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


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


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


We’ll take a short break from tales of Jaydin to share a somewhat unusual snake sighting at the preserve. Last winter we had timelapse cameras on three snake dens, but never saw anyone until March. Well this year, on 20 January, we were pleasantly surprised to see not one, but two female western diamond-backed rattlesnakes… 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


As I mentioned in my last post, we are in the midst of the hottest, driest part of the year in Arizona. Temperatures keep rising (over 110F in some parts of Arizona today) and the relief of the monsoon is a long way off. Or is it? Saturday afternoon started clouding up and thunderheads formed.… 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