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Jan 09 2016
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Devil's Bridge Trail #120Sedona, AZ
Sedona, AZ
Hiking avatar Jan 09 2016
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking4.00 Miles 500 AEG
Hiking4.00 Miles   3 Hrs      1.33 mph
500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
So I got this girlfriend thing now who likes to hike, which means that I have to go to places that I (or any man) would not normally go to like Sedona, Flagstaff, Fatman's Pass, that Horseshoe-looking thing, Havasupi Falls & Jerome.

Despite the fact that I went to an area that was off-limits for me, I did enjoy the hike. The snow made it more interesting. The mud didn't, but I have to take the good with the bad. I also missed the football games, and I really wanted to see the Steelers/Bengals game. Oh well. Maybe next year.

We then went to Dead Horse Ranch State Park. It was cool and saw my first canvasback (my 2nd new species of this year). It was a fun weekend, and would love to explore Dead Horse Ranch State Park during the warmer months to look for more critters. Time was not on my side this trip, and we had to rush a bit and didn't see as much as we would have liked.
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Dark-eyed Junco
_____________________
  2 archives
Nov 16 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Red Rock CanyonSouth Central, CO
South Central, CO
Hiking avatar Nov 16 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking2.10 Miles
Hiking2.10 Miles
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Five things I learned about Colorado vs Arizona:

1) Colorado residence were more fit than Arizona residents.

2) People were friendlier in CO (excluding Denver) than AZ.

3) When the forecast states that there's going to be a snow storm at 7pm, it's going to be a snowstorm at 5pm.

4) Women are far more attractive in CO than in AZ.

5) People in CO look at you as if you had 2 heads when you tell them that you like looking for snakes, unlike the people in AZ, who look at you as if you had 3 heads.
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Nov 09 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Goldfield Ovens LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking9.25 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles
775 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Great day at the Goldfield Oven (Lovin') Loop. I started my hike at 10:41am. Prior to that I stopped at Granite Reef to photograph Red Mountain. A few birders were out at Granite Reef and some fishing folks as well along the river.

Originally, I was going to do Coon's Bluff, but Coon's Bluff was too crowded for me. Lots of birds were out along the river and in the desert. I was a bit surprised because birds tend to be more active in cooler weather. There were more people along the river than a usual Monday as well, but no one was on the trail.

I ran into a herd of horses along the river. A lot of them have white noses. As I was photographing the herd, I didn't see one large horse about 15ft behind me until I was finished.

The sand was awful to walk thru. It's a mixed blessing. The sand makes ambulation difficult, but at the same time, it keeps other bipedal mammals off the trail, so you get the trail to yourself. Also, Goldfield Oven Loop should be called Horse Poop Loop.

I got lost near the 6 mile mark and ended up on the road prematurely. While finding my way around, I stumbled upon a sweet lyre snake. :D If someone would have bet me that I would see a lyre snake today, I would have lost that bet. I don't see lyre snakes too often (I've only seen 6 before), and November is a tough month for me to find snakes, so I was stoked to find one, and this fella was nice, full-grown, and healthy.

I searched the river for more birds and found a few near Saguaro Ranch (I think that's what it's called). I also heard a bald eagle in the distance. A lot of lizards started to emerge and be active close to the end of my hike. I had no energy to photograph them, but I was satisfied with what I accomplished today.
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Oct 22 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Butcher Jones Trail #463Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 22 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking5.40 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.40 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I should really explore this area more. I read some triplogs, and the biggest complaint about this area is that it is too crowded and trashy. I've only been here twice. Maybe it was luck, but I've haven't seen it crowded or trashy. This trip, I've only seen 2 people on the trail with a few bird watchers near the beginning.

I was hoping to see some bighorn sheep and a bald eagle or three, but I saw none. :( I did hear a bald eagle screeching in the distance. Probably a cold winter day would be best to see them. Instead, I saw a few song birds, more coots than you can shoot, western grebes in large numbers.

