Puerco Mountains Report #7 (continued)

Roger Repp's Puerco Mountains Report

Howdy Herpers,

Let's see, we left off up on the hill listening to the signal of (maybe) dead tiger CT4. We now go rapidly downhill, (literally) and into the wash bottom, to track CM9, our no-name male blacktail. We found him coiled in dead wolfberry thicket-not much to say beyond that.

We next went from the wash bottom all the way back up to the top of the hill again, in order to get a fix on tiger rattlesnake "Gordo." We just got a quick look at his tail and rattle disappearing under a boulder. Like Tony, this was the first major move of the year for him.

Back down the hill we went, and then drove to the top of Lil Hill to wrap up tracking our three wayward atrox. We first tracked diamondback #102, who was kind enough to give us a visual. She was now back in her usual haunts, the bajada just south of Lil Hill. She was under bursage and acacia, coiled on a rodent run that wound around the south side of a thicket of prickly pear cactus.

From the top of Lil Hill, it sounded on the tracking receiver like diamondback #55, Young coachwhipYoung coachwhipDoublenickles, was very close to the vehicle. Listening to the strength of her signal, diamondback Katie seemed like she was WAY out there. As it turned out, we walked nearly a mile, all the way to the road to get Doublenicks. Katie, as it turned out, was much closer to the vehicle. Neither of these snakes were visible-both were buried in formidable packrat middens.

While headed back to the truck, we were able to get a few photos of a young, mostly-black coachwhip. Gordon actually caught this snake for some fondling. This snake Leopard lizardLeopard lizardwas eventually released unharmed.

Following a tasty lunch, we did a road cruise, and found a young leopard lizard and a desert spiny lizard. I did the best I could to get these pics from the vehicle, with my crummy digital camera. My spiny Desert spiny lizardDesert spiny lizardlizard picture will never replace anything Young Cage is doing in the Tortolitas, but that blue patch on his back is interesting enough to share here.

I found one more coachwhip on the way home, and thus endeth the 24th.

On the 26th, (Memorial Day) I decided I would check out the NW Tortolita Dove nestlingsDove nestlingsMountains, my sidewinder spot. At one point whilst hoofing around the exfoliated granite boulders, a white wing dove fluttered out of a cholla, and was trying to lead me away by doing the broken wing trick. I didn't fall for it and instead went right for the cholla she had popped out.

Crossing the road...Crossing the road...While heading for the sidewinder spot, I encountered that greatest sight of all--a "gimme road Gila."

A big gopher snakeA big gopher snake

The excitement Monday morning pretty much ended with a genuine 5 footer of a gopher snake, also a gimme Road Gopher.

Texas horned lizard DORTexas horned lizard DORThe last find of the weekend occurred that afternoon, while I was traveling to Happy Valley. Along the Mescal Road, I found this DOR Texas horned lizard. Mescal Road appears to be the westernmost limit for the species. This is the third Texas horned lizard found on this road that I know about.

That's all that's fit to spit. Best to all, Roger