SnakeDays 2019 (August 1-4, 2019)

I got to drive out to Alpine for SnakeDays this year. Arrived in Marathon late Thursday night, August 1, and stayed with my friends James Evans and Marci Roberts. James and I cruised the road together Friday night and Saturday night and found eight species of snakes.

About halfway down the Black Gap road (FM 2627) on Friday night, we pulled over for a rattlesnake on the road and ended up staring at the sky for about half an hour. These was no moon, and the Milky Way was spectacular!

I was glad to have the time with James, "The Photographer West of the Pecos." How many other photographers travel with a battery-powered softbox light?

My herp list for the weekend:

  • Texas toad (Anaxyrus speciosus) on US-385 a few miles north of Marathon
  • Mediterranean house gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) at Tom & Susan Curry's in Alpine
  • Glossy snake (Arizona elegans) on US-90 a few miles east of Marathon
  • Trans-Pecos ratsnake (Bogertophis subocularis)
  • Western diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
  • Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
  • Prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)
  • Great Plains ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi)
  • Sonoran gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer affinis)
  • Long-nosed snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Unfortunately, there were lots of road-killed animals (snakes and mammals) down every highway. Also, a utility company was installing a power line between Marathon and Alpine along US Hwy 90. They had dug about 50 holes that were about 6 feet deep for the poles, and left them open, some evidently for days. They were fenced with an orange mesh construction fence, but that's only good enough to maybe keep clumsy people from falling in. I decided to check a few and see if there were any trapped animals. In 10 holes, I found two live southern plains woodrats (Neotoma micropus) and one dead, dried-out kangaroo rat that looked like it had been at the bottom of the hole for several days. I was too late to help the k-rat, but I duct-taped my snake tongs to another stick, and was able to pull out the woodrats. They didn't like being squeezed in the thorax with the tongs, but they looked really happy as they high-tailed it back into the brush!

(Notes 146: 8-11)

Posted by cliftonladd cliftonladd, August 16, 2019 23:44

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Sonoran Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer ssp. affinis)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 1, 2019 09:06 PM CDT

Description

Road kill

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Plains Woodrat (Neotoma micropus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 01:06 PM CDT

Description

Found trapped in a hole dug and left open for the placement of a utility pole. Of 10 holes checked, 3 had trapped rodents (2 Neotoma and 1 Dipodomys). More than 50 holes have been left open between Marathon and Alpine.
This one was lucky, because i got him out with snake tongs.

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Plains Woodrat (Neotoma micropus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 12:53 PM CDT

Description

Found trapped in a hole dug and left open for the placement of a utility pole. Of 10 holes checked, 3 had trapped rodents (2 Neotoma and 1 Dipodomys). More than 50 holes have been left open between Marathon and Alpine.
This one was lucky, because I got it out.

Photos / Sounds

What

Kangaroo Rats (Genus Dipodomys)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 11:40 AM CDT

Description

Found trapped in a hole dug and left open for the placement of a utility pole. Of 10 holes checked, 3 had trapped rodents (2 Neotoma and 1 Dipodomys). This Dipodomys has obviously been trapped a long time.
Unknown number of holes have been left open between Marathon and Alpine.

Photos / Sounds

What

Mediterranean House Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 05:01 PM CDT

Description

Mediterranean gecko from the home of Susan & Tom Curry, photographed on a picture of Buzz Aldrin taking a picture.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 09:08 PM CDT

Description

Road killed

Photos / Sounds

What

Merriam's Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomys merriami)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 10:48 PM CDT

Description

Road killed

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 08:25 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 09:03 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Trans-pecos Ratsnake (Bogertophis subocularis)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 10:06 PM CDT

Description

Road killed

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Plains Ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 10:44 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Plains Woodrat (Neotoma micropus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 11:07 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 2, 2019 11:18 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 11:13 AM CDT

Description

DOR

Photos / Sounds

What

Engelmann's Pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 05:42 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 10:11 PM CDT

Description

DOR

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Plains Ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 10:16 PM CDT

Description

DOR

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 10:39 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 11:18 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Prairie Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 11:26 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 11:59 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:18 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

American Badger (Taxidea taxus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 10:34 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Sonoran Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer ssp. affinis)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:06 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:13 AM CDT

Description

DOR

Photos / Sounds

What

Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:17 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

American Mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:18 AM CDT

Description

Growing on mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa).

Photos / Sounds

What

Redberry Juniper (Juniperus pinchotii)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:29 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis reticulata)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:43 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:51 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 11:52 AM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:07 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:23 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:33 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:41 PM CDT

Description

DOR on US Hwy 90 at 30.1474945, -102.4209667. Presumed hit by a vehicle. Most likely this is C.a. americanus, not the western subspecies C.a. occidentalis.

Photos / Sounds

What

Devil's Bouquet (Nyctaginia capitata)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 12:49 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Devilshead (Echinocactus horizonthalonius)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 01:59 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Engelmann's Pricklypear (Opuntia engelmannii)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 01:59 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Texas Sotol (Dasylirion texanum)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 02:00 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Sideoats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 02:02 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Gumplants (Genus Grindelia)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 02:21 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Saussure's Blue-winged Grasshopper (Leprus intermedius)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 03:29 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 4, 2019 04:12 PM CDT

Description

DOR. Age at death about 2 1/2.

Photos / Sounds

What

Darkling Beetles (Family Tenebrionidae)

Observer

cliftonladd

Date

August 3, 2019 07:05 PM CDT

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments