Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

The Official Start of the 2009

It’s been on the warm side lately; being the end of February, we’ll have 90F daytime temperatures in a couple of weeks. The snakes are waking up, and they’re hungry and want to meet some girls. Although it didn’t quite hit 80 degrees here in Anthem today, I had tons of energy to burn off and thought I’d go for a little sunset hike in an area north of my new home I have yet to really explore.

Here’s a fancy pants HDR picture from my new lens:

Desert North of Phoenix

I hiked around awhile and found some cool places with a lot of flat, chipped rock that looks to be good on an afternoon sometime. On the way home, look who I found out cruising around:

Crotalus atrox

It’s the second Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) I’ve seen this year. Something that’s immediately apparent in the two instances of atrox I’ve seen up here in the Anthem area that is different than the Mesa variety I’ve seen the most in the past is the higher amount of pink coloration; especially in the face. I look forward to seeing what other variations might be present in some of the common locals.

Crotalus atrox

Crotalus atrox

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One Response to “The Official Start of the 2009”

  1. Chad Anderson says:


    I am an amateur herper from back east (because of the military). I am actually from out west here but have been living in NC for the last 13 yrs. I will be in S. AZ for the next 6 months and was wondering if you could turn me on to any good locales for some field herping. I am in Sierra Vista, and have recently purchased 36 acres out by Willcox. It would be great if you knew any good areas out here. Thanks,


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