Speckled Rattlesnake ( Crotalus mitchellii )

The Speckled Rattlesnake is fairly common pit viper found in southern California, southern Nevada, western Arizona and south-western Utah and down the Pacific coast into Baja California.  A moderate size snake, this animal typically does not exceed 39 inches in length.  As with most animals, the Speckled Rattlesnake is a master of disguise and commonly are colored to compliment the surrounding rock.  This viper can range from pink, cream, tan or pale blues and grays.  This feature I can personally attest to as I witnessed and entire Cub Scout Pack literally step over the specimen photographed below while hiking on a camping trip in the Valley of Fire State Park just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Juvenile Speckled Rattle Snake found in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

A Juvenile Speckled Rattle Snake found in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

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Desert Marigolds (Baileya multiradiata)

Desert Marigold (Baileya multiradiata) are an abundant and well distributed flower across the desert south west.   The bright yellow flowers first appear in bloom in early March and may bloom several more times upon subsequent rains brought in my the desert monsoons.   It is not uncommon to view the Desert Marigold display until November depending upon the conditions.  A wildly distributed flower, the elevations they may be found at range from 100 to 6500 feet above sea level and may be found from California to Texas.

Desert Marigolds located off the Old Mojave Road.

Desert Marigolds located off the Old Mojave Road.

Desert Primrose (Oenothera deltoides)

Desert Primrose photographed in Anza Burego, CA

Desert Primrose photographed in Anza Burego, CA

The Desert Primrose ( Oenothera deltoides ) is a small bush-like flowering planet with delicate white flowers.  The primrose ranges from 2″ to 18″ high and frequents the sand dunes of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts as well as the Great Basin.

The Desert Primrose blooms from January through May during which the 2 – 3″ bloom opens in the evening and closes mid morning.  The small oval shaped branches are pale green in color grow to about 4 inches in length.

The Desert Primrose is also known by the following common names:

  • Basket Evening Primrose
  • Birdcage Evening Primrose
  • Devil’s Lantern
  • Lion-in-a-Cage