The hike was okay. It's really nothing special. I'm sure that this trail does get busy, scaring away the wildlife, except for the coots. The views were great, but I mainly hike to see wildlife. I figured that I'd see more birds at least, but the birds were far and few. I did see my first canyon towhee, my 55th new species seen this year. Thanks Outdoor Lover for identifying it.

I checked out Burro Cove and the other coves. Don't bother exploring all the coves. They all look the same. On the return, I saw a small patchnosed snake. It slithered into a hole before I could photograph it. Then exited the hole as soon as I put my camera away and went back underground when I got my camera ready. :tt:

I didn't want to leave without photographing a snake (not for my sake, but for you all), so I scrambled a bit and almost stepped on a little diamondback. Afterwards, I saw a few more song birds and called it a day and had to rush to work.

I guess I'll have to go to CA to see some bighorns this weekend.
 Named place
 Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Four Peaks
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Oct 19 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Mount Ord from Slate Creek THPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 19 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking15.50 Miles 4,108 AEG
Hiking15.50 Miles
4,108 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to hike Mt. Ord and do an average, mundane hiking that most everyone does in these parts. Twas okay, but I wasn't expecting much. After a hour of not finding a snake, I got bored tho. Then I got used to the ennui. Then I started noticing a lot of birds. Later, I realized that this was a known bird watching area.

There were a lot of cars on the road. It's probably better to do this on a weekend when there's no work crew.

I hiked up for about 2 hours and then headed back. I'm not sure how close I was to the top. I figured that there was a lot of workers up there. It was a good idea for me to turn around because my calves started to cramp up and my lower back was sore. I'm a lowlander by trade, and my body reminded me of that.

I returned to the car around 3pm and decided that I had enough time and energy to look for snakes in the flats. I hit some trail across the street from Usery Mtn Regional Park. I saw two pinacate beetles with their butts upward together in unison. I've seen thousands of those critters and have never seen that behavior before. I read up on them and nothing explained that behavior to me. :-k

As I was about to turn back, I saw a small dback that looked like it ate recently.

All-in-all, Mt. Ord was decent and I want to return to look for birds and maybe mountain lions. I figured that they'd be there because of the high deer population. I saw about 4 deer but saw a plethora of their tracks and scat. It's probably best to do this hike on a weekend and with someone who doesn't talk too much.
 Flora
 Flora [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Juniper
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Sep 14 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Goldfield Ovens LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 14 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking9.00 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking9.00 Miles   3 Hrs   42 Mns   2.61 mph
775 ft AEG      15 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Did a little exploring around the Oven Loop. Great hike as expected. I was hoping to see a coral snake and maybe a blacktailed, a tiger rattlesnake, or some bighorn sheep, but instead I saw 2 desert tortoises, a cooper's hawk (my first), and 2 snakes at the end of the hike. I also saw 2 deer, but they did not stick around for a photo.

The river and trail were void of people. The rain brought out the tortoises and tiny red-spotted toads that were too small and quick to photograph. The damp sand made ambulating a little more bearable. The parking lots nearly empty, but the trash left by river folks made some good flipping spots for snakes. Lots of tracks were seen in the washes, especially javelinas and deer. I still can't find the petroglyphs. I really should do this loop more often.
 Culture
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Geocache
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Aug 18 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Mtn Biking avatar Aug 18 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Mtn Biking1.80 Miles 140 AEG
Mtn Biking1.80 Miles
140 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Finally, I had to redeem myself after yesterday's debauchery. No coyote sighting, tho. The date is wrong. It's supposed to be 8/18/15. Oh well. Here's a cat video for the hell of it.

https://youtube.com ... IKJE
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  1 archive
Aug 18 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Bulldog Canyon LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 18 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking5.00 Miles 600 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
600 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Before I returned my rental car (the one without the jack), I drove to Bulldog Canyon to see if my gila monster friend was still there. It was, but as a bonus, it made a new friend while I was away, a tiger rattlesnake. :GB: :wlift: :GB:
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Aug 16 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 16 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking1.80 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking1.80 Miles
140 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
San Simon Valley:
August 15th: I'm not having a good week. I have off this week and was supposed to go to TX with a herping group, but long story short, it got canceled. Oh kay, no big deal, I'll go to San Simon Valley. I had some problems on the way there. My jelly opened up in my suitcase and got all over my stuff. It wasn't actually that bad, but it was an omen. My back started to hurt a lot when I go to Portal, so I opted not to hike. I discovered that all the campgrounds were closed too, probably due to a flood, but they looked fine to me.

