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Category: Snakes (page 1 of 2)

Friday Fitness Hike

Heather and I hiked a ten mile loop starting from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead. Total elevation gain was slightly over 1900 feet. We hiked the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead until the first climber’s access trail to the right. From there, we hiked up to the ridge upon which Tom’s Thumb is situated. We hiked the ridge past Tom’s Thumb and then continued on the heavily used access trail down to Tom’s Thumb Trail. From there, we hiked down East End Trail, then took Windmill, Coachwhip, Pemberton, Boulder, and Marcus Landslide to return.

Along the way we encountered Anika, who we’ve seen trail running in various parts of the Preserve. I usually see her on the Bell Pass Trail, but today we met her as she was running up the East End Trail. She was running a seventeen mile route on Friday which had a lot more elevation gain than what Heather and I did. And she was doing it with just one small water bottle tucked into the elastic waistband of her running shorts!

This is a sunrise shot from the parking lot:

There are many interesting rock formations on the way up to the ridge.

A view of Gardener’s Wall from the side. The East End (summit) is on the left.

Heather spotted this Tarantula as we were hiking up to the ridge:

Pinnacle Peak and Troon Mountain(s):

Approaching Tom’s Thumb:

As we were making our way over to Tom’s Thumb, we saw a snake ahead!

We she got home, Heather’s husband, Dave, identified it as a Sonoran Coral Snake.

We encountered this saguaro as we were making our way from the south side of Tom’s Thumb to the east side.

Heading down Tom’s Thumb Trail towards the East End Trail…

A view from the East End Trail:

Nearing the Windmill Trail…

This collection of saguaros is on the Coachwhip Trail:

A side trail off of Marcus Landslide leads to this fallen mushroom rock:

Rattlesnake

Amy and I saw this snake on our Thursday Morning Hike…

 

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Here’s another version – this is what I fed into Topaz Impression to get the result above.

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Sunday Evening Sunset

This is Shallmo Wash:
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As I was driving out, I saw a snake in the parking lot. I stopped and got out to take a look. The snake crawled towards the car as I was getting my camera out of the trunk. By the time I had my camera ready, it had crawled under the car! I took some (dark and noisy) photos of it underneath the car. A short while later I managed to back up without running of the snake. I left the headlights on so that I could get this shot.

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Rattlesnake

I saw this snake on my morning hike…

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Rattlesnake and Hare

 

Taken with my HX90V during my morning ride.

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Snake

I saw this snake on Saturday’s bike ride.

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Snake in a Tree? How can that be?

We saw this snake during our hike today.  It started out on the ground, but then raced off, climbing into the tree.  Bob identified it as a red racer.

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Friday Fitness Hike

 

This week’s hike started at the Wagner Trailhead, though we never actually got around to hiking the Wagner Trail.  Even so, we hiked 8.7 miles.

I got this photo of the sunrise before the hike started.  Part of the Wagner Trail is visible in this photo.

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Another pre-hike photo; A good view of Red Mountain off in the distance with some interesting foliage in the foreground.

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We hiked the Tortoise Trail to the Pemberton and then hiked Pemberton to Stoneman Wash.  We hiked up the wash, stopping to take photos at this rusted convertible.

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From left to right are Kevin, Bob, Amy, Janet, and Teresa.

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Bob took this photo of me while I was photographing the car.

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A large palo verde tree in Stoneman Wash:

2013-08-09-DSC04559-mediumWe hiked up one of the feeder washes for Stoneman Wash.  It eventually lead us back to the Pemberton, somewhat south of the Bluff Trail.

We saw this rattlesnake along the way.  Ranger Amy has confirmed that it’s a Mohave rattlesnake.  We saw one on last week’s hike too.

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I was suprised to see a blooming barrel cactus in the area.

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A view from the Pemberton Trail.  There is a small bench just below and left of the Palo Verde on the hill.  Just below and beyond the tree and bench lies the Bluff Trail.  The yellow sign visible in this photo warns of a sharp turn on the Pemberton Trail.

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Teresa and Bob hike down the Bluff Trail.

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A view of Weaver’s Needle and the Flatiron far off in the distance:

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We came across a number of healthy looking ocotillos while hiking back on the Bluff Trail.

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Ranger Amy spotted this horseshoe on a granite boulder.

2013-08-09-DSC04727-medium A view of the nine o’clock fountain with Red Mountain behind it.

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Friday Fitness Hike

Janet, Linda, Bob, and I hiked out on the Pemberton from the Trailhead Staging Area today.  We passed the site of the ranch homestead until we found a promising looking wash heading west.  We hiked the wash, seeing three snakes along the way.  I only got photos of two of these snakes.  We returned via the Tonto Tank Trail.  Total distance was 7.67 miles.

I took this photo from the road leading into the parking area while before the hike.

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A photo of the sunrise, also before the hike:

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A large multi-armed saguaro in Stoneman Wash:

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A view from the Pemberton, near Stoneman Wash:

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This is the wash that we hiked after leaving the Pemberton.  It meandered both west and north, though there were several forks we could have taken along the way which would have probably lead us to the Pemberton again.

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Linda takes a photo of…2013-08-02-DSC04217-medium

…me, Janet, and Bob:

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Three photos of the first snake we encountered.  I believe it’s a Western Diamondback rattlesnake.

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Linda took this photo of me photographing the snake:

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Bob, Linda, and Janet wait for the snake to move off.

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This is the second rattlesnake that we saw.  Linda and Alan’s research suggests that it’s a Mohave rattlesnake.  I saw one other snake, but it was not a rattlesnake; I don’t know what it was aside from being small and quick.

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A view of Four Peaks from the Tonto Tank Trail:

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Snakes on the Pemberton!

I saw two snakes while riding earlier today.  These snakes were perhaps 400 yards apart, on the eastern end of the new stretch of the Pemberton.  The first snake I saw was a rattlesnake, probably a Western Diamondback.  Another rider told me that the second snake is a bullsnake.  Amy Burnett, the ranger at McDowell Mountain Park, told me that it’s a sub-species of bullsnake called a Sonoran Gopher Snake.

Both snakes were lying across the trail sunning themselves to get warm.  I had trouble getting the rattler to move.   I nudged it’s tail twice with my foot before it finally deigned to raise its head.  Only after nudging its tail again with a stick did it decide to take a defensive posture.  Even though I was walking all around it taking photos, it stayed in the middle of the trail where it could’ve gotten run over by a bike.  It moved off into the grass only after I spewed a mouthful of water at it.

This is a crop (close-up) of the above photo:

This next photo shows a better view of the rattler’s tail.  Unfortunately, the head is not quite in focus.

Another crop…

I came across the Sonoran gopher snake only a short while later, probably not even a quarter of a mile from the Western Diamondback.  It, too, was lying across the trail, but became quite curious about my camera!  It started slithering towards me as I was frantically taking photos of it.   I eventually had to move out of its way!

It was perhaps two feet away for this shot.  It looks closer because I cropped away the bottom part of the image.

An even tighter crop:

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