Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wildlife on the PCT

The southern portion of the PCT is full of wildlife. By mile 328 I have seen:
  • countless rattlesnakes, some light-colored, some darker; most slither off the trail, but occasionally they coil up and stand their ground, and you must go around them
  • a gopher snake
  • a couple dark snakes that move extremely fast
  • a thin green snake
  • mule deer
  • rabbits or hares, squirrels, gophers, chipmunks
  • dozens of horned lizards
  • myriad other lizards, some of them quite exotic
  • possibly, the side of a mountain lion -- it was a large tan shape that moved out of sight quickly and silently, and I could have been seeing things
  • tarantulas; one had been stung by a wasp and was immobile, the other was lurking in its den 1 foot from my groundcloth waiting for insects (I fed it some)
  • a dead bobcat (roadkill)
  • coyotes; did not see them, but heard their wailing
  • countless bird species from hummingbirds to hawks

Riled-up rattlesnake; had to go around it:
Rattlesnake moving off trail:


Horned lizard. The coloring of these things varies widely.

Is this lizard surveying his dominion or merely sunbathing? Either way, he appears highly self-content.

Rattler poised for a strike. Nature's way of posting a "Detour" sign.

Tarantulas usually lurk in their holes and rarely come outside.

Male lizards overcome by the "mentality of scarcity."

Is this a gecko?

Probably a gopher snake.

Chickens huddling together to preserve warmth.

Homo sapiens after some successful hunting and gathering.


  1. I liked this post. The picture and video of the red rattlesnake is a red diamond rattlesnake. The video of the dark rattlesnake is a southern pacific rattlesnake and I believe it is also a southern pacific rattlesnake you are speculating is a gopher snake above. The lizard you speculate is a gecko is an alligator lizard. I'm very jealous.

  2. I'm so glad the rattler didn't get you!
    love, Mom