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Volume 33, Number 10 -- October 1998

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Just One Look

As a native of Arizona, Pat Harris thought she knew snakes, but she admits to being slightly rattled on a certain day in late August. As FSS colleague Julie Emo met with Pat in her office on the south side of ML, Pat glanced over and saw a rattlesnake perched on her windowsill. "I was a little amazed at how small his head was. I grew up with bull snakes, not rattlesnakes. This guy's head wasn't any bigger than my thumb, and yet he was probably an inch and a half around." The rattler is one of an increasing number spied on the mesa in the past two years. When she eyed the snake, Pat knew whom to call: University of Colorado herpetologist David Chiszar (husband of MMM's Joan Chiszar). In less than an hour, David was on the mesa, along with graduate student Kyle Ashton (pictured here). They implanted a tiny sensor under the skin of the snake; it will be used to track the rattler and learn whether the snakes have established a den near NCAR and, if so, find its location. Cooler weather should spur the snakes' fall migration into dens and help solve the mystery. For now, there are no plans to relocate any dens that may be discovered. (Photos by Carlye Calvin.)

About this publication

Writer/editor: Bob Henson
Copy editor: Zhenya Gallon
Design: Michael Shibao
Printing: Speedy Bee
Print distribution: Milli Butterworth
Electronic distribution: Jacque Marshall
Photography: NCAR Imaging & Design Center
Unless otherwise noted all images are copyrighted by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research / National Center for Atmospheric Research / National Science Foundation.


Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall