Sunday, August 26, 2012

Desert Holes

Desert Holes. I am obsessed by them. Go ahead and laugh. Yes, it is funny. But these desert holes are everywhere out here - various shapes and sizes and no clue as to who dug them and who lives there. I walk around wondering about this quite a lot. I want to know what lives in those holes.

Bed time reading
We are hiring a local biologist to carry out an assessment of our land - we are required to do this, particularly a search for the endangered and protected Desert Tortoise. I don't think we have any tortoises on our land anywhere, although I would love it if we did. This area just isn't a hot spot for the tortoise like some other areas.

Anyway I shared with him my fascination of desert holes and he graciously loaned me this book - A Field Guide to Desert Holes. I am so glad someone did this book. I've read it and its very informative and interesting. It not only covers holes, it talks about depressions, mounds, elevated holes and borrowed/modified shelters (a lot of creatures steal other creatures holes and change them for their own needs).

I don't think we have any desert tortoise holes on our property. I think a lot of these holes I see are for small rodents (we have cute ones out here) or spiders. Not just tarantulas, but other smaller ones. I have a bit of a pickle with spiders. I know they are important and I appreciate that and I don't want to ever kill them. I just do not want them in my house. Or touching me.

I've never seen a tarantula in the wild and I am actually looking forward to seeing them. Outside. Just not in my house. You don't see them very often out here. My husband says he has only seen a few in the 20+ years he has been coming out here. They stay under ground. They stay in their desert holes. (And now, thanks to my little guide on Desert Holes, I know which holes might be the ones inhabited by tarantulas.)

When they were digging up the ground for our septic tank last week they pulled up a little tarantula buried like 5 feet under the ground. I had no idea they would go that deep. I wasn't there to see it. I am still waiting to see the photos he took. I felt bad for the little guy.

The male tarantulas migrate in the Fall in search of females and sometimes if you are lucky you will see a large mass migration. I would like to see that. Just maybe not right outside my door. Someone was telling me that tarantulas have migration patterns and if one of those paths goes through your yard, you have to disclose that when you sell your home. Unique things you have to think about out here in the west.

Yesterday I learned that they sell the Desert Holes book at the Joshua Tree Visitors Center gift shop. I will be buying my own copy soon so when you come to visit us you can read it and be in the know about the holes.

No comments:

Post a Comment