Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rockhounding in the Southern Idaho Desert 1

Off Hwy 93, about 8 miles north of the ID-NV border is a gravel/dirt road to Norton Bay at the south end of Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir. About half way there I took a more primitive dirt road spur up to some low hills for some rockhounding. A wash (dry stream bed) there was a great source of interesting rocks, including obsidian, and wildlife. I looked and looked for snakes but didn't see or hear a single one.

Check out the animal below. It turned out to be a Greater Short-Horned Lizard. When I first saw it I thought it was a snake head without a body! I threw a couple pebbles at it. Nothing. So then I poked it a couple times with a long, pointed rock. No reaction. I flipped it over a couple times, but it stayed there, unmoving. Their defense mechanism is to puff up and stay still. That's what it was doing - determined to wait patiently next to the wash, anticipating the next big thunderstorm and flash flood.

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