Monday, September 25, 2017

Field trip to the desert.

  It's been awhile sense the last time I've been on a day trip or hiking around the local desert (Lincoln County, ID).
 I was browsing "https://www.inaturalist.org/places/2819"  When I noticed someone in my local area was posting recent reptile and amphibian locals on the field maps.  I sent him a message to see if he lived in the area, and as luck had it he lives about 8 miles away.
I don't mind hiking around the desert by myself, but I always prefer a friend to go with.  I don't think anyone wants a mishap like a wound or flat tire by themselves.  Besides...it's hard too push yourself out of the sand when your vehicle it suck, I know It has happened to me a couple of times.
My new friend Alex is a good person to go hiking with, no complaining or whining, despite it being very hot that day.  He even picked up every can and bottle we walked across. Glad too see someone else doing this for a change, and I did as well.
Because it was the end of August, mostly we found only newly hatched reptiles.  In August/Sept. adult reptiles go into a state of rest so the young can feed and find shelter without the adults feeding on them.

Here a few pics from that day trip.  All the following lizards are new hatch-lings from this season.

Alex in habitat view.  
Desert Horned Lizard #1
(Phrynosoma platyrhinos)

Desert Horned Lizard #1
(Phrynosoma platyrhinos)

Western Whip-tail Lizard
(Aspidoscelis tigris) 

  

 Whip-tail habitat view, but we also saw these in the rocky grassy areas.

Desert Horned Lizard #2
(Phrynosoma platyrhinos)


 Longnosed Leopard-lizard
(Gambelia wislizenii) 
  


    

Leopard Lizard habitat view. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

August 2017, The only good vole is a dead vole!

  And the winner for "most destructive animal" (in my garden) goes out to!... drum roll please........the one!, the only!...VOLE!!!!

Whatever the little rodents didn't eat last year, they sure have eaten, chewed on, or just plain cut down (without reason) this year.  I'm sure they have a purpose, but one I could live without.  


 Honey Bees love Sacred Datura.


Not sure of an id for this Bird  








I feel horrible about this.  A gopher snake went through the vole cage, but after eating the vole it no longer fit through.  Also, to make matter worse vole then ran up to it and ate it's face off.  Voles don't just eat plants, they also eat small animals the catch.   

You can see the vole hair fluff out as the carrion beetles do their job as garbage personal.  


Yucca faxoniana x pallida.  With vole cage.

Yucca gloriosa

Agave utahensis x neomexicana

My Yucca elata that froze last winter has finally come back.  Better late than never.  






A few humming birds still hanging around late August.



Turkey Vultures flying over head one morning.





Saturday, July 29, 2017

Wild-land fires have ruined this county!

I know a few people believe fires are good for rejuvenating wild areas, and yes this might be true in some cases, but over all burning off wild-grounds every 10, 20, or even every fifty years is not good for anything other than creating a place for weeds to grow.

The fact of the matter is just the opposite of what all our school books have told us.  Areas like that of the deserts and semi-deserts have a more diverse habitat in areas where fires have been absent for a 100 yrs or longer.

The change in the sage brush steppe in just my life time has been darn right scary.


This time the fire did not burn right up to my front door (like the last fire did).  Most of the brush was burned off from previous fires (fewer fuels), none the less this was still a very fast moving and dangerous fire, so thank you's go out to the BLM and our local fire fighters,  They did a great job!   




Two thumbs up for these guys, my Farther-n-law and Carmelo for standing brave with me on garden hose duty!

The garden saved!

















Opuntia "mini-rita" 
First time in bloom.

 Pretty little flowers!





So glad to have seen this guy, not many tree frogs in my garden anymore. 


I can tell the summer temps are cooling down a bit, not as much purple on my Mini-rita.  I should have taken a pic a few weeks ago, it looked real pretty from the heat stress. 

Here we go again. A week later and the north side of Shoshone burns.