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My Little Patch of Desert

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by Texas Blonde, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

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    Thought this would be a good place to post pics of my ranch in Goldsmith, Tx. For those who are interested, it sits right on the corners of Andrews, Ector, and Winkler counties in West Texas.

    HERE is a county map of Texas that shows roughly where the ranch is located.

    We have alot of tarantulas out there, I once found (with help of MrEd and Eric Weintraub) 22 tarantulas in a 50y area. The species we have are the Carlsbad Greens and anther that is tentatively IDd as Aphonopelma steindachneri.

    Now for the good part. PICS!

    The burrow of a female Carlsbad Green:
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    After flooding her to the surface. After I get them up like that, I slide my trowel into the dirt at an angle that shuts off their burrow so they cant retreat. Then I just have to lift the trowel with all the dirt and the tarantula. Its a very quick and easy way to catch them if the soil is right.
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    And here is the big girl after I had cupped her.
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  2. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Around the beginning of summer every year the males mature and begin wandering around. It becomes nearly impossible to drive anywhere out in the country without running many of them over. Usually, after picking up and transporting the 20th male across the road I give up, and just dont look down.

    This guy was walking over a rat nest and when I rattled the stickes around him, he went into a thread pose. It was very cute. I believe that he is/was a mature Carlsbad Green.
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    Here are some other examples of males. I took all these while driving around on the ranch roads. The males dont alter their path for anything.
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  3. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Here is a very freshly molted male I found in a burrow. I was very disappointed when I realized it wasnt a female, as it was such a pretty spider.

    The webbed over burrow
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    After flooding him out
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    I managed to tickle him out, then block the burrow with a stick. You can see him trying to move the stick here.
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    And a blurry picture of him in the cup. After I took the pic I returned him to his burrow.
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  4. sammyp

    sammyp Arachnosquire

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    Hey, nice thread. I quite like the picture of the male wandering along on the vast open ground, looks kinda like a house spider crawling up a wall:D That does look like a fab place to live, hmmm.. can't remember who said it, but in the arachnophile thread: 'You know you're an aracnophile when you seriously consider moving to where T's roam wild.' :D That's me right now, looking at these pictures ;)
     
  5. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Here are some more pictures of males. Some of them are pretty blurry but it gives you the idea of what the two different types of males look like.

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    This one was hiding out in an abandoned rat hole, probably until it cooled off enough to wander around.
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  6. :eek: Wow! I'm sure a lot of people would love to live there! Have you ever found any in your home? That's a pretty cool little patch of desert :D
     
  7. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Ive never found any tarantulas in the house (besides mine), but I find Centroides vittatus all the time. For awhile there we were finding one in the sink every morning. My mom got all excited when I got a blacklight because she would be able to see them when she got up in the night, lol.

    I also found a solifugid in the kitchen once. It had a leaf stuck to its foot in such a way that it could only run in circles. I caught it in a mason jar by timing its circles, lol. Unfortunatly I didnt have a cam at the time, so I couldnt get any pics before I let it go.
     
  8. It'd be pretty unnerving to sleep with the C. vittatus. But it'd also be kinda cool to wake up in the middle of the night with the black light. Also, how big was the Solfugid? I want to move back to central Texas or West Texas would be even better...
     
  9. Gesticulator

    Gesticulator Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Awesome pictures Sky. I am (carlsbad) green with envy.
     
  10. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Here are some pics of one of the most amazing animals I have had the good fortune to get close too. I was driving out to my ranch, and happened to see it sitting on the side of the road. I braked immediatly and hoofed it back to where it was so I wouldnt scare it. Sorry if some of the pics are blurry or off center, I was shaking so bad. I kept having to remind myself to breath.

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    At this point a truck pulled up next to me and honked its horn, so the bird flew a short way off into a field.
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  11. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I took these pics from on the other side of the fence as the bird.

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  12. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    These were all taken while I was in the field with the bird. At one point I was sitting on the ground just over arms reach of it. I had to zoom out to get its whole body. It was just not scared of me, probably because it knew it could kick my butt, lol.

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  13. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

  14. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

  15. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

  16. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    At this point the bird was pretty sick of me and decided to leave. He moved around to the other side of the mesquite bush.

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    I met him on the other side so I could get some more pics. These let you really see how impressive he was.

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  17. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    These are all from the other side of the fence again. I had decided to leave, but couldnt resist taking just a few more.

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    Once I got back in my truck, I started crying from the adrenaline rush. It was so amazing being that close to such a beautiful animal. It took a cold beer to calm me down, lol.
     
  18. WOW! Those are amazing pictures!!!! You are one lucky person to have been that close to such and awesome animal. Maybe you could get it IDed and submit them to a magazine or something.
     
  19. Sheri

    Sheri Arachnoking

    Sky! Awesome!!! I can barely manage to photograph a crow. And when I do, they ALL suck hardcore.

    Very, very nice!
     
  20. Texas Blonde

    Texas Blonde Arachnoangel Old Timer

    This is Mr Turtleman. He is my moms pet wild turtle, lol. At least once a week he comes to our back door and begs for food. Hes been doing it for about 5 years now. These last couple weeks we see him almost everyday, probably because we are in a droubt and food is scarce. She gives him dry dog food soaked in hot water, and as soon as he is done, he wanders off behind our house into the scrub.

    Waiting by the backdoor for his food.
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    Eating his dog food.
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    My moms dog Tica waiting patiently for him to finish so she could have the leftovers, as if she needs it, lol.
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    On his way back to where ever it is that he goes.
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