Have you ever watched a whiptail lizard run from you at lightning speed and wondered how anything ever manages to catch and eat them? Well, I’m about to tell you. On my way home from work, I noticed a western patch-nosed snake stretched out in the bare soil next to the walking path. She immediately… Read More


Read part 1, when good transmitters go bad, here. Jeff returned shortly with Bane! He had moved, but luckily not far. We contacted the transmitter manufacturer, who graciously offered to repair the faulty transmitter and have it back to us in a week. While that is very fast turnaround, we didn’t want to keep Bane… Read More


Not a day goes by during snake season (~April – October) that we don’t run into a western diamond-backed rattlesnake at Muleshoe headquarters. Rattlesnakes are not territorial, so several overlap here, both males and females. Some even overwinter beneath one of our buildings… The star of this group is Henry, the very first snake in… Read More


A tiny, magical thing happened the other day. We saved a life. And by we, I mean all of us – the extended Muleshoe family. Back in May, we held our second annual Snake Count at Muleshoe. One of the great things about Muleshoe is its small, intimate space. Guests who weren’t here specifically for… Read More


The male combat “dance” of snakes – rattlesnakes among them – is an affair wherein the obvious isn’t the truth, and the the truth is stranger than the obvious (Laurence Klauber, in Rattlesnakes, p. 703) When we think of combat, graphic images of violent competition come to mind: humans with swords or guns, sheep ramming… Read More


Jeff and I set out early 4 July to track Bane and Luna (male and female Arizona black rattlesnakes), who had both been sticking fairly close to the Nature Trail. Bane shed a few days before, and the rains had started, so we expected him to start mate-searching behavior soon. We tuned in Bane’s frequency… Read More


We got a beautiful thunderstorm yesterday afternoon. It rolled in at the perfect time: late enough to cool things off, but early enough that it was still a little light after. It was time to take an after-dinner stroll around headquarters to look for old friends. Removing transmitters from snakes is bittersweet. No doubt the… Read More


This time of year at Muleshoe, it’s not hard to see snakes every day if you mean to. Even though it’s hot and dry and they aren’t moving much, we have a couple of “regulars” that hang around headquarters as well as four snakes that we radio-track. And even though the monsoon has not yet… Read More


Although we’ve briefly mentioned some of the rattlesnakes we’re tracking at Muleshoe this spring, we haven’t done a full update in a while. So here ya go. Bane left his den in a hurry back in March. Although we suspect he shared his overwintering spot with several other snakes, we didn’t observe any of the… Read More


Traditionally, the start of the monsoon season in the southwest US was determined by “three consecutive days when the average dew point temperature was greater than 54 degrees Fahrenheit in Tucson” (Guido 2010). A few years ago they changed to a date: 15 June. Why? I guess the dew point determination was too scientific or… Read More