Friday, May 29, 2009


There have been a few new developments here. The first news is that Brandon bought a zoom lens for his camera. Now the quality of our fotorecord in the field is supreme. The other news is that we have found the fabled great basin spadefoot toads. There bury themselves underground for almost the whole year until the choicest of climatic occurrences lure them above ground. There they squack like geese (some say they snore) to attract mates to ephemeral pools, puddles and ditches after rain has flooded grassy meadows. Their offspring metamorphose and mature over the course of a few weeks. That is lightning fast for amphibians. Almost as soon as they emerged, the spadefoot re-submerges and sleeps for the large part of a year until it is time to go at it again. We found them!

The black thing on its foot is the fingernail-like "spade" for digging.

We also spent much of the past week in Red Desert, which was largely unsuccessful as far as amphibian-hunting is concerned, but we did see plenty of wild horses and even the elusive desert elk. We encountered some very unfavorable mud, and some bizarre landscapes as well. The follow pictures are a mix-up of days and places, some in Red Desert, and other from around Dad and Baggs.

Ground salt.

Long-eared owlet! Mom was watching nearby. There were a three babies in different trees acting weird.
Watching us. Made me uncomfortable.
Owlet flopped in the water.
These ladies posed for us.
The front horse is the dad and master.

I was pissed.
Deep, sticky, and heavy.
It seemed like miles, and my quads were killing me already that day. The mud sent me over the edge. I think I am swearing about having to turn back from the lake in this shot. It was too hard to keep going.
Send that mud flyin'!
Giant crawdad. We later saw two dead crawdads that were honestly 10 inches long head to tail, not including claws or antennae.


Desert ElkScorpio.
Wolf tracks. They are big.


Caroline said...

Tim, those owls crack me up!

Timothy "T-Bone" Barwise said...

Owls are generally ridiculous. Can you imagine what their skulls must look like? What's going on in those baby brains? What did they eat for dinner? Toads? NO!

Emily said...

The owl is way cool. It is the mascot of Matt's club at Harvard.
They are interesting creatures.

Jenny said...

I love every single picture you posted. Particularly the majestic equines.