By Leanne Heisler and Allie Gallon
We've surveyed SOME of the big muddy area south of Bengough where we have known locations of snakes, but we didn't find anything there :( I've talked to all the ranchers along that valley but they haven't seen any snakes either this year, they usually see them by this time. However, I met a lady at the pharmacy who said she gets bullsnakes, racers, AND hognose at her place. Our first day out there Allie did catch a large garter snake (common) and I saw a yellow-bellied racer but it got away from me!!! It went into some shrubs and then DISAPPEARED!! So miffed about that!!! I'm gonna have to work on my reflexes and dive-bombing skills if I'm gonna catch those things!! But we know the spot and combed through the rock outcroppings and junipers today. So hopefully we'll find it soon :)
Since we found snakes on this farm we went ahead and set up most of our mouse rap transects there, and we've got our malaise traps out. Vane and pan traps are going out tomorrow. Hopefully we'll catch some interesting critters :)
During our surveys we've also spotted turkey vultures, a golden eagle, lots of mulies, a loggerhead shrike (cool!!), picked up a roadkill muskrat and grackle, and caught two of the biggest bees I've ever seen (mutant bees on either side of the penny, with a regular-largish bee in the middle).
We've also put up posters in town here, plus Big Beaver and Coronach. And we've made friends with a couple locals that check oil wells around town. So they'll call us if they see any snakes :)
That's pretty much all the Bengough people have been up to, hopefully there'll be more soon!!