snakes and scorpions oh my!

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0hurricanes
Posts: 51
Joined: Nov 19 2005 10:08 am
City, State: Prescott, AZ

snakes and scorpions oh my!

Post by 0hurricanes » May 07 2006 3:59 pm

Ok, the time is getting closer for us to move out to Arizona. My wife has a concern about your wonderful outdoors and indoors too, and that is how often do you see rattlesnakes and scorpions. I know this depends on where you live (Prescott is our destination), and where you happen to be walking about, but was just curious what all of you thought. I have lived in FL for 30 years and have only seen 1 rattlesnake ( a pygmy rattler) and that was 27 years ago. About the same amount of time for a scorpion also. Thanks in advance.

Jeff

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wetbeaverlover
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Re: snakes and scorpions oh my!

Post by wetbeaverlover » May 07 2006 4:30 pm

In response to prescottlover's reply: Not to worry, You never see the scorpion that stings you and rattlesnakes will always let you know when you step on them :) Thats a hard question, really, there are lots here but you dont often see them but they always seem to pop up at the most unexpected time. I do most of my venturing off trails and I maybe see a couple rattlesnakes a year. Scorpions are nocternal, if you are in the lower elevation desert they are much thicker. Once down by Florence I was amazed by turning on my flashlight and seeing the ground crawling with those big yellow scorpions but up in the Verde and rim country I havent seen that many scorpions. Watch for the Brown Recluse, thats the little creature that will rain on your parade in Arizona. : king :
Dan

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domromer
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Post by domromer » May 07 2006 9:13 pm

We hiked every weekend last summer and saw 4 snakes, 3 were rattlesnakes. None were agressive at all. I used to come across cottonmouths a lot in Florida, They were very agressive. I hated to see them. We also have plenty of tarantulas. I think there actually really cool. You'll see them crossing dirt roads a lot in the summer. I wouldn't worry much about snakes.

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SuperstitionGuy
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Post by SuperstitionGuy » May 08 2006 8:06 am

Jeff,

I would not trade our rattle snakes and scorpions for your alligators any day. Snakes and scorpions are to small to want to eat me!
A man's body may grow old, but inside his spirit can still be as young and restless as ever.
- Garth McCann from the movie Second Hand Lions

Another victim of Pixel Trivia.

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AZHikr4444
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City, State: Cave Creek, AZ

Scorpions

Post by AZHikr4444 » May 08 2006 9:39 am

I live in Tempe, and we actually have a small scorpion "problem" in our apartment complex. Last January, I picked one up from my living room floor- picked it up! I thought it was a piece of lint or something- but it scurried out of my hand, miraculously not stinging me. I found it- it was translucent little yellow bugger- really cool! Caught it in a jar, marveled over it with my wife, then took it out in the desert and let it go.

We live in a second floor apartment - the folks below us are always seeing them. It's when they climb up the walls that ya have to watch out!

: rambo :
A true outdoorsman, when treed by a bear, sits back and enjoys the view.

Lost? Hell, I ain't never been lost. But I have been a mite confused for a week or two.
-The Mountain Men

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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker » May 08 2006 7:45 pm

Get youre self a battery powered black light. Wait until dark, turn off the lights and check the area with the black light, scorpions will "glow" if present. Locate and remove.
jk

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Teetsb7
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Post by Teetsb7 » May 09 2006 3:02 am

PrescottLover,
I live in Prescott and have not seen a scorpion yet. But I here they are about. Snakes well they are around. But like it has been mentioned, rattle snakes are'nt agressive. And they warn you when you get to close.

You and your wife will love living in Prescott. It's tons cooler than the valley in the summer and it snows some in the winter ...
Not to mention all the awsome back country to explore.

Prescott is littered (maybe littered is a little strong) with Ancent Indian ruins. I live at the foot of Granite mountian on the east side and there are 3 Indian ruins sites and 2 petroglyph panels within a 3 mile walk from my house.
While I was builing a fence around my back yard last fall the kids found pottery shards and an arrow head.
No problem can with stand the on slot of sustained thinking

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Shi
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Post by Shi » May 09 2006 6:10 am

I've been in the valley 16 years. I have seen one scorpion while backpacking, and have only seen 3 rattle snakes (1 was in Utah). All three warned me that they were there, but never bothered me after that. I'm also a person that is out hiking or backpacking most weekends. In other words, scorpions and rattle snakes exist here, but it seems that most people handle them one at a time and appropriately. Mary
"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

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Davis2001r6
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Post by Davis2001r6 » May 09 2006 11:49 am

Well I did see a rather large scorpion at work today. Opened up the big bay doors to one of out storage buildings and he was down at the foot of it, climbed up the 6 inch step. Was a pretty big guy compared to the other 2 or 3 I've seen in AZ since living here. Pretty Clear in color as well.

