Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Apr
23rd
2009

Quality, Not Quantity (Part 4)

Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3

I spent a good part of the day exploring the Northern end of the mountains, where it was too cold to find any animals, but productive nonetheless as I found some great places to visit later in the year. The desert was in bloom and the colors were surprizing.

Superstitions In Bloom
Superstitions In Bloom
Superstition Mountains
Superstition Mountains

After an uneventful night cruise we decided to get out the flashlights and hike around the stream bed near the campsite, hoping to see some of the amphibians making all that noise. We found quite a few Canyon Treefrogs (hyla arenicolor) and Red-Spotted Toads (Bufo punctatus) active in the colder, moist air.

Hyla arenicolor
Hyla arenicolor

I also found this confused Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) wandering around the rocks at night. Normally pretty quick, I was able to just reach down and pick this one up. I seldom see these out at night … I wonder what he was up to.

Urosaurus ornatus
Urosaurus ornatus

The next morning we went for a quick cruise up the canyon to see if any reptiles were awake and warming from the cold night. We didn’t see any snakes, but some big horn sheep climbed up over the road from a nearly vertical cliff on the other side. They let us take photos and didn’t seem at all spooked by the two cars that had stopped to stare. I haven’t seen these before in the wild so it was a nice treat.

Big Horn Sheep
Big Horn Sheep
Desert Bighorn Sheep
Desert Bighorn Sheep
Ovis canadensis nelsoni
Ovis canadensis nelsoni

I know they’re not reptiles, but all part of the experience. Always cool to see animals out in their natural environment.

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One Response to “Quality, Not Quantity (Part 4)”

  1. Michael says:

    Love the bighorn shots! I had the privilege of coming across a few on a hike last year (rather, they came across me!) and got to see them up close. Such cool animals.

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