Meet the Neighbors

Black Toad on Green

One of the many pleasures of moving to Deep Springs Valley has been making the acquaintance of the locals. Our most notable residents are the black toads, Bufo exsul, an endemic species that lives only at the springs near Deep Springs Lake. They’re very small (pictures actually tend to exaggerate their size somewhat), but quite attractive, and it’s a privilege to have an endemic species here that doesn’t require a Ph.D. to identify, but can be seen amiably hopping around.

Bufo Exsul Grassblades

Here’s a wide view of their habitat, where the greenery from the springs meets the dry playa of Deep Springs Lake:

Deep Springs Lakeshore

Also from Deep Springs Lake, an excellent dragonfly:

Deep Springs Lake Dragonfly

These dark Sceloporus lizards are very abundant:

Black Sceloporus

Here’s a local who dropped by our place one morning:

Screen Door Bat

An Argiope spider (Argiope aurantia?) found in a nearby canyon:

Spider Dangle

Spider Splay

Notable creatures I haven’t yet photographed: the pretty orange Panamint rattlesnakes, coyotes (one of which we saw being vigorously chased by a redtail), kestrels, other trickier-to-identify hawks and falcons, nightjars and great horned owls. I’m hardly a serious wildlife photographer, but there’s plenty to work on out here. But for now, have another toad!

Toad in Brown

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4 thoughts on “Meet the Neighbors

    • I expect the rattlers will have to wait till next year, but they and the owls are what I’d really like to photograph next. If only I could get more of a sense of the owls’ favorite spots.

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