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0hurricanes
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City, State: Prescott, AZ

Post by 0hurricanes » May 09 2006 1:43 pm

Thanks for all of your replys. Many were humorous, which I appreciated! As for brown recluses, we have them here as well and not to mention the black widow too. I kill the black widow as soon as I see it (when it comes to them karma is thrown out the window) and have seen a brown recluse or two but haven't been able to get them. As for our state reptile.. well i've seen many in the wild. But one thing is for sure.. you just don't swim in any fresh water here, period! Lost a school mate 28 yrs ago to an alligator, and she was 16 yrs old, swimming in a river at a state park.

One of the reasons for us moving to Prescott over the valley was exactly what you said, summers are pleasant and you have a great mild four season climate. My daughter has never seen snow so that will be a treat for her. I bought Arizona Highways book, Arizona hiking urban trails, etc. and can't wait to start (subscribe to the magazine also). Thumb Butte will be my first hike, with Granite Mountain 2nd. Then who knows where, Grand Canyon for sure.

Jeff

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » May 09 2006 1:54 pm

The worst animal around Prescott is the large and dangerous Humveeous Californicus.

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azbackpackr
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Post by azbackpackr » May 09 2006 1:56 pm

Also, you may have already heard this, but you must pronounce the town's name correctly in order to become a local! It's Preskitt.

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Dschur
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Post by Dschur » May 09 2006 3:46 pm

In response to prescottlover's reply: I was born and raised in Prescott and never saw a scorpion. Left in 1981 because of work reasons and now it is way too big. I live in Payson for 17 years and have never seen a scorpion in our yard. We do a lot of rock hunting (fossils and other) and only have found a few scorpions mainly in the desert. Have lived my whole life in AZ and have seen maybe 6 rattlers in that time. And maybe heard 3 or so more. Prescott can get up to and over 100 degrees in the summer time but will cool off at night. We also had 4 ft of snow in one storm in 1967. And down to 11 below zero in 1977 or so. First snow fall was always on or around Halloween. Spruce Mt is another good hike in the area. My husband proposed to me on Granite Mt...
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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AZHikr4444
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Post by AZHikr4444 » May 09 2006 6:55 pm

My wife proposed to me on Big Rock Candy Mountain.

HAHAHAHA!! Sorry..couldn't resist, I'm in a weird mood.

Heyyy..least I didn't say "Brokeback Mountain!"

:rollH:
A true outdoorsman, when treed by a bear, sits back and enjoys the view.

Lost? Hell, I ain't never been lost. But I have been a mite confused for a week or two.
-The Mountain Men

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0hurricanes
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Post by 0hurricanes » May 10 2006 2:34 pm

Oh yes! I have a chamber of commerce book called "We call it Preskit" I have already been in the habit to pronounce it Preskit. I know that the Prescott area is growing and when I tell people I want to get away from the uncontrolled growth of Sarasota they laugh. But with 300 people a week moving here just to this city your area of growth is small by comparison. At least the city and county of Yavapai are saving some land, here it's a developers heaven. And I monitor the weather daily from the Daily Courier web site and drool. And I also am well aware of that pesky invader from californicus infectus, they were the main reason for your huge realestate increases, part of it anyway! Thanks again!

Jeff

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domromer
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Post by domromer » May 10 2006 5:17 pm

hey Just a quick note, I saw my first snake of the year today, A nice 4ft bull snake, it was over by willams at around 6500ft.

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0hurricanes
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Post by 0hurricanes » May 11 2006 3:34 pm

Ok one more thing, my wife has a concern about altitude sickness, how long on average does it take to get over it at Prescotts level? Also, on the alligator thing, a woman jogging (so they say) was attacked and killed the other day down in the Miami area, and a local woman was bitten on her ankle while watering her flowers by a lake. Not a good idea to be around an alligator habitat during mating season, they are nasty!

And I heard on the radio that a black bear was wandering around Newark NJ (joisy) of all places, and when it reared up on it's hind legs the police shot and killed the bear saying that they thought it was going to charge them. I guess they watched to many Yogi Bear cartoons while growing up! They just don't seem to care for wild life in the toxic chemical state!

