Beth - "We’ve seen lots of Bullsnakes (Gopher Snakes) on the road so far this summer (dead and alive), and most of them are docile and mosey off the road. On Thursday in Pawnee National Grassland Jake and I pulled over to photograph one that we thought would be just as placid. This particular specimen, with a few distinct “X” shaped saddles marking its back, reared up and gave a little faux rattle to its tail. Often, Bullsnakes are killed because they resemble a rattlesnake, and this individual was using that similarity to try and convince us to leave. We snapped a few voucher photos and left it in peace."
Jake - "Sometimes, the greatest thing about this job is just getting to stop and look around at where we are. This week, we went from the bottoms of canyons to the tops of mountains, and out onto the vast plains of eastern Colorado. Even if we don't see too many reptiles in a day, just being able to know that we're somewhere that not many people get to see is pretty astounding. The abundance and diversity of habitat we see makes each week a new experience, and I feel truly lucky to have the opportunity to see it."
Celina - "This week I was able to see a species of lizard I haven't encountered previously: Greater Earless Lizards. Their "I know you can see me" tail wag was a delight to see, and they were happy to pose while we snapped voucher photos of them because they knew they could easily run away if needed. "
Devin - "The clouds were beginning to thicken as the final hour of our two-week journey was nearing an end, and all was quiet; the calm before a raging storm. I paced along the rocky hillside with a cool confidence, assured in the quality of this unique habitat to provide a glimpse at some marvelous species. A clap of thunder roared in the distance. I quickened my pace as the impending threat of the elements drew ever nearer. My time in Black Mesa State Park was coming to a close, I had to make every second count. I approached an open field, finally, a good opportunity with fair visibility. This was my chance. A flash or lightning accompanied by a deafening roar of thunder. I decided to give myself one more minute until I had to retreat. Then finally I found her; the most marvelous Speckled Kingsnake I’d ever seen in my life! I spent my final minute taking voucher photographs of this eager snake so desperate for the limelight. Another flash of lightning- the closest yet; time to get back to the vehicle! I increased my pace and made it back to the truck mere seconds before the start of hail. "