Category Archives: Arizona

Trip to White Mountains, Arizona

It was a slow year for me for herping this past season. I didn’t get a chance to get out much. I did make a few trips to the White Mountains and here are a couple of photos. Not much but gartersnakes, although it was not really a herping trip, but a family fishing trip. Here are a few photos:

First Wandering Garter Snake
First Wandering Garter Snake
Second Wandering Garter Snake
Second Wandering Garter Snake
Beautiful Cactus with Red Flowers
Beautiful Cactus with Red Flowers

Ground Snake from Western Arizona

The season is well on its way. We had a nice dust storm with some light sprinkles this past weekend and decided to see what would turn up out in the desert. Headed out west of Phoenix and found several critters including Mojave Rattlesnakes, Sidewinders, a Gopher Snake, and this pretty little Ground Snake:

Ground Snake

Sun Valley Parkway…. The passing of an era.

I just received word that the land along Sun Valley Parkway, west of the White Tank Mountains in central Arizona is now scheduled for development. The area is a vast expanse of open desert land in central Arizona west of Phoenix. The road, Sun Valley Parkway was a favorite local herping spot for Phoenix residents for years. It is now being developed with new subdivisions and thousands of new homes.

I personally have always avoided the area since I knew that this would inevitably happen. The White Tank Mountains will now be completely surrounded by development and the habitat will be lost.

The area was home to many desert reptiles including Gila Monsters, Desert Tortoises, California Kingsnakes, and many others. All of these reptiles and other plants and wildlife will be gone.

This reminds me of another issue. Why doesn’t the Arizona Game and Fish Department do something about this? While they cannot do anything to stop the developement, they could at least make some use of this situation. Gila Monsters and Desert Tortoises are both protected in the state of Arizona. You cannot legally collect these animals from the wild. They are thought by some to be in danger of over collection and have been protected from take by the Arizona Game and Fish for quite some time. Why can’t these animals that are certainly facing extermination be collected by Arizona residents? Why is there no special procedure or permit to allow for this? If these animals are so endangered, why not allow animals from this population whose days are numbered to be legally collected by those who care about these animals and would like to be able to legally possess them?

  Hopefully wildlife laws will someday make sense and actually serve both humans and wildlife both. I wish there were something that could be done. I apologize in advance for such a sad post to this blog.

Looking forward to the Arizona Monsoon…..

Well, the air is becoming more humid and we are starting to see clouds forming in the evenings and have had a few mild dust storms. The monsoons are on their way. I can’t wait until they hit. I plan on making a few small side trips and at least one large trip during this time. I just love the smell of rain in the desert and the reptiles that the moisture brings out. Hopefully we can find some nice critters over the next several weeks.

We are still a few days to weeks off from the first clutch of snakes hatching too! What a wonderful time of year!