All posts by JDM

Arizona Coral Snake

I haven’t found an Arizona Coral Snake since 1993. It’s been a long time. I have anticipated finding another one each and every time that I was looking for reptiles within their range during our summer rainy season. Finally, after a nice rain storm this past September, I finally found my second Coral Snake! Here is a short little video.

Coral Snakes are venomous so if you find one, do not pick it up and likewise if you see a snake and cannot tell if it is a coral snake, then you should also not pick it up.

Rattlesnake Drawing

Well, I haven’t drawn anything since I was in high school. It has been almost 20 years. I decided to give it a shot. It definitely isn’t my best work, but I think it will come back quickly. I am going to try some more and put some more time into it. Here is a drawing of an Arizona Black Rattlesnake that I found a few years ago.

Rattlesnake Pencil Drawing

Happy St. Patricks Day Rattlesnake

St. Patrick’s Day is the celebration of the Irish and of St. Patrick. In Arizona, for reptile enthusiasts, it is also the celebration, not of the banishing of snakes as the Irish legend portrays, but rather the awakening of the lower desert reptiles from their winter slumber! I went on a short hike today and came across this little beauty catching a few rays.

Snakes out of brumation

Well, it is March and the snakes have all been warmed up and taken several meals. A few snakes have already shed. Breeding season is almost here. We have some great projects this year and some good things to look forward to. I can’t wait! There is much work to do. I recently added some new cages and some ventilation. I am still working on labeling all of the cages. I have a few more cages yet to build that I will need for this upcoming summer hatch. Things are really moving along! We should have lots of corn snake babies available this season in addition to california kingsnakes, bairds ratsnakes, and possibly gray banded kingsnakes.

Mohave Rattlesnake video

Here is another short video clip of a Mohave Rattlesnake that we found this past spring of 2010. I am really looking forward to this year! I may spend a little time this spring looking for Rosy Boas and some time looking for montane rattlesnakes in southern Arizona this summer. We should also be hatching out lots of baby cornsnakes, california kingsnakes, and if I am lucky some gray banded kingsnakes and bairds ratsnakes.

Arizona Sky Islands 2010

We had a great trip to the southern Arizona sky islands this year. Our last trip to the area was in 2008 and we were glad to get back to the southern parts of our great State. It was very cool out for the time of year that we went, so temperatures got too cold very early at night, usually by 9 PM. Here are some of the photographs of the area, truly beautiful. We ran into Border Patrol and were only pulled over one time this year.

We had the chance to meet up with a few herpers from Phoenix and had an all around great time!

Banded Rock Rattlesnake

Banded Rock Rattlesnake

Longnose Snake

Glossy Snake

Diamondback Rattlesnake

Blacktailed Rattlesnake

Tiger Rattlesnake

Blacktailed Rattlesnake

First evening snake hunt of 2010

We went out fishing to Alamo Lake this past saturday. On the way there, we drove past a very speedy red coachwhip zipping across the highway! We also saw a nice desert iguana as it skirted past us at top speed while driving on the desert roads. After our unsuccessful fishing attempts, we started looking for critters at dusk. We did not see any reptile life until all of the light was gone from the skies. Temperatures began to drop quickly, going from the upper 80’s to about 70 degrees in about an hours worth of time and I began to doubt if we would see anything at all. Then, we came across our first snake of the evening, a very healthy small adult Mojave Rattlesnake:

Mojave Rattlesnake

I let my son pick it up with our large snake stick with much supervision. It was his first attempt and I think he really enjoyed it. He was very careful and aware and I helped him with both of my hands on the snake stick as well.

We continued on and it was a long time before coming across anything else. We eventually did come across a Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion, which my oldest daughter enjoyed finding. They really are quite large with the one we found probably measuring a total of 5 inches including tail.

I was really hoping that we would find a sidewinder and that I could show my kids this unique rattlesnake and its “sidewinding” motion of movement, as well as the horns that are above each of their eyes. Luckily for us, just before calling it quits, we did find a small adult:

Desert Sidewinder