I went road cruising and saw someone else looking for snakes too. He told me he saw 60 snakes so far tonight. I honestly did not believe him, partly because it was early 7:30pm, partly because he was overly excited about seeing a dead black-tailed rattler, and mostly because he was from California. Nonetheless, there are a LOT of snakes here.

I hit the roads and ended up seeing 10 snakes, all rattlers. I was hoping to see more non-venomous snakes, but that didn't happen.

The next day, my ankle was killing me, which was odd, because I wasn't hiking. My back was sore, too. I discovered that I had a low tire. I went to change it but my rental car did not come with a jack. :x I called Roadside Assistance; they told me that I had to pay them for another vehicle and that it would take a minimum of 4 hours (which is really 6 to 7 hours). After I explained that it was not my fault that there was no jack in the car, they then stated that they would probably not charge me. I wasn't satisfied with that answer either, since I've dealt with greedy rental car corporations before, so I decided to return home after one night fix the tire on Discount Tire. I'll be back tho.

Meridian Trail:
The next day, I hiked Meridian Trail. First I uploaded my photos on my computer, BUT for some reason, my photos would not upload unless I lock my memory card. I didn't think much of it when I did that, so off I went to Meridian Trail.

I was going to bike it but my bike got a flat (again with these flats). Meridian Trail was rockin' with 90 degrees temps and a plethora of wildlife. Unfortunately, I was not rockin'. My ankle was killing me for the first 2 miles, along with my back. After 2 miles, my ankle and back were much better, as if they were not injured at all. How does that work? :-k

Anyway, after the first mile, I saw an adult longnosed snake. It kissed me when I pick it up, which people usually mistake for a bite. When I was handling this fella, I saw a baby longnosed snake a few feet away. Sweet! :D The adult was a red phase and the baby was a yellow phase, which made it even sweeter. What wasn't sweet was the fact that my camera was not working. I couldn't figure it out, so I let the snakes go with no photo. :cry: It would have been a great photo too. ](*,)

After the 2nd mile, I saw my 20th coyote of the year. :y: This is weird because I don't even look for coyotes. The coyote was about 100ft away and on the trail and running in circles. It would have been easy to shoot, but the shot would not have been that great anyway.

After seeing the coyote, my ankle and back felt better and still feels better. Also, I forgot to mention, I didn't have any water because both of my camelback bladders broke right before I left the home. :?

I then saw a baby coachwhip on the return to the car. I was also seeing baby coachwhips dead on the road, so they are out in abundance now. Well, at least they were until they got run over.

When I returned home, I discovered what was wrong with my camera. Since my memory card was locked, it prevented me from take photos. My other camera did not do that. Lesson learned. I prefer to learn my lessons from other people's mistakes and not my own.

Conclusion: Always take an extra memory card or camera, always hike on a sore ankle because it can magically get better during the hike, and check your rental car to see if it contains a jack.
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  5 archives
May 25 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Joshua Tree National Park TrailsInland, CA
Inland, CA
Car Camping avatar May 25 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Car Camping
Car Camping
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hit Joshua Tree Nat'l Park to look for more critters before the heat comes out way. I stuck to the south end of the park where it was in the low 80s and sunny. 8)

The park was more crowded than usual on Monday, but on Tuesday it was nearly empty. I started my day at 5am to look for sidewinders in the flats and found one. The sidewinder would twist itself into odd positions after each strike. I've never seen a sidewinder do that.

