31 May 2012

The One Hundredth

 Lizard 100 captured today!
Some 'intense' preparation going on in the back of
my little car.
Today marks the day of the 100th lizard (thanks Isaiah, who nabbed that little H. maculata in the early afternoon. Yes, we are combining the numbers of two species (61 Holbrookia maculata, and 39
Sceloporus undulatus), but still, a cause to celebrate by going out for supper at a 'generalised' Asian cuisine common to small American towns. Believe me, I'm not knocking it. I definitely get a 'general' craving for sushi, curry, and pad thai after so much (New) Mexican food.

Jackie feeling the euphoria of ice cold water
down her back.

It was a pretty hot day today and missile testing (much of White Sands, and indeed southern New Mexico state is a US bombing and rocket range... the largest military installation in the country) prevented us from getting to our sites before 10:30 am. Hence we stayed out a little late today and had to bear the real heat of the windless day in the early afternoon.

Earlier this week we also pre-celebrated and ventured up to the Sacramento Mountains South East of the Tularosa Basin and dined in Cloudcroft. It is always an exciting shock to see the abrupt transition from the dry desert to the pine and fir dominated forest on the wetter side of the mountains.

Our most prolific interdune site for H. maculata... especially for its size. Only 30,000 square meters and over thirty lizards captured each field season.

Zooming out to a view of White Sands, which appears as if a lake, from Cloudcroft in Lincoln National Forest.
Tomorrow we finish our first set of interdunes - the "Admin Road" site (so named because these are just over from a road that starts behind the White Sands National Monument administration building). This weekend we will move on north-east to the larger interdunes at the "Dune Life" site (after the Dune Life visitor trail).

Good night 100th lizard!
-S. Des Roches

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