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


Wow, it has been awhile, but I won’t bore you with the details of why we’ve been absent. What’s important is that WE’RE BACK! We (and the snakes) had a busy summer and even though the snakes will be headed to their dens soon, we’ll have plenty of stories to share all winter long while… Read More


About 6:30pm, 3 July 2012. Though we had a few tantalizing sprinkles in June, the monsoon officially arrived last night. We got about a half inch of rain at headquarters and the 4th of July has started out cloudy and cool. For the first time in weeks, every snake we checked on this morning was… Read More


OK, I (melissa) am the only one who has been gone, but that meant no blog updates.  I’ve spent the last month finishing up fieldwork at our other project in central Arizona. And my how things changed at Muleshoe while I was gone! When I left, snakes were just starting to come out; now things… Read More


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… Read More


December and January were pretty quiet here at the ranch; as you can see from the above photo, the weather has not exactly been snakey. OK, it only snowed a couple times and melted pretty quickly, but it has still been too cold for snake activity. Even Jaydin (adult male black-tailed rattlesnake) finally settled into… Read More


I’ve always thought of October as the end of the snake season. Snakes settle into their dens and we check on them less frequently because they are no longer making long movements. But, if you ignore snakes over the winter, you’ll miss out on some really cool behavior, like this: A poor quality video of… Read More


The week began with a visit from our dear friend Roger Repp, who wanted to check out our new study site and track some of the snakes. We had barely started our hike down Hot Springs Wash when we came across a very healthy looking Sonoran whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus). As is typical with this species,… Read More


A Sonoran whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus) at Muleshoe Ranch. Our first week of tracking was pretty uneventful.  We release snakes as soon as possible after their transmitter implantation surgery so that they can recover in their habitat. So typically the first week or so is pretty slow; the snakes lay low while recovering and don’t make… Read More


One week to go and we haven’t found any Arizona black rattlesnakes yet (remember, we wanted six). The clock is ticking. On the afternoon of 26 September, I started my snake search by checking on the bird-eater. He was in his usual spot, waiting for a thirsty bird. I then hiked downstream in hot springs… Read More