guests be ignorant of the great American tradition of Where's Waldo. So I'm going to explain it a little bit, so that ya'll will understand what it is I'm talking about.

Waldo is nerdy-looking dude who wears a red-striped shirt, a red stocking hat, thick glasses, and is scrawny of build. He hangs out in crowded places, and despite his brightly colored shirt and hat, he blends in well with his surroundings. For about five bucks, you buy a book that has about 20 scenes with Waldo in them, and you try to find the dude. Maybe some people have trouble finding Waldo. But he is absolutely babyshit under the baleful eye of herpers. No problem, we can find Waldo. I'm just not sure why would wish to look for him, when there are snakes to be found.

If you wish to know more about Where's Waldo, just type his hallowed name into your favorite search engine. He's there, waiting for you.

Back in the early days of my association with rattlesnakes, Dr. Dave Hardy Sr. made a comment that had me all sorts of perplexed. He was before an aggregation of herpers, discussing his radio-tracking study on Black-tailed Rattlesnakes. The statement he made was "No matter how good you are, you only see the obvious snakes." This had me all sorts of bent, because I thought I was seeing them all. It wasn't until I started radio tracking myself that I saw the light of Dr. Hardy's statement. It is hard to imagine any animal in the same size class that can hide better than a snake!

Before we launch into the next round of Where's Waldo in the snake world, I just wanted to say that there is no need to respond to this email. You don't get any prize for finding the snakes. But you do get the satisfaction of knowing that you can still hang with the great ones--if you know any. Next week, I will send out images that show where the snakes are.

Without further adieu, Where's Waldo?

Image 1: If you can't find the Sidewinder in the picture, I suggest that you give up now. You couldn't find your butt if it had a bell on it!

Image 1: If you can't find the Sidewinder in the picture, I suggest that you give up now. You couldn't find your butt if it had a bell on it!

Image 2: Ok hotshots, you made it through the first image. Way to shine! The head and a bit of flank of an Arizona Black Rattlesnake is visible in this image.

Image 3: Wow! You guys are GOOD. Feast your eyes on this Western Diamondback rattler amongst some hackberry, if you can! Roughly 80% of the snake is visible in this one.

Image 4: And last, but not least, the same diamondback is now under catclaw--ouchie oochie. About 60% visible.

Ok, these were all too easy. NEXT TIME, we'll play just a little bit rougher.

Best to all, roger

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