Next, I drove to Lost Palm Oasis to look for more critters. There were a lot of people and I mainly saw chuckwallas. Normally, I don't see a lot of chuckwallas in the park, but on this trip, I spotted 7 of them. Most of the chuckwallas were on the Mastadon Peak Trail.

When hiking the trail, I saw people atop the peak and the trail leading to the top. I never knew that you can hike to the top of Mastadon before. But for me, hiking to the peaks just to say that you were there seems juvenile. My hiking style is more young adult.

I did some night herping and found a few critters. On the road, I saw a plethora of geckos (too many to count), a shoveled nosed snake, and 3 sidewinders. I was unable to rescue one of them from getting hit by a large vehicle. I tried to use my stick to assist out of the way, but I was unsuccessful. :cry: But I, in turn, I made up for it by rescuing another sidewinder from near death on the road.

The next day, I just saw a bunch of lizards and song birds. The only highlight on day #2 was that I finally, after 40 visits to the park, found a collared lizard. :y: I almost ignored it thinking that it was another stupid zebra-tail.

I'm not sure when I'll return to Joshua Tree NP. Weather was very nice but I don't think that'll last.

Highlights of the trip include: (1) seeing a collared lizard, (2) seeing 6 snakes, (3) discovering new herping spots for future visits (4) Adding a western tanger, tarantula hawk, and collared lizard to the Fauna List.

Lowlights include: (1) losing my lens cap :( then finding another lens cap in the parking lot 8) then losing my newly found lens cap :doh:. (2) getting sand in my lens obstructing the mechanics, thus I have to use manual focus all the time now.
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  1 archive
May 21 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Ruidoso Trail - UseryPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar May 21 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking1.30 Miles 81 AEG
Hiking1.30 Miles
81 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
In the past 5 visits to Ruidoso Trail or the surrounding area, I have people asking me if I've seen any snakes. One person even yelled it from a long distance away from me. I don't know if I have an aura about me that makes people think that I'm looking for snakes or that people are viewing my pics of the area. My usual answer is "NO" and in the last two visits at Ruidoso/Meridian Washes, I wasn't lying and didn't find any snakes. Finally, today, I was able to find 2 big gopher snakes, one was found about 10 minutes after a biker asked me if I saw any snakes.

For the people who've never been on Ruidoso or Meridian Trail, there's nothing exciting about it. It's flat and it's boring. In other words, if you meet a girl and decide to take her to Ruidoso Trail on your first date, do not expect a second date. The only thing good about it are the snakes. I think now people are realizing it, but when I first started exploring this area, there were fewer people and none of which cared about seeing snakes.

Last statement, one horseback rider asked me if I found any snakes. I said "No" of course. Then he told me that he saw me photographing one off trail, which was true (it was the night snake on 5/17). I told him that it was a flower. :|
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Gopher Snake
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  1 archive
Apr 27 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Goldfield Ovens LoopPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 27 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking7.75 Miles 775 AEG
Hiking7.75 Miles
775 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided to do Goldfield Oven Loop today because it rained recently and the wet sand made ambulating easier. The start to my trek started out rough. Midway toward the trail, I saw an accident and was going to photograph it, but discovered that I forgot my memory card, so I returned home to retrieve it. Therefore, I got to the trail late.

I hit the trail around 9am. I wanted to hit the trail around 8am to have time to photograph birds and then snakes. Unfortunately, I was pressed for time if I wanted to catch some snakes sunny themselves on the trail, so I rushed my bird shots and had no time for flowers.

I shot a few birds near the river that didn't take much time and effort and made my way thru the washes. I didn't see any snakes, but midway thru the hike, I spotted my first gila monster of the year. It took me a while to spot one, but I usually see one gila monster in the spring and then a few more in the summer.

Near the road, I spotted one bighorn, which I thought was a deer at first. It took off running, and like the Flash, I ran after it, grabbing it by the horns, and rode it back to my car.

