McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 22nd, 2011, 10:29 pm

This Saturday 0900 meet at the Gateway Trailhead Building.

Temps are expected to be in the mid 70's so we may be herping all day.

See you there...

Dave Weber

I will have AZ Chapter t-shirts available that morning for interested parties wishing to purchase them.

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 24th, 2011, 7:16 pm

Reminder - - - Saturday 0900 McDowell Sonoran Preserve Gateway Trailhead

Gateway Access Area
18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
33° 38' 56.23"N
111° 51' 32.96"W

If coming from the south
Take the 10 Fwy north to the 202 east. Then head north on the Loop 101 to the Bell Rd exit. Turn right on Bell Road. Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance (signed as Sarah road).

From the North or West Valley areas
17 South to Loop 101 East.
Exit Pima/Princess Rd Exit (signed prior as Bell Road exit)
Pass through Pima Princess intersection and continue on to Bell Rd intersection, turn left.
Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance (signed as Sarah road).

From Far West areas
Take the 10 to the westside Loop 101 in Tolleson. Travel about 25-30 (ish) miles to
the Pima/Princess Rd Exit (signed prior as Bell Road exit).
Pass through Pima Princess intersection and continue on to Bell Rd intersection, turn left.
Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance (signed as Sarah road).


Dave

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azatrox
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by azatrox » March 24th, 2011, 10:52 pm

Good luck on the survey!

It's too bad I have to work on Saturday night...I miss the McDowells and all the cool critters there.

Ya'll should see some stuff...Uta, Aspidoscelis, Gopherus and Crotalus atrox should be out in abundance. Ya'll might even get lucky and spot a Heloderma.

-Kris

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 25th, 2011, 6:27 pm

Thanks Kris

Hope to see you at a future field day at MSC.

Dave

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 27th, 2011, 1:12 pm

Hi Everyone!

Yesterdays outing to the Preserve worked out well. We had the assistance of two Preserve volunteers. Chapter members Terry Cox, Ena, myself, and guest Bryan Hughes showed up for the fun.

Overall we saw the usual suspects in lizards...side blotch and tiger whiptails along with a Gila Monster, a Sonoran Gopher Snake, a Western D-back rattlesnake, and a Black tail Rattlesnake. Overall a good first day.

Now we just need to come up with a plan to maintain communications between groups. Perhaps getting everyones cell phone numbers before venturing into the field would be a good idea. There seems to be good cell coverage throughout the preserve.

At present I am waiting on photos and data from the attendees so we can get it entered in the database and presented to the Preserve staff.

Until next time!

Dave

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Desert Raticus
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Desert Raticus » March 27th, 2011, 4:53 pm

Dave,

Had a great time, yesterday. Next time I won't have to leave early! I will send the photos that I took tomorrow. When is our next "mission?"

~ Ena

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » March 27th, 2011, 9:12 pm

Dave, did you want any photos posted here, or just send the voucher pics to you?

Terry

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justin caaz
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by justin caaz » March 28th, 2011, 6:36 pm

Hey Terry it would be great to see what herps you guys found and also some habitat shots. It is definately somewhere I'd like to check out (probably others too). Thanks in advance :D , Justin

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Desert Raticus
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Desert Raticus » March 29th, 2011, 8:50 am

ratsnakehaven wrote:Dave, did you want any photos posted here, or just send the voucher pics to you?

Terry
Terry,

If you pm me your email address, I'll send you the habitat shots and the herp photos I took. I'm reluctant to post on a public forum especially while we're actively working on the survey. Dave, your thoughts?

~ Ena

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Brandon La Forest
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Brandon La Forest » March 29th, 2011, 12:14 pm

Desert Raticus wrote: If you pm me your email address, I'll send you the habitat shots and the herp photos I took. I'm reluctant to post on a public forum especially while we're actively working on the survey. Dave, your thoughts?

~ Ena
They taught you so well! I think you would be ok, but its always best not to post if you are unsure and I like the fact that your not affraid to ask what you think is best! Doesn't sound like you found anything too sensitive so I think that you would be ok posting pics, but Id still wait for Terry and Dave to give the ok since they worked so hard putting this all together.

-Brandon-

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 29th, 2011, 6:33 pm

Ena

Since this is a preserve and no one is allowed to collect anything, not even a rock, I think it would be ok to post what we saw this weekend. There were no species of concern or anything unusual seen so I think we'll be ok.

Plus it may spark some interest in getting people out to help the project!

Dave

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justin caaz
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by justin caaz » March 29th, 2011, 6:44 pm

Biker Dave wrote:Ena

Since this is a preserve and no one is allowed to collect anything, not even a rock, I think it would be ok to post what we saw this weekend. There were no species of concern or anything unusual seen so I think we'll be ok.

