The Wild West

Today the crew spent another evening collecting video data of bats from an old mine. I had a great time taking pictures during the 30 minute mountain climb that we had to endure in order to reach said mine – I can probably thank the massive energy drink I had in the car for giving me the energy to do this…

The Enemy

  • Prickly Pear

20130619_182515

  • Ocotillo

20130619_181923

  • Cholla

20130619_181623

The Damage 

  • Yes, Tristan, I did get yet another cut or 10…

20130619_200942

The Beasts

  • Whiptail sp.

20130619_200619

  • Ornate Tree Lizard

20130619_161932

View from the Top 

  • We usually have some time to relax before setting up our equipment once we reach the mine. Today, I decided to use that time to finish climbing  to the top of the mountain in order to see this astounding view of Cochise County, Arizona (this view is actually located just outside of Paradise, AZ – go figure):

20130619_195025

Animal Encounters: Ninja Skunk

So last night looked something like this:

20130617_203418

We were minding our own business, playing 500 Rummy, when suddenly I looked over and saw two creepy eyes staring at me from under a nearby bush.

Naturally, my first response (in a land full of bears, mountain lions, and coyotes) was to say, “Why Hello,” assuming it was some benign animal like a ring-tailed cat or koati. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is up and running – hightailing it to the other side of the mine.

That’s when I realize that our visitor is a skunk . This little bundle of stink somehow managed to sneak up on 4 researchers without making a single sound. I didn’t notice him until he was 3 feet away and primed for attack.

I jumped up and ran with the others, while this skunk came over an investigated our card game, acting like he owned the place and looking for all the world like he was going to spray all of our gear.

Luckily, that didn’t happen and the smug little critter eventually went back down the mine dump. The rest of the night we were all on edge expecting another random and terrifying visit. (I just expected to see another set of eyes peeking out from behind one of the other girl’s backs.) It put us even more on edge when we heard a coyote howling nearby not too long after that.

That darn skunk almost eroded our sanity. Now, we will always be paranoid that another little beast will be lurking in the bushes, waiting to ambush us when our backs are turned.