Third Eye - Vegas Vacation 2007  
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Tim Spuckler
8213 Wyatt Road
Broadview Heights, OH 44147

From June 1 thru June 9, 2007 I vacationed in Las Vegas, Nevada. We also traveled to Mojave National Preserve in California. The weather was less than ideal, with a windstorm lasting several days, in addition to lower-than-usual temperatures and the drought that the southwest is experiencing. We found ten different types of lizards (the most ever): Chuckwallas, Night Lizards, Great Basin Fence Lizards, Zebra-tails, Desert Spiny Lizards, Side-blotched Lizards, Whiptails, Fringe-toes, Brush Lizards and Desert Iguanas. Most lizards were captured using the "noose" method, which involves slipping a lasso made of string over the reptile's head and pulling. This method of capture does not harm the animal. All animals were photographed and released at their point of capture. One snake, a Desert Patchnose, was also found on this trip.


Kelso "Singing" Sand Dunes
Kelso Dunes
Kelso Dunes
The dunes are located in Mojave National Preserve, California.
Sand People
Sand People
We had to get an early start, before it became too warm. Walking up the steep dunes is exhausting, not unlike walking up an escalator that is going down.
Big Bug The Huge Bug of the Day
This big beetle was kind of patterned like a watermelon.
Ken's Climb Come On, Kinney!
It's a long way to the top.
Montana Montana Finds an Easier Way Up
See that black dot? That's her.
Slide Sand Slide
The shifting sands create an odd noise, which sounds a bit like a tuba. While there are different ways to get the sand to shift, Matt and I discovered that sliding down the dunes produced the most "singing."
Fringe-toe Lizard Sand Swimmer
This Mojave Fringe-toed Lizard (Uma scoparia) was a "lifer" for me. How often do you start a herping trip by finding something you've never seen before? This lizard's fringed toes act as "snowshoes" to help it get through the sand. They "swim" into the sand to avoid capture and to escape the heat.
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Mitchell Caverns The Hills Have Eyes
We also paid a visit to Mitchell Caverns.
Rock Formations Stalactites
One of many rock formations seen at the caves.
Pointy Things Don't Look Up
There were plenty of pointy things to avoid in the caverns.
Desert Iguana Desert Iguana
One of several Desert Iguanas (Dipsosaurus dorsalis) seen on the trip. These lizards are tolerant of high temperatures and can be active even at 115 degrees.
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Click here to see Part 2