We woke up at 7 to leave Vicki’s by 8AM, stopped at Chic-fil-A for a quick breakfast, and headed to meet Jason, Chris, and Caroline in west Texas.
Along the way we stopped at Buc-ee’s (the famous gas station/store) for a quick break and then in San Antonio to walk along the River Walk and have lunch.
Fueling up at Buc-ee’s
River Walk in San Antonio
There were some neat, huge trees along the river in San Antonio
When we finally met up with the other group at a Pizza Hut in Alpine, we were pleased to find Ron and Eric there as well.
Meeting up with Chris, Caroline, Jason, Ron, and Eric in Alpine, TX
After a quick pizza dinner, some supply shopping, and cleaning/reorganizing the vehicles, we split up into three cars: one car went to Big Bend for sight seeing and hiking, and the other two cars went to road cruise for snakes (we were particularly keen on finding samples of Mojave Rattlesnakes).
Andrew with an amazing save after nearly toppling the water display at the grocery store
Jason and Andrew cleaning windshields in preparation for a night of cruising
A giant “A” on the hillside, for Alpine
Andrew getting the windshield nice and clean
It didn’t take long before the state troopers and border patrol had stopped to see what we were doing before letting us continue our search for science. The first snake we came across was a chunky long-nose (Rhinocheilus lecontei) crossing the street around midnight.
The first snake of the trip, a large Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)
We spent 7 hours cruising and walking road cuts, and found a total of 15 snakes representing 10 species. It took most of the night, but we finally found 1 Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) at 3:30AM. By 4:30 we had tired out and arrived at Sky’s (thanks for letting us crash there!) house to sleep.
A Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula)
A Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer)
DOR Common Kingsnake (L. getula)
DOR Trans-Pecos Rat Snake (Bogertophis subocularis)
Andrew holding the largest night snake (Hypsiglena torquata) that we’ve ever seen to highlight it’s length.
Another shot of the same night snake. Look at how big it is!
Andrew holding a Great Plains Rat Snake (Pantherophis emoryi)
A closer photo of the same Great Plains Rat Snake
DOR Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans)
DOR Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
Another Great Plains Rat Snake (P. emoryi)
A small Long-nosed Snake (R. lecontei)
DOR Trans-Pecos Rat Snake (B. subocularis)
Our first Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) of the trip, our target species
Last snake of the night, a DOR Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus). A bit of a downer to end the night at 4AM with a DOR