Okay...not really... But after losing sight of it, I did go in the direction that I predicted it would go to head it off. Careful not to step on any branches, I sneaked up on it and later discovered 2 more in the herd. They scattered onto the mountain, which was fine with me, because after that, I was able to get some clear shot. I later spotted another bighorn higher up the mountain.

After that, I looked for snakes and spotted one, but it got away. It looked to be a patchnosed snake, but I wasn't sure. The saguaros aren't in full bloom yet. I'd give it another week or two. Goldfield Oven Loop is always a treat. I need to do this loop more often. There's always something new to see there.
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  1 archive
Apr 25 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Brown Road ButtePhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 25 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking0.85 Miles 382 AEG
Hiking0.85 Miles
382 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hiked Meridian Trail today after work to look for snakes. I only found one. Very few birds were out, and no lizards were seen. Weather was perfect for snakes, and I was not satisfied seeing only one snake. I was planning on going to the Salt River, but it started to rain, so I opted to go to 9L Peak.

I ambulated around the mountain. I wasn't excepting to see much, but to my surprise, I found a MONSTER gopher snakes in the rocks at 9L Peak. 9L Peak! :o It was the 2nd largest gopher snake that I've ever seen, and I saw it at 9L PEAK!!!

Seeing it in the rocks, I did what any HAZ hiker would have done. I grabbed it. It was difficult to handle while photographing it, so I did my best. Still, I couldn't believe that this monster serpent was thriving in an urban environment.

After that, I felt lucky and kept hunting and found another gopher snake. Pretty sweet if you ask me. Snakes = 8). Who would have thought 9L Peak had snakes on it? Absolutely, no one was on the mountain when I got there. I hope 9L Peak doesn't start attracting more people knowing that there's snakes on the mountain.
 Fauna
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Gopher Snake
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  1 archive
Apr 19 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Metate Trail - Spur CrossPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 19 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking0.80 Miles 75 AEG
Hiking0.80 Miles
75 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I hit a new area for me. I'm not familiar with Spur Cross Ranch, but it looks like a cool area. The only problem with it, besides the location, is that there's a lot of horse traffic. I don't care for horses, and I've gotten in a few arguments with some riders before, mainly due to either not controlling their horses (one horse actually bumped into me on a WIDE trail in Glacier NP and almost knocked me down the mountain), by hogging the trail, or my favorite, pulling the horse to the side to allow me to pass and then tell me after I pass that horses have the right-of-way. True, horses do have the right-of-way, but if you voluntarily move your horse off the trail, you are telling me that you are giving up your right-of-way. Also, horses need turn signals.

Anyway, I went looking for snakes (yeah, you probably saw that coming), but I got a late start and did not know the area well enough to find any. I missed a few crossing the trail. I saw evidence of them in the sand. I flipped a few boards and only found a lizards and scorpions.

I saw a lot of digger bees doing their thing, which I've never seen before. Some hiker told me and his wife, as I was photographing the bees, "Get out of here. These are drone bees!" Drone bees? Drone bees don't sting (google it), so if they were drone bees, then he had nothing to fear. I was going to say something to him about it, but did not want the confrontation. I could be wrong, but the guy seemed like a know-it-all the way he was talking to his wife and carrying himself so I don't think that he would appreciate the correction.

Anyway, since I did not find any snakes, I went to Ruidoso Trail to look for snakes. I figured that I'd find a coachwhip or a few lizards but found 2 more patch-nosed snakes, same thing that I found yesterday when I was there. I'll have to do Spur Cross again, when I get there at a decent time and plan my route better.
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  1 archive
Apr 11 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian TrailPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 11 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking1.80 Miles 140 AEG
Hiking1.80 Miles
140 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Took a stroll on Meridian Trail and saw my 16th coyote of the year. I also saw a fox. Unfortunately, I was a little slow on the draw to photograph them. I saw no snakes, which was sad. Perhaps the predators were out controlling their numbers, or it was an off day for me. The lizards were out in full force tho, especially the spiny lizards.
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Apr 05 2015
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 Guides 9
 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Meridian WashesPhoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 05 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking0.50 Miles 100 AEG
Hiking0.50 Miles
100 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I was going to hike the Superstitions today, but I forgot that it was Easter and that Easter was Arizona's Unofficial Hiking Day. :? So I was forced to hit the Meridian Washes and look for snakes, where it was less crowded.