Plus it may spark some interest in getting people out to help the project!

Dave
Thanks el presidente. My sentiments exactly.....

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » March 30th, 2011, 3:54 pm

Ok, I have a few pics. Not much was happening, so I only had my telephoto with me for lizards. Doesn't take good close ups.

Here's one of an attempt to get a pic of a whiptail. Dave lifted the rock and I shot the pick, but the whiptail was moving before I could get the photo off. We think it was a tiger, but just couldn't get one to hold still long enough to get a voucher...
Image

Here's Ena getting a close look at a bloomin' cactus....
Image

We also saw several sideblotch lizards. This one posed on the main trail soon after setting out on our hike....
Image

In the higher elevations, about 2800 ft. we saw a bunch of wildflowers....
Image

On the way back to the meeting place, Ena and I saw a d-back moving out onto the trail...
Image

Dave and I went out after lunch to explore another area. All in all it was a fun day, but we didn't see much. It was a little early in the season and temps didn't get much over 70*F, and not even the lizards were moving much.

:roll: Terry

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Brandon La Forest
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Brandon La Forest » March 30th, 2011, 3:58 pm

Terry,
That whiptail pic is the best that thing looks airborn!!!

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justin caaz
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by justin caaz » March 30th, 2011, 7:29 pm

Thanks for the sneak peek Terry. :) Too bad the weather didn't cooperate with ya. Can't tell from the pics but it sounds like a swell place. What is the latest news for the spring outing? Still Salome?

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » March 31st, 2011, 4:11 pm

Brandon La Forest wrote:Terry,
That whiptail pic is the best that thing looks airborn!!!

Thanks, Brandon. There wasn't much happening last Saturday, but we did get sort of a lay of the land. It looks promising for the future. Should see lots more stuff next month.

TC

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » March 31st, 2011, 6:58 pm

justin caaz wrote:Thanks for the sneak peek Terry. :) Too bad the weather didn't cooperate with ya. Can't tell from the pics but it sounds like a swell place. What is the latest news for the spring outing? Still Salome?

I didn't take many scenery pics, Justin. I don't want to pinpoint any locations. It'll start to take on some character after a few tries.

Here's a couple general locations. This one is looking back over the bajada towards part of Scottsdale...
Image
This one is from some foothills of the McDowell's towards the north....
Image

Hope that helps with the flavor a little.

As far as the spring trip, yep, we have reservations at the same hotel in Salome. Hope to see you there...

Terry 8-)

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » March 31st, 2011, 7:31 pm

Here are some more habitat shots within the preserve...

Looking east towards Tom's Thumb...
Image

Up in area near the Tom's Thumb Trailheadon the north side of the preserve...
Image

There is a lot of interesting geology as well as terrain in the preserve. Something for everyone!

alexmt23
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by alexmt23 » April 1st, 2011, 1:17 pm

hey guys, nice pics! when are ya'll expectin to go out again? is it legal for anyone to go there to look for herps and just take photos ? cause thats all im interested in not collecting.

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » April 2nd, 2011, 10:36 am

Its open to the public dawn to dusk, but without a permit from the City of Scottsdale (which I know you dont have) on your person than you must stay on the trails. No snake hooks or other tools allowed without said permit either. Cameras only.

Dave Weber

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » April 7th, 2011, 9:14 pm

Mark your calendars for Saturday April 16th... we will be conducting another survey of the preserve. Same start point as before -- Gateway Trailhead at 9 a.m.

Dave

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Desert Raticus
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Desert Raticus » April 15th, 2011, 12:51 pm

Biker Dave wrote:Mark your calendars for Saturday April 16th... we will be conducting another survey of the preserve. Same start point as before -- Gateway Trailhead at 9 a.m.

Dave
Dave, I have a previous commitment for this Saturday, so I won't be able to make it. I'll try to get out there on my own time (on the trails) and see if I can't turn up anything. I'll try some road-cruising out that way, too. (I'll be sure to get the information for the database.)

I'm not going to be able to make the Spring Outing, either. It's just too much to juggle with my commitment to the Warrior Dash. Dang-it!

Work aside, however, the rest of the Spring/Summer/Monsoon looks good, so I'll be available to help out.

~ Ena

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » April 15th, 2011, 9:29 pm

I'll be at the Gateway trailhead at 0900 Saturday..

Aaron Mills
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Aaron Mills » April 17th, 2011, 9:08 pm

How'd you guys do?

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » April 20th, 2011, 9:41 pm

Greetings All!

Our second foray into the Preserve didnt net us any snakes, just about a dozen Utas, and an equal number of Tiger Whiptails, and one lonely Desert Spiny.

