You'd think there were fires or a drought here...

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You'd think there were fires or a drought here...

Post by ChrisNM » July 1st, 2013, 3:51 pm

I'll pop out of AWOL from FHF a little and cross post from another forum...

Last night we here in NM had a nice our-monsoon-isn't-quite-here-yet pre-monsoonal afternoon thunderstorm system roll through. I'd gone out the night prior, taking my wife where we proceeded to get goose egged. I've also gone out a few other times, but only have DOR herps out of it.

I followed the storms from here in ABQ down to T or C. I saw only 4 live snakes, photographing 3 of them as #4 was too squirrelly to get shots of it at 2am. Last night the cherry for 2013 finally popped, starting the night/year off with a great species.


I was visited by a Socorro County Sheriff curious of what I was doing parked on the side of the road. I informed him I had the above king in a bag, was recording details, and would then get photos. The above king was a sweetie when it came to handling him, no musking, no biting, but when it came to photos boy was he a snake on a mission, not holding still one bit. While I was packing my equipment back up, Mr. Sheriff went by again and parked about 70 yards up from me. I took the opportunity to walk over and show him the snake via photos. I wasted time with this, but when I usually encounter LE while herping I like to let them know and/or show them evidence of when I'm doing so that if they see me driving slow (on back roads) or randomly braking and turning around it isn't alarming to them. This was a mistake though as we both chatted for some time...

And then insult in injury it died down for an hour-forty until the true king of the "first snake of the year" showed.


I call it the true king as diamondbacks are almost always the first snake I typically road cruise for the season.

I wasted time heading down to T or C, not finding anything between there and the above diamondback. Unfortunately radar and what as actually on ground didn't quite seem to agree, with T or C being bone dry and rather warm (85°F) when I got there shortly after midnight. I cut my loss and headed back north to where I knew it'd rained.

Just outside San Antonio, NM things would pick back up with this little yearling.


I'd see one other AOR critter, another kingsnake on my way back home rolling in at 4:30 this morning.

3 AOR desert kingsnakes
1 AOR western diamondback rattlesnake
3 DOR desert kingsnakes
1 DOR painted desert glossy snake
1 DOR plains blackheaded snake

Oddly, no amphibians though I did hear a couch's spadefoot toad calling while getting photos of the yearling king.

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Re: You'd think there were fires or a drought here...

Post by TimCO » July 1st, 2013, 4:51 pm

He's alive! Awesome pics as always.

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Re: You'd think there were fires or a drought here...

Post by sjfriend » July 1st, 2013, 5:18 pm

I've noticed the same thing with rain n radars before.

The lighting on the first king is beautiful for an in the field night shot.

Thanks for sharing your night afield

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Re: You'd think there were fires or a drought here...

Post by bgorum » July 3rd, 2013, 11:49 am

Hey Chris, good to see you around again. I really like the even lighting on your pictures. Good work!

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