All text copyright  Eitan Grunwald.  All photographs copyright  Eitan or Ron Grunwald  except photographs by others are copyright per photo credits.  All rights reserved.  Terms
ARIZONA
July 2009
 4 of 6
ARIZONA
July 2009
 4 of 6
                          
Roadcruising that night is remarkably unproductive, so we wait for morning to hit the Huachucas.      Young needs to return home for a few days, but we’re joined by my New Jersey friend, Danny Mendez, who is in Arizona for a conference.  The last time Danny and I herped together in AZ, I managed to lead us in circles for hours of strenuous hiking, thinking we were in one place when actually we were in another.  Happy to report I did it again.   Young had given us directions to a trail that would lead us into a particular canyon, where we hoped to find more Rock Rattlesnakes, and possibly a Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi).  “It’s an easy 20-minute hike to the canyon,” says Young.  “You’ll have no trouble finding it.” We arrive at the trailhead and begin our hike, a steep uphill climb overlooking a ridge.    Before long, our path is decorated by a profusion of wildflowers, protected from the midsummer heat by a shady glen.  Young had mentioned we’d come upon a hidden patch, and here it is as promised.     Things start to go downhill from there.  Literally.  We’ve been climbing for well over an hour and are just now beginning to descend into the canyon.  This is no easy 20-minute hike.  Finally get to the bottom, but the direction and landmarks don’t match what we expected.  It begins to dawn on us that we have no idea where we are.   Long story short:  Three mountains, eight hard miles, and six hours later, we finally stumble into the right canyon.  Young’s directions were fine, but we misunderstood where to start.  And you know the end of this story   not a single snake all day. We have better luck at night on the roads, finding a number of young and neonate WDBs, plus a Mojave and a bunch of toads.                     The following day Ron and I decide to explore the arid grasslands surrounding the Huachucas.     At twilight we head east towards the Chiricahuas, our last stop in the sky islands.      
Sonoran River Toad Bufo alvarius
Desert Grassland Whiptail Aspidoscelis uniparens
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus atrox
Mojave Rattlesnake Crotalus scutulatus
Great Plains Toad Anaxyrus cognatus
Mexican Spadefoot Spea multiplicata