More Snakes and Interpretation

June 26, 2016 Posted by: Collin Beckham

Today started off with more snake trap checking. Unfortunately, Iain got sick and wasn't able to participate today but he was replaced by Erika Novak and two more interns from NAU. It was just as fun as yesterday; almost every trap held a surprise. Luckily, there were three more garter snakes found in the snake traps. These snakes were caught in the same spot as yesterday and there were even two garter snakes in one trap! These snakes were young, just like the snake from yesterday and it is likely that they are all from the same litter.

I actually did more snake trapping than yesterday; instead of just checking the first fifty I helped check all of them. The traps I helped with today that I didn't help with yesterday are in a beautiful spot near where we caught the dragonfly larvae. This area is on the Verde River, and in the traps we found huge crayfish, an extremely large tadpole, multiple baby fish, multiple bullfrogs, and even a baby Arizona Mud Turtle! Everyone, including myself, was surprised to find the turtle;it was super cute but I was happy to see it be released back into its thriving habitat. The mass and species of all of these river-dwelling creatures were recorded by the NAU intern. The snake traps have proved to be a success so far!

The rest of my day was spent helping out at Tuzigoot, doing interpretation. It was fairly slow, most likely due to the heat, but the people that did come through were very friendly. I mostly walked around the monument and answered people's questions. Since I have mainly worked at Montezuma Castle I am not an expert on Tuzigoot, but getting stumped on a few questions from people was great because it allowed me to learn valuable information. I now feel much more comfortable doing interpretation at Tuzigoot. My favorite spot to hang out is on top of the monument; it provides an amazing view as well as providing relief from the heat because it's so windy. It was so windy that it blew a guy's hat straight off his head and into one of the ruin's rooms!

The people that were visiting came from all over the country, including Alabama, New Jersey, Kansas, Illinois, and more. One question that stumped me was "are there still copper clouds that come through the valley from the mine?" which I did not know the answer to but I found out that there are no more copper clouds and all of the mines have been shut down. I was asked how many people lived there, which I knew the answer to, but I often mix up the populations of castle A and Tuzigoot. There are 110 rooms at Tuzigoot with a population of about 225 people and thanks to the person's question I should hopefully remember the answer much better. Tuzigoot is truly an extraordinary place and all of the visitors were in awe of the pure size and beauty. I heard many people say "this is really great," to which I replied "it truly is." I had a great time with natural resources and I look forward to doing more interpretation next week!


Blog Post 10

snakes, Tuzigoot National Monument, NPS 100, Internship

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  1. 1
    July 30, 2018 at 01:54


  2. 1
    July 30, 2018 at 01:47

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Last updated: June 26, 2016

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