In attendance was myself your humble president, my wife Shoop, Sue Handke from the Preserve and Nick Burge from the Arizona Herpetological Society.

Photos were few as the temps are starting to go up and lizards are getting too fast for point and shoot cameras. I only got a couple shots for voucher.

We started into the field a little late, about 0945 and searched through the southern portion of the Gateway Bajada area until about 1300 hrs. Air temps were approx 88 degrees at the warmest and ground temps were 95 - 118 degrees.

Either way it was a good day as we got to explore some new territory.

Hope to see everyone at the next outing... with a dawn start time!

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » April 25th, 2011, 6:13 pm

Sorry I couldn't make it all, but I had a last second injury that's kept me down for about a week and a half. Also, my desktop has crashed, both computers down. I'm using my wife's right now. Hope I can make the next outing.

:beer: TC

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Desert Raticus
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Desert Raticus » April 26th, 2011, 9:12 am

I did some road cruising near the preserve on Saturday night. Found a few critters, which I will get into the database this week. When is the next survey date?

~ Ena

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » April 26th, 2011, 7:55 pm

Ena

Send me your info.... I need it for the Preserve. We will schedule all the upcoming dates at the Chapter meeting Saturday in Salome.

Dave

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Desert Raticus
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Desert Raticus » April 27th, 2011, 10:04 am

Biker Dave wrote:Ena

Send me your info.... I need it for the Preserve. We will schedule all the upcoming dates at the Chapter meeting Saturday in Salome.

Dave
Just emailed it to you, Dave. Cheers!

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » May 2nd, 2011, 11:17 am

Greetings All

Here is some important information we all need to know from the City of Scottsdale.
In terms of collecting uniform data, Scott Hamilton informed me that the City's preferred GPS coordinate system is WGS84 with latitude and longitude coordinates in decimal degrees. I think that it is a good idea, that before we get started, everyone is on the same page about using the data format the City uses. I will work with the City staff to get that information and pass it along to you as we move along with planning.
Dave

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » May 12th, 2011, 8:19 pm

Here are the dates for this years surveys at the Preserve....

May 21 - early AM
June 4 - night time
July 2 - night time
July 30 - night time
Aug 20 - night time
Sept 10 - early morning
Oct 1 - morning
Nov 12 - day
Dec 17 - day

Exact times and locations will be posted prior to each event.

Hope to see everyone there!

Dave Weber

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sjfriend
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by sjfriend » May 15th, 2011, 10:27 pm

Oh man, couldn't you find it in your heart to have one sometime between June 20-28? I'm coming from a long way and that's when I'll be there! Oh well, can't blame a man for trying.

By the way, keep up the great work Dave.

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » May 17th, 2011, 6:56 pm

Our next survey day is this Saturday May 21.

Due to the reasonable weather we don't need to meet up at the crack o' dawn.

We will begin investigating a new area this weekend.

Meet up at Lost Dog Trailhead 12601 N 124th St., Scottsdale, AZ at 0800.

Directions:
Take the Loop 101 into Scottsdale from wherever you are coming from.
Take the Shea Blvd exit.
Head EAST
Turn left at 124th St.
Follow it all the way until it ends at the dirt parking area
We will meet at the trailhead building.

Bring food and water !!!

Expected weather is dry temps 80's to 90 in the afternoon.

Hope to see everyone there!

Dave

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » May 26th, 2011, 10:04 pm

Well here is the rundown from last Saturday's excursion into the Preserve.....

This time the participants were myself and MSC volunteer Sue Handke only.

We didnt see any snakes but we did verify that Chuckwallas occur in the Preserve as I spotted a large male sunning on a rock. Later we saw multiple Greater Earless Lizards, Zebratails, Tiger Whiptails, and a few of the ubiquitous Side Blotch LIzards.

Our next foray into the preserve will be at night on June 4. Thats a Saturday night. Exact times and location to follow....

Dave

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » May 31st, 2011, 8:36 pm

Hey All!

Its time to do some night herping in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

This Saturday night June 4 at Lost Dog Trailhead (see directions two posts before this one).

Be at the trailhead no later than 730pm because the gates will be locked behind us. We will head out at 8 pm.

Bring a flashlight and plenty of batteries! And water too! Its still going to be warm out.

Dave

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » June 7th, 2011, 9:20 am

Dave, sorry I couldn't go. My mother in law is bad and the kids were here paying their respects.. :(

Terry

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 7th, 2011, 6:47 pm

Sorry to hear that Terry. We're all hoping things work out for the best for you and your family.

