Beautiful Arizona Wildlife
petroglyphs of lizards (Stanton, Arizona)
Black Tailed Jack Rabbit
Giant Desert Centipede
Possible dangers to be aware of.......not fear!
This is a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. Venomous, but not usually deadly to humans. I found this guy crossing the trail early one April morning. They typically want nothing to do with you and normally only bite as a defensive measure because you are too big to eat and they know you are not their natural prey. Avoid contact at all costs.......and enjoy watching from a distance. Don't try to catch or kill them. Note: One specie of Rattlesnake, the Mohave Rattlesnake has both neurological and hemotoxic venom. They tend to be short tempered and may pursue you for short distances. A person can easily out run a snake. The best rule is........if you see a snake you can not positively identify, keep a safe distance away. If you are bitten, seek medical help immediately. Every minute counts, especially with a Mohave Rattlesnake bite. 1(928)427-3100.
No, they aren't this big! The picture is enlarged so you can see it better. This little guy was only an inch and a half long. Scorpions stings are painful but rarely deadly. This is an Arizona Bark Scorpion and is borderline categorized as deadly. From what I've found, the last known recorded death was probably in 1968. Scorpion stings are said to be comparable to bee stings, although some, like this Arizona Bark Scorpion are much worse. Wear gloves when picking up rocks. Shake out your shoes before putting them on. Centruroides sculpturatus
Click on the pictures above for larger pictures. This is an Arizona Blood Tarantula I found while flipping rocks. Their bite is painful, but not likely deadly except in those who are allergic, small children, or elderly. Enjoy them from a distance.
Underground mine shafts should be avoided for many obvious and less obvious reasons. Abandon mines become unstable over time and can collapse. They can also harbor radon and unsuitable air, not to mention snakes, scorpions, degrading leftover dynamite, and well.....all sort of things that can kill ya!
Drift Mines. They are especially dangerous because there is really nothing keeping the ceiling from collapsing and with every rain, erosion occurs, and the roots of plants further break up the ceiling as they grow deeper into the earth in pursuit of water. Drift mining is when a tunnel is dug to follow the bedrock in hopes of getting the highgrade material without moving all of the overburden. I've seen some very intricately dug tunnels that have left almost nothing to keep it from collapsing. When the gold is good, they will undercut the support pillars that were originally meant to hold the ceiling up, and pack rocks around it in hopes that it doesn't collapse before they are done highgrading it. Stay out, and leave it to the professionals.
Lack of Water, spiders, falling hazards, and other outdoorsy type injuries can occur. Keep a First Aid kit handy and a cell phone with the local emergency number programmed into it. Know where you are at and how to accurately describe the location where the emergency is occurring. Be aware that cell phone reception is spotty and you may have to move to a higher or different spot to get signal.
Here are a few pictures of some of the other creatures I come across prospecting. Enjoy their beauty from a distance.
The picture on the left is a rare pumpkin phase speckled rattlesnake that is only found in this area. The one on the right is a common Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake.