As a Steward of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and also a Citizen Scientist, I take part in several surveys being conducted by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy through their Field Institute. (Flora, Flying and Ground Insects, Mammal and Reptile). I try to attend most of the organized surveys and take photos for the Conservancy but I am always on the lookout for any creatures when I’m hiking in the Preserve and document what I see. Read more
Posts from the ‘Reptiles’ Category
I went on my first night herp survey this evening in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Our goal was to reach a riparian area that had a spring. We encountered a Black Tail and a Diamondback rattlesnake, a few Tarantulas and dozens of baby Red Spotted Toads. They were only about 3/8ths of an inch….so cute! All in all, a really exciting time.
These beauties are so skilled at camouflage, you’re not likely to see them unless they move. In fact, I didn’t see this guy until a photographer friend pointed him out. My friend was setting up to shoot an Iris on the Aspen Nature Loop when he saw a slight movement out of the corner of his eye. Thank you Fred, for sharing your find!
CLICK HERE to see where he was when first spotted.
Greater Short-horned Lizard (possibly since location and elevation match)
Snake season is upon us! This guy greeted a friend and I on a trail yesterday. He was literally inches from the path but we would never have seen him if he hadn’t warned us. Intrigued, we experimented to see how far away we needed to be before he got upset and it was always about 10 feet. Don’t know if that’s typical but it was interesting. 🙂
Captured with my Canon SX1. (I would have preferred my SLR in this case)
Monster is right! He hissed and snarled at us as we were trying our best to photograph him and gather data for the Reptile survey. CLICK HERE if you want more information about this dangerous creature. Be sure to click the link on the page that features the sounds the Gila Monster makes. It’s exactly what we heard! This is only the third time I’ve seen one in the wild in the sixteen years we’ve lived here. It was exciting 🙂
Yesterday I had the privilege of spending the day with Herp expert Bryan Hughes. With permission from the City of Scottsdale, we roamed a wash and within two hours we came across a female Crotalus molossus aka Black-tailed Rattlesnake. I’ve only ever seen Diamondbacks around here so it was a real treat. Doubly so since Bryan said he rarely sees them! He said she was an old female and she might be filled with babies. Since the snake was facing Bryan, I’m guessing he got a fantastic shot. I didn’t want to move so I was happy with this view 🙂