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


Some people have wild parties for their birthday or go out for dinner, movie, and maybe see some music. Not my Jeff; it was a quiet night with the snakes for him. We set out after work to check on our friend Bane (adult male Arizona black rattlesnake), who was last seen headed toward Secret… Read More


Guess I’m just a sucker for unlikeables 🙂 Back in high school and the early part of my college career, I volunteered at Raptor Rehabilitation of Kentucky and fell in love with vultures. We called them nature’s garbage men (and women) because they have the important, but very un-glamourous job, of cleaning up after everyone… Read More


Although Bane (adult male Arizona black rattlesnake) didn’t enter our radio-telemetry study until 5 August 2012, we first met him during last year’s Spring Snake Count. I had led a group of Snake Counters to Secret Springs, a warm-spring-fed pond that was formerly a cattle tank. One of the Snake Counters encountered Bane on the… Read More


Snake Count is here! I’ll end this week’s roundup of snakes with the snake that started my obsession with rattlesnakes, black-tailed rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus, hereafter blacktails). Many, many years ago, I attended the International Herpetological Symposium just for fun, as the only reptiles I worked with at the time were of the feathered variety. I… Read More


I’ve already dedicated a post to gophersnakes and how I adore them, but since we’re almost certain to see one this weekend, they deserve another mention. Gophersnakes (Pituophis catenifer), or a close relative (bullsnakes, pine snakes), are found nearly throughout the United States. They can be very large (up to 6 feet in length!), but… Read More


By far the most commonly seen snakes at Muleshoe headquarters, and most places where they live, are western diamond-backed rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox, hereafter diamondbacks). They are wide-ranging, found in a variety of habitats, and eat pretty much anything that fits in their mouth. They also don’t seem to mind humans moving into their space; several… Read More