Showing posts with label Crotalus atrox. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crotalus atrox. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Suzio Report March 18

Howdy Herpers, 
Sunday, March 18 brought upon us the weather conditions that are ideal for herping: 8 degrees C, rain and sleet, and howling winds. John Slone and Marty Feldner joined me for the arctic blast, and we had a blast in the process. There were others who were supposed to join us, but at the first sign of bad weather, they starting mewing like baby bunnies going down a Gila Monsters gullet. "We're AFRAID, Roger. We might get all wet. Meow........."  So, three manly men arrived in the teeth of a hail storm, and the first stop was a check on AD1. And from here, we can let the images tell the story. 

Image 1: The scene at the lower apron of AD1. Note how the globe mallow this snake is under is dripping  wet.

Pic 2: Mallow moved aside. Note the head on this adult male atrox. Rain harvesting posture. 
Pic 3: The first female atrox that I've seen at AD1 in over 3 years. VERY cool! She was likely drinking off the upper edge of the crevice. 

Pic 4: We find this atrox under the leaning boulder that we call "Kimmie Rock." This boulder is ~2m west of the almighty crevice of AD7. Hopeful that he might be stacked on a female, we hauled him out. 

No female, and apparently, too many years of chawing Skoal had done some damage to the lower left lip.
Pic 5: Closeup of lip, and good left eye.   

Pic 6: Closeup of right eye. I got the impression that this poor dude was blind in this eye. Any Vets care to venture an opinion? 

We also had a tortoise completely out, head nuzzled against the edge of a prickly pear. It is possible she was drinking drops off one of the pads. We drove through a sleet storm to another den in the Durham Mountains, where we found one atrox out cruising in the sleet!

That's all that's fit to spit. Until the next time, roger

Friday, November 4, 2011

Suizo Report -- Atrox Action

Howdy Herpers,                                                               3 November 2011

With the active season drawing to a close, the time we will actually see and photograph our animals in action is growing short. Rather than going into long stories about what you are seeing, we will let the pictures do the talking.

Subject numbers and dates are on each .jpg

Image 1-3: 22 October 2011, CRAT #121 as viewed prowling outside Atrox Den # 4 (AD4). We spooked her, and she made a beeline for the usual crevice entrance. AD4 has been heavily involved in our study since 2001.

Image 4-5: 29 October 2011: CRAT # 121 again. Just because she went into a known den didn't mean that she was going to stay. On this day, she was roughly 70 meters south of  AD4.

Image 6 and 7: 22 Oct 2011: We FINALLY got a decent visual of new CRAT #131. She was almost all the way up the Southwestern flanks of Suizo Mountains proper. She has since come all the way back down. It will be interesting to see where she winds up for the winter.

Image 8: 15 October 2011: This unmarked big male was dogging our female CRAT # 87 for several days. She was always in hiding when he was around.

Image 9 and 10: 22 October 2011: The unmarked male stayed with CRAT #87--right into AD7. The two atrox in  these photos were just outside the den itself. The big boy and #87 were inside the crevice. My last visit to AD7 was on 29 October 2011. The big male, CRAT #87, and one other unknown CRAT were jammed into a cluster of coils. A  lone female was  viewed  above them. I expect that these snakes are all there to stay, with more due any minute.

Image 10 courtesy of Hans-Werner Herrmann

We hope to get a few more above ground shots soon. And we have some good stuff to share on our other subjects as well.

Best to all, roger

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More Adventures With Roger in March

Howdy Herpers,
It's the moment we've all been waiting for. Time to put March 2011 to bed for good.

Pics 1-3: Images by John Murphy. At the end of the day on March 12, we put a beer in our hand and decided to wander over to AD7 on Iron Mine Hill. Thus, we arrived unprepared to snag this PERFECT female atrox for a transmitter. While there are always benefits to leaving a female unmolested at a den, I still hate myself every morning for letting this one go.

Thanks for the photos John--and your MOST excellent company this day.

Pic 4: One of five Smith's Black-headed snakes encountered by John and I on 12 March

Pic 5: Female Tiger #6, Gracie. While the photo is terrible, it was taken under near impossible conditions. She hung in this crevice for nearly a month, before moving all the way down the slope of our hill. Photo taken13 March.

Pic 6: Likely the last "in situ" image to be created of CRAT #122, an AD7 male who we have since removed from the study. (That is, we removed his transmitter. He's back home now, and still has the PIT tag. We may see him again someday!) 13 March

Pic 7: Female CRTI #8, "Zona." She had moved about 3m from her hibernaculum the day this image was taken, which was 27 March. She did not seem to move muscle when we saw her in the exact spot again on 2 April. On 3 April, she plunged to the bottom of her hill, and is now in the same crevice as she occupied last year at this time.

Pic 8: A smoking young AD4 male atrox found by John Murphy and I on 12 March.
This was another reason to hate myself in the morning. We left him as we found him.
I hope that you will all join me in conveying silent well-wishes to my friend Peter Lawrence from the UK. He is a stoic herper in his own right, and a devoted friend of our beloved Danny Brower, who recently passed away. Peter is going in for a brain tumor surgery soon. As I'm sure that his head is at least his second-most favored organ, we can only imagine his angst. Peter--you need to hang in there so you can catch the next report.

We speak of balls-out-banzai black velvet. We got moms, dads and babies all loving life together.Until then, all of you, live forever!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Roger Repps Suizo Report - Stuck Up atrox Part 2

Howdy Herpers,
My good friend Melissa Amarello, AKA  "Cerbermiss," has a most excellent website constructed around her work with Arizona Black Rattlesnakes. Like John Murphy, she has been quietly posting these Suizo Reports.
Dudes and dudesses, I'm getting syndicated.  It's about time! I've been told by many of you that I'm not doing these reports right. EWE want text under the pictures, because EWE get confused. Well, EYE like sending attachments, because they have the power of a real image behind them. Well, the way Melissa is doing it will no doubt please some of you. Which is to say, I AIN'T CHANGING WHAT EYE DO! In conjunction with her loving man Jeff Smith, and herptographer/naturalist extraordinare John Slone, Cerbermiss has built a killer website. The team is miles ahead of the competition (including me) when it comes to hands off documenting of snakes at the dens. Before you race ahead to my drivel, DO take the time to look at her stuff. To enjoy the "black velvet," click on the link below: Back to me, and the way I like doing things: There was a great deal of interest generated by a dead snake stuck in hole. This serves to demonstrate the level of this audience. Were they not fictional characters, we'd all be best friends with "Larry, my brother Darryl, and my other brother Darryl." Of all the comments to come in after the previous missive, I like "Sloner the Boner's" comment best: "Trapped to her death. Too bad she didn't have an arm to chew off. She might have been able to free herself, and get a book and movie deal out of it to boot!!!" John is a warped snake geek--I love it!

Getting back to the dead snake in the hole. As none of you will remember, we buried it on 13 February. And then, if I have the story right, SOMEBODY uncovered it on Friday, 25 February. This somebody
reports that she was a patient dead snake, as she was still there.  Then this somebody did NOT bury her again. So now, to bring us all up to speed, snake is alive on 9 February, snake is dead and buried on 13 February, snake is uncovered on 25 February, and left that way. (%^$$#@ i!t) What you don't know yet: fat, dumb and happy here shows up with digging implements on 27 February. Now, we'll rock with pictures.

Pic 1: Review. The last gasp of the snake, taken 13 Feb.

Pic 2: The stinky hole as found, surrounded by digging implements, 27 February. Note that the flat rock to the left of the hole is gone. (See pic 1).

Pic 3: The stinky hole close up. As the photo shows, no snake in the hole any more -- eh? Note the latticework of roots and flat rocks that forms around the tightest part of the opening. I could not claw into this hole with my bare hands--try as I did. The only tool that was effective was my rock hammer. It was obviously at this point in the hole where the snake got stuck. Most soil holes have a little ive--this one did not! Not even a millimeter.

My speculation is the snake entered some other hole, and tried to go out this one. Bad move! End of story.

It could be that the people who uncovered the snake on 25 February actually moved it then, but I don't really think that. My best guess is that one determined predator/scavenger sucked it out of that hole like a nasty noodle. Yummy............

Now, a few live scenes are in order.

Pic 4: a rerun from a previous report. February 2007, Hans-Werner Herrmann grabs a deep denning Gila Monster by the lips, and drags it out of the hole. See pic 5.

Pic 5: A new resident in the same Gila Hole as February 2007. This photo was taken on 13 February, 2011 when Brian Park and I checked the hole. It is roughly a 5 year old, ~100 mm MCL Tortoise. This Gila Hole started as a tortoise hole in 2005. Then, it became a Gila Hole. Now, it is back to being a tortoise hole.

Pic 6: Jeff Smith and I hit a slice of heaven on 25 February. The total score on herps encountered was staggering.
This tortoise clearly is not phased by the cholla spines that it is buried in.

Pic 7: The first basking atrox of the year for me. Note also the lack of respect for cholla on the part of the snake.

Pic 8: Lyresnake found by Jeff -- in a crevice where two chuckwallas were hanging together last year.

Pic 9: Image by my lovely wife Dianna. Taken from our driveway.  Safford Peak, NW Tucson Mountains, 27 February 2011.

The weather has since warmed up. Tomorrow will be the third day of 80 degrees. Mr. Smith is up and ready. I'll let you know what we find!

This here is roger repp, signing off from southern Arizona, where the turtles are strong, the snakes are handsome, and the lizards are WAY above average.