We left at about 2 in the afternoon to take the long route to the border, and then use some backroads to get to El Paso for the night.
The area along the Arizona/New Mexico border was just finished being pounded by monsoonal rain. The air was in the upper 70’s, which is a little on the cool side for late July. Everything was washed in glowing orange as the sun set, so we stopped to get some dramatic pictures of the rocks and road before the rain started in again.
It didn’t take long to find a Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox) with the decently clean pattern we usually find in that area.
Then we found a nice yellow Desert Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida). I didn’t really get a good picture of him though because I didn’t see the pile of fire ants that I was standing on. One made it up my pant leg and stung me a good dozen or so times on the knee before I was able to kill it. Fire ants suck. When I’m done posting this I’m going to see if Amazon has any specials on magnifying glasses. Anyway, I got a decent picture of the snake before being driven back to the truck.
We were expecting the giant storm to our East to end our herping early, but it fell apart after it got dark, leaving smooth skies and lightning here and there in the distance.
With my entire leg throbbing from fire ant venom, we found a neonate Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) out trying not to be eaten in his first few days of life.
Here’s a second picture zoomed out a little so you can see how tiny this little guy was. Coiled, he was about the diameter of a beer can.
That’s it for now; Chinese food should be here soon. I’ll post the rest from the trip in coming days, as I am able to work through the thousand or so photos I took in the last week.