Today was a great day for snakes. Right away, I saw a quick mid-sized coachwhip and was able to get some photos, but it was quick and the photos weren't so hot. Afterwards, I saw what I thought was a side-blotched lizard and was going to ignore it, but after a 2nd look, I discovered that it was a leopard lizard. :y: This was only my 2nd leopard lizard that I've seen in AZ - the first one being only a few days ago. Leopard lizards are awesome because they don't always run away and this one was no exception. This fella stood its ground and was wiling to fight; thus it was relatively easy to catch. It did slip thru my hands tho and escape, but I did manage to get one decent pic.

Soon after I saw a long-nosed snakes, which acted like a ball python by rolling up in a ball and hiding its head. It seemed like it was tied up in a knot. The second long-nosed snake that I encountered did the same thing, but ended up showing its head upon handling.

I only saw 2 people on horseback and one lonely hiker. I was going to road cruise Route 88 because the weather was perfect for snakes, but there was a line of cars that stretched for miles, and it was not worth it.
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  3 archives
Mar 30 2015
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 Photos 12,512
 Triplogs 239

male
 Joined Oct 23 2010
 mesa
Big Horn PeakSouthwest, AZ
Southwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 30 2015
gummoTriplogs 239
Hiking7.16 Miles 2,083 AEG
Hiking7.16 Miles
2,083 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I did a little exploring at Big Horn Peak. I combed the flats for snakes in the AM hours and then hit the mountain side. I didn't hike up to the top. That would be silly. I only ambulated around the base of the mountain.

In the AM hours, I saw one coachwhip, one leopard lizard, and one sidewinder. It was midday and I knew there were few snakes out, so I became to look for bighorn sheep. I normally don't look for bighorn sheep, except when I'm in Anza Borrego. I just stumble upon them. I didn't see any, so I began to look for tortoises. I only saw one.

Afterwards, I cruised the roads to look for snakes and saw a teenage mojave, a sidewinder, and 2 red phased longnosed snake within 5 minutes of each other. Both longnosed snakes looked identical, even in size. Not a bad day of exploring, but I felt that I should've seen more.
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Mar 20 2015
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Joshua Tree National Park TrailsInland, CA
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My return trip to Joshua Tree turned out to be a good one. I did the park solo, as my friend stayed behind in San Diego. I got to the park late and road cruised for snakes. I only saw 2. I then camped for the night and did a little morning herping to see how my sidewinders were doing. I saw 4 more sidewinders, and they all seem to be doing well. I also saw a patch-nosed snake, a snake that I've seen on the south end of Joshua Tree before, but never photographed. There are very few flowers out but lots of butterflies, which seems odd to me. They were more birds than usual too, but mostly sparrows and phainopeplas. Hopefully, the flowers were emerge next month when I plan to return again. :D
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Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Mar 16 2015
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Anza-Borrego Desert State ParkSan Diego, CA
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Back to Anza Borrego Desert State Park on my spring break. I took a friend this time to scout out for some wildlife. We hit Joshua Tree NP, then Anza Borrego DSP, and Lake Cuyamaca State Park. Cuyamaca was a disappointment. My friend is from Southern CA, and he told me that he saw more wildlife in 3 days with me than he has all his life in CA.

We hit Joshua Tree NP for some light hiking and snake hunting. Together we found a sidewinder and a spotted leaf nosed snake, along with a few other critters.

