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Northen Arizona August 2012

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Posted by: Paul Lynum at Thu Aug 23 13:03:29 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Paul Lynum ]  

Northern Arizona has always been a magical and just beautiful place for me. I made to my first herping trip to Arizona in August 1990. It was a family vacation and with all the hype of S.E. AZ (Which is nothing but that) I wanted to venture south but, was forced with the northern part. I’m glad it was otherwise I might have never known what I would have been missing out on. I moved to just outside Prescott seven years ago. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. I bought a nice home on a couple of acres in the country. I constantly feel like I’m on a herp trip even when I hanging out at home. In the 20 something years I’ve been herping N. AZ very little has changed. The towns are still small, the roads have or no little traffic, and there’s no herpers lol!! S.E. AZ, sadly is nothing like when I first visited there in 1991. The towns are growing at an alarming rate. Traffic has increased on once remote roads and the biggest problem…. Way too many people now. Northern Arizona I hope does not receive the same fate. It’s some of the most beautiful country anywhere in the world. This is the scenery around my home.

I find herps in my yard fairly often. California Kings, Gopher Snakes, Arizona Black Rattle Snakes are common but this was probably my favorite find so far in my yard.

Horned Lizard

I’m not a great photographer. Not even close. I don’t particularly care for pics of posed herps in the field and really don’t care for pics of herps that were taken at home or in a studio trying to imitate a wild setting. I just do a quick pic of how I found the herp and keep moving. So some of these may not be the greatest but you will at least see how they were found and how I saw it. Some scenery.

The monsoon season is just plain awesome. The forest and grasslands turn green and life just springs out of nowhere.

With the rain comes the herps. Back in June I found a nice adult female pyro a range where they have been recently been discovered. I kept her and returned earlier this month right after a all night deluge of rain and found this male on the crawl.

Mohave Co., AZ

The next night I tried a mountain range just to the south were pyros have been documented. I never tried for them here and figured I would give it a shot. Unfortunately, with the 3 cars I saw all night on this road one of them would hit what I was after. He was still moving when I got to him but the damage was done.
Mohave Co., AZ

I’ll tell you I only have interest in a few select herps. When road cruising I pass all the herps that I’m not looking for. Stopping for everything else takes precious time away from what your target is. But, on slow nights sometimes I check something out for a minute. Sometimes it can be really cool like this partially striped Mohave Green
Mohave Co., AZ

I’m a huge Mountain King Snake and Western Milk Snake guy. I’ve spent my whole herping career working on figuring these guys out. The pyro were easy However, the milks were a challenge. These are probally the most secretive snake I’ve ever looked for. I’ve never known a herp to be so picky on the right conditions to move out of their under ground retreats. I’m quite confident I’ve finally got these guys figured out now. It only took several grand in gas and many rained out nights to do so.
Yavapai Co., AZ

I found this cal King that just got hit in an area where they were thought not to exist. Right in the middle of a valley full of milk Snakes. This is the first one I know of from this area. Quite a unique find.
Yavapai Co., AZ

I love these open areas for grassland. Milk Snake Country!!

Some really old treasures from America's golden age.

A real treasure
Coconino Co., AZ

Sometimes you get hints where to look lol.

It’s such a great feeling to put in so much hard work to have it pay off.
Apache Co., AZ

Last snake of the year for me.
Hopi Rattle Snake Navajo Co., AZ

Last night was the last day/night in the field for me this year. In fact it’s was the last time for the hitting the field for a long while. There’s nothing really left more I want find or any places I want to herp for the time being. I’m looking forward to going on trips and enjoy history and scenery for once. I’m going to take this time off and enjoy other things life has to offer outside of herps. When the break is over and everything is is new again I’ll be back beginning again. I hope you enjoyed my little piece of love for N. Arizona. Happy Trails!!

Paul Lynum


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