Jaydin (male black-tailed rattlesnake) 24 March 2012
Or rather, has been here (I’m a little behind in posting :-)). After many boring weeks of tracking our rattlesnakes and seeing almost nothing (we were sometimes able to glimpse a few inches of two of the Arizona black rattlesnakes), nearly all of them have now emerged from their dens.
The first signs of spring arrived in mid-February, when the western diamond-backed rattlesnakes started basking just outside of their dens. We’ve had remote timelapse cameras set up on Henry and Stuart’s den (male western diamond-backed rattlesnakes), Glendy’s den (male Arizona black rattlesnake), and two other dens (you can read more about one of those dens here and here). One of the new dens only had one occupant this year, a male western dimaond-backed rattlesnake we call Dwight. We finally had a snake to show interested visitors to Muleshoe, as he was reliably out basking, every day, all month (he’s now gone).
Glendy surprised us by coming out one wet, chilly morning in February:
Glendy, 17 February 2012 (click on photo for larger version, but he’s still difficult to see).
3 March: Of course Jaydin (male black-tailed rattlesnake) was the first to emerge – is anyone surprised? He was still a little sluggish, but looking beautiful sitting a few yards from his den.
Jaydin (male black-tailed rattlesnake) 3 March 2012
8 March: Stuart (male western diamond-backed rattlesnake) was the next to emerge from the den he shared with Henry (male western diamond-backed rattlesnake), a bee hive, and several other rattlesnakes (more on that in a future post). He has been resting underneath a rock downslope of the den ever since. Henry stayed inside until 29 March.
Stuart, 8 March 2012
9 March: A female western diamond-backed rattlesnake showed up near the guest housing on the ranch. So snakes are now on the move… Allison will get her own post very soon.
Allison, 11 March 2012, not at all happy to see us.
15 March: Our first yard snake of the year and it’s my favorite, a very large gophersnake!
25 March: Boyett (male Arizona black rattlesnake) has emerged and was seen coiled beneath an oak tree just outside his den.
Boyett, 25 March 2012. Who would have thought a jet black snake in yellow grass would be so hard to see?
Boyett, 25 March 2012. Can you see him now?
26 March: Glendy (male Arizona black rattlesnake) was coiled just outside his den. A few days later he left the immediate area posed nicely for a photograph:
Glendy, 31 March 2012.
As of 30 March, Chris (male Arizona black rattlesnake) has not yet left his den. Interestingly, he was the first to arrive at his den (we haven’t seen him since 13 October) and will be the last to leave. We will likely have news of his egress soon, social dens at Muleshoe, and (finally) some female rattlesnakes!