I hate Las Vegas. It’s a horrible display of gaudy self-indulgence that is too loud, too fast, and WAY to bright for my taste. I avoid it at all possible costs…
But a friend invited me out to cruise some out-lying roads to hopefully find some snakes I had never seen before. Unfortunately, it was incredibly warm, and the snakes simply did not want to come out and play.
But all was not entirely lost. We walked around in the desert in the afternoon, spotting various lizards scooting about and hiding before we could any pictures, and we did see some pretty flowers…
We did go out cruising for snakes. We did NOT fiond anything that was a lifer for me. We didn’t find very much at all. The first snake we fuond was this absolutely STUNNING California Kingsnake:
The sad part is that this gorgeous fella was runned over moments before we got to him. There wasn’t a whole lot of visible damage, but he was absolutely DOR. I couldn’t resist getting his picture, though, so I picked him up and posed him. A snake this gorgeous deserves a memorium.
Further down the road, we did find a very young Nightsnake. I took a few pictures…but they weren’t very good, so I won’t share them. It was just a wee little thing.
Then we found this cute little toad:
Amphibs are not my forte. I have no idea what this guy could be. Possibly a Great Basin Spadefoot, but I really don’t know. If you know…please leave a comment and tell me.
It was getting late…around 2:00am, but we decided to keep cruising. We went through Valley of Fire State Park, and found this big guy chillin’ in the road:
We saw a BUNCH of little Desert Banded Geckos, but none of my photos are worth charing. We also found this interesting character:
We kept driving, and came across an absolutely brilliant example of Western Longnose, at around 4am:
We cruised straight through until sunrise, without finding anything else very interesting. We did see a small Leaf Nose snake, DOR, as we were getting on the Great Basin Highway, and heading back towards camp, but…it was fairly mangled, and posing it for a picture would have been a waste of effort. I took a picture, just as a voucher of finding him, but…well…you don’t want to see photos of a smooshed snake, do you?
Anyhow…back at camp, I decided it was safest for me to down some coffee and hit the road. It was now 9:00am Sunday, and I had been driving since 10:00am Saturday, so I was a bit bushed. I couldn’t sleep, as I had wanted to, so I figured…better to down the coffeee and stay awake, than to take my time, and fall asleep halfway home. So I hit the road.
One last cool little photo:
If you look closely at the ladyb ug’s back, you can actually see a reflection of me with my camera and the trees behind me. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
That’s it. I made it home safely, with little issue, and crashed on the couch. I had a good time, even though we didn’t find anything exciting. The places we were cruising are definitely prime habitat, and I will be going back in the fall, hopefully to find some of the elusive rattlesnakes that I know are there, and maybe even a couple new colubrids for my field log.
Thanks for taking the time to read!