Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Catching a Great Basin Rattlesnake at Toroweap!

April 17, 2010 - Toroweap, Grand Canyon
This is where it was when we first walked up on it. Just minutes before this photo, I told Bryan that this large mound of rocks was perfect habitat for a Rattler. Eagle eyes Bryan saw it first.

Trying to get it out of the crack that it was hiding in with a snake stick.

Finally out! A beautiful Great Basin Rattler!

For safety, a snake stick is an essential tool. The angle of the photo makes it look close. But it is actually 4 to 5 feet away from me.

First, pick it up with the biting end away to see how aggressive it will be.

Then, when the snake (and you) have calmed down a bit, grab it by the head.

I support the body with the other hand to take the strain off of the snakes neck.

Posing time!


And closer!

My faithful sidekick and photographer; Bryan.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tarantula Hawk

October 5th, 2010 - Grand Canyon West, Eagle Point

I got these photos of a Tarantula Hawk at the big tent at Eagle Point. It was crawling around on the sidewalk. Tarantula Hawks are a type of Wasp. They have a painful sting. They are about 1.5 to 2 inches long.

They sting a Tarantula to paralyze it, and then lay an egg on the Tarantula's abdomen so that when the larvae hatches it will have something to live on. The Tarantula is not dead, just paralyzed, so essentially the Tarantula is eaten alive.

A close-up of the stinger on a Tarantula Wasp

Monday, October 4, 2010

Flooding at Valley of Fire on Monday, October 4th, 2010

This is the main wash that drains most of the park. This is probably 15 to 20 minutes after the down-pour. The rain makes the red color of the sandstone even more vibrant.

Me and Chris Meyers posing with the flood waters.

The Tour Trekker at its best!

The Tour Trekker is heavy and has a high clearance for such occasions.

When the flood waters started to go down, I went in for a wade.

On the way out of the park, we had another down pour. There were waterfalls everywhere.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Great photo of a Coyote in Red Rock October 1, 2010

I took this photo out at Red Rock National Conservation area today. It was taken along the road between Callico #2 parking lot and the Quarry parking lot. I was facing southwest. The photo was taken out of the window of the Trekker. At first I thought it was just someone's dog and then saw that there was no-one around. The cooler temperatures have brought them out of their dens during the day. When it is hot they are more nocturnal. Early in the spring I saw a Gray Fox up the Rocky Gap Road that had just come out of hibernation. It didn't give me time for a photo. In a flash it was gone.

A close-up.

Even closer.