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Monday, May 9, 2022

First Rattler This Spring

1st 2:  long views of Tortugas Mountain's western flank
We did our normal hike this morning, and after stopping for a shade break next to a yucca in Middle Branch Arroyo both Willow and Frio nearly pulled me into some dangerous desert flora; they did this by lunging forward to chase a desert cottontail who arced around to our right.  Frio nearly stepped on a Barrel Cactus in front of himself while I struggled to forcefully hold them back.  "#@%&*+@$& Heelers," I yelled at them.  Both dogs were sufficiently chastised.

After our break near another large yucca in Right Branch Arroyo we proceeded southward toward the source.  Just before we came to the ribbon-like trail that leads out we encountered a fairly large Western Diamondback.  I spotted it from a safe distance, but the Heelers never noticed the rattler.  After I took a few photos we gave the snake a wide berth as we went forward.

Both Willow and Frio are due for their rattlesnake vaccinations tomorrow, but we weren't able to get them an appointment until next week.  Now I'll be extra worried each time we hike in the desert.

Yuccas on a ridge west of the Organ Mountains

Find the Cactus Wren

This & next 3:  Swainson's Hawk

This & next:  Frio and Willow

Prickly Pear with buds

Frio in Torrey Yucca shade

Western Kingbird

This & next 4:  Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Last 2:  Prickly Pear Cactus with flowering bud


1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I love the flowering bud on the Prickly Pear.

That snake gives me the creeps.

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