Jeff

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Dschur
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Post by Dschur » May 11 2006 3:49 pm

In response to prescottlover's reply: I haven't heard of anyone that really had that problem in Prescott or at that level. When I was at girl scout camp behind thumb butte the only thing that I saw was when people come up from the valley that it would be just a little bit harder for them to "catch" their breath. It would be about a week then they could take a normal walk with out breathing hard. But this was mainly over weight couch potato Girl Scout leaders. Those that were more active didn't seem to be affected. I think that you have to go quite a bit higher to really worry about it.
Dawn
--On the loose to climb a mountain, on the loose where I am free. On the loose to live my life the way I think my life should be...For we only have a moment and a whole world yet to see...I'll be looking for tomorrow on the loose. ---unknown--

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Al_HikesAZ
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Post by Al_HikesAZ » May 11 2006 5:32 pm

In response to prescottlover's reply:
I agree with Dschur's observations:
I haven't heard of anyone that really had that problem in Prescott or at that level.. . . I think that you have to go quite a bit higher to really worry about it.
Prescott is below the critical altitude for Altitude Illness. You may have some acclimitization issues but I haven't heard of anyone having problems in Prescott. I would expect that your wife would acclimate within a day or two. She might still have some shortness of breath on strenuous exertion, but that is normal.

Here are several informative discussions on Altitude and Acclimitization:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/980415ap/harris.html
http://www.ismmed.org/np_altitude_tutor ... matization
http://www.abc-of-mountaineering.com/articles/ams.asp

Notice the statement in the International Society of Mountain Medicine discussion:
Practically speaking, however, we generally don't worry much about elevations below about 2500 m (8000 ft) since altitude illness rarely occurs lower than this.
Here are some excerpts from the International Society of Mountain Medicine website
Normal Acclimatization

Acclimatization is the process of the body adjusting to the decreased availability of oxygen at high altitudes. It is a slow process, taking place over a period of days to weeks.
High altitude is defined as:
- High Altitude: 1500 - 3500 m (5000 - 11500 ft)
- Very High Altitude: 3500 - 5500 m (11500 - 18000 ft)
- Extreme Altitude: above 5500 m
Practically speaking, however, we generally don't worry much about elevations below about 2500 m (8000 ft) since altitude illness rarely occurs lower than this.

Certain normal physiologic changes occur in every person who goes to altitude:
- Hyperventilation (breathing faster, deeper, or both)
- Shortness of breath during exertion
- Changed breathing pattern at night
- Awakening frequently at night
- Increased urination

As one ascends through the atmosphere, barometric pressure decreases (though the air still contains 21% oxygen) and thus every breath contains fewer and fewer molecules of oxygen. One must work harder to obtain oxygen, by breathing faster and deeper. This is particularly noticeable with exertion, such as walking uphill. Being out of breath with exertion is normal, as long as the sensation of shortness of breath resolves rapidly with rest. The increase in breathing is critical. It is therefore important to avoid anything that will decrease breathing, e.g. alcohol and certain drugs. Despite the increased breathing, attaining normal blood levels of oxygen is not possible at high altitude.
And as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Preventing AMS

The key to avoiding AMS is a gradual ascent that gives your body time to acclimatize. People acclimatize at different rates, so no absolute statements are possible, but in general, the following recommendations will keep most people from getting AMS:
- If possible, you should spend at least one night at an intermediate elevation below 3000 meters.
- At altitudes above 3000 meters (10,000 feet), your sleeping elevation should not increase more than 300-500 meters (1000-1500 feet) per night.
- Every 1000 meters (3000 feet) you should spend a second night at the same elevation.

Remember, it's how high you sleep each night that really counts; climbers have understood this for years, and have a maxim "climb high, sleep low". The day hikes to higher elevations that you take on your "rest days" (when you spend a second night at the same altitude) help your acclimatization by exposing you to higher elevations, then you return to a lower (safer) elevation to sleep. This second night also ensures that you are fully acclimatized and ready for further ascent.
I'm not sure what your wife's experience has been or if she has diabetes complications. If she is overly anxious, she can discuss this with your family physician. There are also products on the market to assist in altitude adjustment. Check out Colorado Altitude Training.

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0hurricanes
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City, State: Prescott, AZ

Post by 0hurricanes » May 11 2006 6:52 pm

Thanks again folks! The only time I had a hard time catching my breath was at the Grand Canyon, and only after walking at a brisk pace, but I came from a dizzying altittude of 15ft (appox.) Thats the average here in Sarasota. I had no problems in Prescott, it's not a worry for me, but i'll keep an eye on the better half. And thanks for the links and the info as well!

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