Sunday, August 7, 2011

Suzio Report - Tiger Rattlesnake Feeding

Twice in one day Herpers!                               5 August 2011

I'll bet that you can scarcely believe your good fortune.

According to the time stamp on my email program, Melissa Amarello checked in seven minutes after I sent the latest round of "Where's Waldo."
She not only found the snakes in that time period, she yanked out her high tech magic marker, circled them all., and shipped them back to me.
Quick with the eyes and quick on the draw, that's our Cerbermissy.


Five times in my life I have walked by animals that were gyrating in their last death throes. Twice it was very young cottontail rabbits, one of which was screaming a high-pitched death song. Once, it was a spiny lizard, once it was a K-rat, and once, it was little birdie. In all cases, I suspected a snake bite, and in all cases, I just kept moving. In all five cases, the prey items were gone on my return trip. This is the high price of impatience.

We've got a herper here in Arizona who has the patience of Job.
(Job [pronounced "Jobe"] is a guy in the bible who would not relinquish his faith in God, despite the fact that God was allowing Satan to mess with him mightily.
At one point, while Job is dripping pus from every orifice in his body, and dogs are licking his wounds,his wife encourages him to "curse God and die."
But Job wouldn't do it. THAT'S patience........)

Ok, the Sunday Skool lesson is over.

On the evening of 23 July, Jeff "Job" Smith spotted a pocket mouse behaving erratically on the north berm of our beloved Suizo Wash plot. Lesser men would have done a Roger Repp, and kept moving. But not Jeff. He plunked his scrawny a$$ down in the sand, set up his video camera, and waited there like a photographic buzzard to film what would happen next. We were also blessed to have Melissa Amarello, Mats and Karl Hoggren, Bill Montgomery, Hans-Werner Herrmann, Ryan Sawby as witnesses, and I came along when it was all half over to document what came next. Gordon Schuett was out there somewhere, doing what the rest of us were SUPPOSED to be doing. Namely, finding new snakes for our study.

Jeff has the whole sequence on film, and was kind enough to post it on M+J's most excellent website. Here is the link to that:

Bill Montgomery was also kind enough to shoot some images of the action, which are self-explanatory
enough to rock on without further commentary. Right after the swallowing, our newest tiger rattlesnake
was bagged, and thanks to the surgical skills of Dr. Dale DeNardo, is now gaily slithering the wash
seeking new furry friends.

Best to all, roger

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