After Joshua Tree NP, we hit Anza Borrego Desert State Park. My friend went on his own, so I scouted for some bighorn sheep and found a young herd with no adult rams. I was able to get some good face shots. One bighorn stood out and appeared to have loved the camera and made a lot of goofy and smiley faces. He/She enlarged his/her nostrils while posing and making various faces. It was hard to select the ones for this site to showcase. I can see why some people love bighorn sheep.

I also found a Sonoran Desert Toad (aka Colorado River Toad) at Anza Borrego, which is a huge deal because they are not supposed to be there, according to caherps.com (californiaherps.com ... html). I would have told the park service, but didn't, because although friendly and meaning well, they're not well educated with their local fauna and seem to only be concerned with bighorn sheep. Even their knowledge of bighorn sheep is not very accurate. I will figure out who I should tell later.

After Anza Borrego, we drove thru Julian and hit Lake Cuyamca State Park. Not much is going on at Lake Cuyamca, but deer and turkeys were plentiful, and I saw my 15th coyote of the year there.

So far, my vacation is going well. I'm still on spring break and will return to Anza Borrego and Joshua Tree later this week to look for more wildlife and stuff. Stay tune...
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Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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Mar 09 2015
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Anza-Borrego Desert State ParkSan Diego, CA
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Mission: Operation Sheepskin

Location: Anza Borrego Desert State Park near Palm Canyon

Weather: Sunny, mid-80s

Goals: 1) to get my bighorn sheep fix for the year, 2) find a new species to add the fauna list, 3) find my first sidewinder of the year, 4) to discover a new species, 5) to explore new terrain to get to learn the park better.

Results: 1) found some bighorns, 2) Added verdin, black widow spider, etc. to the fauna list for Anza Borrego 3) No sidewinders :( , 4) Saw a new species: Baja California Treefrog (27th new species for me of this year!), 5) Explore the mountain tops south of Palm Canyon.

Mood: content

Song: I Got Beers by Kenneth Keith Kallenbach (https://youtube.com ... AFV4)

Highlights: Seeing the bighorns up close, seeing the speckled rattler, and seeing the baja california treefrog

Lowlights: Losing my lens cap and cracking my lens, higher gas prices, forgetting my sleeping bag.

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I went to Anza Borrego Desert State Park to mainly get my bighorn sheep fix in for the year. Also, I'm taking my friend there next week for Spring Break and decided to scope out the area on the 2-days that I have off work, thus calling this my Pre-Spring Break Trip. The weather was great, but the first night, I camped near Joshua Tree and forgot my sleeping bag and was cold. Temps dropped to 51 degrees there. I also got a sore throat. :(

Monday morning, I looked for sidewinders hard by combing the flats and flipping everything in sight. I only saw a scorpion. I then started flipping trash near the agricultural areas and found, what appeared to be, a dead desert iguana. It was stiff, but when I took it out of the water, it started to show some life and opened its eyes, thus making it my first caught desert iguana of the year. I later returned to where I placed it and it was gone, so hopefully it was doing well.

I flipped a few more lizards and found a very skinny iguana that did not run from me at all. I don't think this one was going to make it. I assume that it did not eat well prior to hibernation.

I hit Anza Borrego and combed the desert looking for more sidewinders and found nothing and ended up cracking my camera lens. I went to the mountain tops to look for boas and rattlers and later ran into my bighorn sheep near Palm Canyon. These bighorn looked younger than the ones that I saw last year.

On Day 2: I combed the terrain and found a speckled rattler. I was pressed for time and had to hit the road soon. I did a little birding as well and took many wildflower pics, but only because I was not finding any snakes or lizards at the time. I normally don't care about photographing flowers, but they are cool to see in person.

Anyway, I'll return to Anza Borrego with my friend next week and will hopefully see some sidewinders and other stuff. Hopefully, more snakes will be moving about. So far, it's bee a slow year for me looking for snakes, but a great year for me finding other animals. The wildflower show, if you into that, was fantastic at Anza Borrego. I'm sure it'll be at its peak soon.
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Wildflowers Observation Substantial
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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