We moved north and east to set up shop at the town of Sanderson. All herpers familiar with the area have been through Sanderson, and will be able to guess our home for the next three nights with ease. We stayed at the Outback Oasis Motel, a herper owned and operated establishment run by people dedicated to protecting our wonderful hobby. Roy and Ruth Engeldorf were excellent hosts. The rooms were clean, the rates fare and the location to die for... Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture but I can't wait to return again and correct that mistake.
Our first night we cruised until very late and only turned up a few things to show for our hard work. Rumor had it alterna were being found in good numbers this week, but it wasn't to be for us tonight.
More WDBs. They started to make a run for most commonly observed snake on our trip...
We also spotted a few of the cool inverts that call this part of the country home, like this large Scolopendra helos.
And this Vinagarroon, which I think is Mastigoproctus giganteus.
It was a slow night... The next day we headed further east to try a different place. Pointless flipping of some railroad ties yielded a few striped bark scorpions?, Centruroides vittatus.
And this wonderful reminder of where we were.
This spot had a nice amount of water, and the habitat and vegetation was very different. We had hope of a few critters whose western most range we had crossed into...
But we didn't see a thing. Even more painful, only a little farther east a fellow herper had a record night. Luck of the draw or a couple of Texas newbs - we will never know. We saw a few of these Aphonopelma sp. during our trip.
Luckily an old friend turned up late on the way home.
The next day I photographed a few of the rio grande leopard frogs Roy had living in his pond.
And we photographed some of the cuts we had been driving during the daylight hours.
A few of these Merriam’s Canyon Lizard, Sceloporus merriami merriami, were seen. This completed our trifecta of Merriam's lizard subspecies.
And I finally got a crappy shot of a Crevice Spiny Lizard.
We managed to noose a nice Big Bend Spotted Whiptail, Aspidoscelis scalaris septemvittata, and it sat still for a pic or two after.
Hitting the road that night, one last subocs let them reign supreme as the most common live snake of our trip (atrox won including DORs)!
I had fun shooting a widow... it was another slow night.
And we ended the trip with one last new species, a Great Plains Ratsnake, Pantherophis emoryi.
Well, it was a great time. An alterna never showed up, we easily stayed awake until 4-6 am every night, and we put around 2700 miles on the rental car in a week. It wasn't exactly the cheapest trip in the world, although airfare, rental and lodging really wasn't too bad, but as Carl later put it...
$ spent per live alterna = ∞
Until next time...
Click here for West Texas Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV.