Puerco Mountains Report #3

Roger Repp's Puerco Mountains Report

Howdy Again Herpers,

Let's see, you were left hanging with a rather mundane herp report of the coming and going of about ten rattlesnakes. Ho hum.

Of course, ten rattlesnakes that live in pristine surroundings are worth a day trip out, in my opinion. Others on this list might disagree--but they don't matter much, do they?

Photo 1. Penstemon bloomsPhoto 1. Penstemon bloomsAnyhow, when we last spoke, I was moving down the mountain, writing up boring tiger rattlesnakes in the process. While en route, I got in touch with my feminine side, and photo'd:

Photo 1:  A DANDY crop of Penstemon on Iron Mine Hill.

Photo 2: Some beautimous purple Globe Mallow. The flower comes in

3 colors. Purple, orange, and white. The orange is best, and I'll be looking for a few good photo ops to share next. They're EVERYWHERE around me--I just haven't had the time to shoot it.

Photo 3: In situ shot of the newest blacktail rattlesnake, Crotalus molossus--CM10. This photo was taken at the den site identified as AD7.Photo 2. Globe Mallow bloomsPhoto 2. Globe Mallow blooms

Let's talk about AD7 a minute. On my best day, I would have never found this den on my own. It took radio telemetry to lead me to this place. It started with sticking a transmitter into a female atrox that would one day earn the name of "Wendy."  Wendy led us to the gash you see in the photo. It turns out that Wendy has lots of friends that live for about five months inside this gash. At one point this winter, we had five atrox and one molossus visible in the depths of the crevice viewed behind the molossus in today's photo.

Well, the molossus you see in this picture is not the same one as we saw this winter. That Photo 3. Blacktail at AD7Photo 3. Blacktail at AD7would mean there were either TWO molossus in that crevice all winter long, or that this one moved there within the last week. In any case, the snake is bagged, and ready to enter the study.

The last photo from Saturday would be of our AD7 girl atrox Wendy, surrounded by an unmarked/unknown male atrox. They are about 50 meters west of the AD7. After bagging the new molossus, I did a thorough sweep of the inner workings of the crevice. It appears to be as empty as my head--which would be an indicator that at least at AD7, the hibernating is over.Wendy and suitorWendy and suitor

Now, hard core scientist folk, look closely at the posture and the body language the male who is courting Wendy. This bastard is in love--you can see it on his face. Suit yourselves, and punish yourselves as much as you must for the name of science. This hacker is saying that these things can feel the same emotions as we can. If you don't agree-- maybe you need start fellowship with the Fundamentalists? They'll be the first to agree with you. After all, wasn't man was established to be smarter than, and hence, have dominion over the beasts of the field.

Hang in there all. Hope to see aggregations of you in April. roger