Here are some more pictures from the drive back to Arizona.
That night we stayed just inside New Mexico, and spent a few hours along the border.
… when herps are few, you’ll get scenery pictures.
In the night, we found a couple toads … a Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) and a male Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii):
The amount of bugs flying all around us was just unreasonable at this point. There are usually a lot of creepy things flying around my head out there, attracted to the head lamp, but this night was just ridiculous. I was pulling crawling things out of my hair a full hour after getting back in the truck for the last time.
Anyway, that being said, here’s a little longnose snake we found who was as annoyed to be found as we were by the bugs we had to endure to get a picture. He wasn’t cooperative, and neither were we. This is the best we could do:
In the morning, I got up early to do a little hiking and see if anything was awake. I found a snake pretty quickly. It was a young Sonoran Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer affinis) of the usual high-pink color I usually find on this side of state.
He wasn’t happy about being woken up.
I spent some time hiking and didn’t find anything else, but it was hard to be disappointed.
I’ll end this series the same way our trip ended. While driving back to the hotel to get Kelly up and go home, I found the writhing body of a Mojave Rattlesnake. Both head and tail had been removed while the animal was still alive. Blood was splattered all around. This happened within minutes of my arrival.
This is the kind of macho bullshit perpetuated by the idiots of Sweetwater Texas in their yearly redneck festival, where hundreds of dusty people too arrogant to realize they’re internationally recognized as personified ignorance gather to see who has the biggest hat. Of course this was not in Texas, but Rodeo, New Mexico.
It’s very hard to spend so much time with these animals and not become absolutely furious when finding something like this. This is, to me, similar to how most would feel if they found a dog in the street missing its head, somehow still moving. This was in my thoughts for days. I’m not kidding when I say I hope that the severed head got off one last bite. Sad to say these were my thoughts … but I guess I don’t prefer to be out in the desert whenever I can because I like people.
… and if any residents of Sweetwater end up on this site due to some Googling … please, please, please … buy your kids a book or two, and make Wednesday “No Beating!” day.