Dave

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 7th, 2011, 6:52 pm

Despite being pretty darn dry out here me and my wife, Bryan Hughes, Ben (thamnelegans), MSC Preserve volunteer Sue Handke and her husband went out and were able to locate a juvenile Gila Monster, and a Tiger Rattlesnake. I think Ben is the one who spotted the tigris and Bryan spotted the Heloderma. I found a tortoise burrow that appeared to be in active use, although the resident was not in it at the time.

Next day out will be Saturday July 2. Mark it in your calendars. We need to get our numbers up! The flora people who are doing a survey here too are already up to over 400 species found!

Dave

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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ThamnElegans24 » June 8th, 2011, 3:38 pm

Thanks for the opportunity Dave. I can't wait to get out there again.

Here are a few pics for those who couldn't make it.

Image

Image

Image

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » June 9th, 2011, 11:41 am

Wow! Great finds. Good work you guys... :thumb:

Mom is in the hospital. We're quite distracted right now. Hope it works out well. I'll try to meet up with you guys July 2nd. Later...TC

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 9th, 2011, 7:40 pm

Ben

Thanks for posting the pics...saved me from having to do it!

DAve


Dave

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Bill Love
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Bill Love » June 9th, 2011, 7:46 pm

Thanks Biker Dave for the invite to participate on this forum. I've penciled in the July 2nd survey date on my calendar and expect to make it. I look forward to making the acquaintance of some hardcore AZ fieldherpers there.

If there are any AJ participants who want to share a ride that day, please get in touch.

Sincerely, Bill Love

5062 North Bear Court
Apache Junction, Arizona 85120-8798 U.S.A.
Home # (480) 646 - 1297
Cell # (239) 464 - 6642
Email: [email protected]n.org


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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 9th, 2011, 7:53 pm

Bill

Glad to have you along!

Dave

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ThamnElegans24 » June 9th, 2011, 8:36 pm

Bill, I think I may take you up on carpooling.

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » June 11th, 2011, 10:00 pm

Bill, what's with that AZ address. You haven't moved to AZ, have you?

Terry Cox

Bill Love wrote:Thanks Biker Dave for the invite to participate on this forum. I've penciled in the July 2nd survey date on my calendar and expect to make it. I look forward to making the acquaintance of some hardcore AZ fieldherpers there.

If there are any AJ participants who want to share a ride that day, please get in touch.

Sincerely, Bill Love

5062 North Bear Court
Apache Junction, Arizona 85120-8798 U.S.A.
Home # (480) 646 - 1297
Cell # (239) 464 - 6642
Email: [email protected]


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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 12th, 2011, 2:48 pm

Bill moved to Apache Junction east of Mesa. He's a local now....

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Bill Love
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Bill Love » June 12th, 2011, 9:07 pm

Terry: Kathy and I recently bought a modest little place outside Apache Junction, though we'll dividing our time between AZ and FL for the next year or two yet.

- Bill

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ratsnakehaven
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by ratsnakehaven » June 12th, 2011, 9:46 pm

Thanks for the reply, Bill. I posted on your bio strand too. See ya' in the field one of these days.

Terry ;)

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 20th, 2011, 8:43 pm

Next night out will be July 2. Stay tuned for details!

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Biker Dave
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Re: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Project

Post by Biker Dave » June 27th, 2011, 10:05 pm

Greetings All

Our next outing into the Preserve will be this Saturday night July 2nd at the Gateway trailhead.
We will meet at the trailhead at 10 p.m. and hit the trail at about 1030-ish. Someone will be at the gate to let you in (we cant publish the super secret gate code.)

National Weather Service says a slight chance of rain/ thunderstorms. Which means mostly no chance of rain/thunderstorms!

Be prepared with water, good flashlights, and extra batteries.

Last outing in Lost Dog area we spotted a Tiger Rattlesnake and a Gila Monster. Perhaps this week we'll be luckier in our finds?

See you all Saturday night!

Dave

Gateway Access Area
18333 N. Thompson Peak Pkwy.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
33° 38' 56.23"N
111° 51' 32.96"W

If coming from the south
Take the 10 Fwy north to the 202 east. Then head north on the Loop 101 to the Bell Rd exit. Turn right on Bell Road. Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance (signed as CARLA road).

From the North or West Valley areas
17 South to Loop 101 East.
Exit Pima/Princess Rd Exit (signed prior as Bell Road exit)
Pass through Pima Princess intersection and continue on to Bell Rd intersection, turn left.
Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance (signed as CARLA road).

From Far West areas
Take the 10 to the westside Loop 101 in Tolleson. Travel about 25-30 (ish) miles to
the Pima/Princess Rd Exit (signed prior as Bell Road exit).
Pass through Pima Princess intersection and continue on to Bell Rd intersection, turn left.
Go towards the mountains until you hit Thompson Peak Parkway, turn left. Go about a 1/4 to half a mile to the Gateway entrance

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