Friday, February 13, 2015

And the award for year's first Gila Monster goes to....

Fred and Mary! Here's their story:

While at Sabino today (2/9/2015) searching for butterflies, Mary came across this lazy and slow moving Gila Monster near some Euryops just off the main tram road. Since I was descending the Bluff Trail when she called me to let me know, she promised to keep an eye on it while I hurried to the scene. Luckily, it was somewhat slowing moving and she didn’t have to grab it by the tail to hold it until I got there. [Anne's note: He's kidding about touching a Gila Monster.]
We noticed that he (or she) was not as skinny of some of the monsters we saw early last spring. However we noticed it was fairly dull-colored. As you can see from the head shot and more clearly from the back leg photo, it was clearly in process of shedding. The bottom of the legs where the skin has been shed is a brighter pinky-orange than the rest of the creature.
Because finding Gila Monsters appears to be a regular occurrence in Sabino Canyon, it is just enough reason why the place is so special and we are lucky to live nearby.

All photos by Fred Heath 2/9/2015

Head shot

Back leg, close up

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