Throughout his life, Laurence Klauber kept detailed journals of his activities. These, perhaps more than his 198 ring binders of research notes, document what it means to devote oneself to the avocation of the study of nature. The selections presented on the following pages give a glimpse of his experiences, his collecting, his acquaintances, and his research. Please read on for a selection of journal entries. The journals can be viewed in their entirety at the Internet Archive.
We are grateful to Linda West for her work and enthusiasm in transcribing these passages.
Sunday, February 21, 1926
Went to Mission Valley with Philip [his son] and Gantz. Started at 2 P.M.; returned at 4:30. A warm clear day. Total distance 16 miles.
Saw no snakes or lizards. Went down 6th St grade; returned on Fairmont.
Went up the river to foot of Mission Gorge i.e. where river emerges. Found plenty egg strings of Bufo boreus halophilus. Mostly in shallow pools where there was no water flow. Many pools had none but where they were present there were large quantities. They were apparently quite fresh. In some places there were masses which were further developed, movement being evident. In these cases could not be sure they were the same species as the strings were broken up but judged from partially dried strings along the margin that all were bufo. Brought home two jars full.
Caught one large Hyla regilla but lost him.
Went to Viejas on a large family picnic. Everybody along including Ed, Werts and Wallenbergs. Start at 11:15 back at 6:10. A moderately warm day - somewhat cloudy. Went out by highway; returned via Alpine, Dehesa, Jamacha, Encanto.
No dead snakes seen in the road. Hunted in two places at foot of Viejas grade just north of large oaks where picnicked and on both sides of the road near old reservoir. Got nothing in the second place.
In the first got a skink and a skelly [Sceloperus]. Not many lizards were seen this day; mostly skellys.
In large pile of rocks got 2 large red rattlers. First saw tail of one draped over rock about 75 feet away. Found this snake half under a large flat rock and another coiled within. They were extricated with considerable difficulty.
One escaped from sack while other was being placed therein and having been severely mauled the first time was ready for a fight. When cornered in a bush with a rock at his back he struck viciously once about half his length. Neither did anything but attempt to escape while under the original rock.
To Descanso and back via highway. 90 miles. Start at 12:30; back at 5:30
No snakes seen dead or alive.
A cold damp cloudy day. Fog above 3500 ft.
Hunted at foot of new Viejas grade for a short time. Got 5 X. h.[Xantusia henshawi] and 1 skelly.
Also hunted about 1 mi w. of Willows. Got nothing here.
Went to Valley Center, Rincon, Pala, Bonsall, Escondido, Murphy Cañon with family and Cotton kids. Started at 10:30; returned at 6:10. A cloudy day with a low mist in town. Elsewhere comfortably warm; rather too warm in Rincon. Total miles 131.5. If snakes came out on medium warm days in summer this would be a good day.
Stopped for lunch 5 mi east of Pala on the river. This was the only stop. Hunted here about 2 hours. A good place for lizards. Shot 2 skellys, 1 Uta. Lost a number. Saw plenty skellies, utas and orcuttis. Caught one of the latter alive. X.h. negative. Hunted mostly in dry bed of creek where there were many boulders.
Got one live gopher snake on the river bank. Quite a fighter. Had either been to the river to drink or had come across.
Got an alligator [lizard (Elgaria), that is] at foot of Valley Center grade.
|Long nose - Mission Valley
Red Racer 10.3 - Rosedale
Patch nose 5 mi west of Pala
Garter 8 mi do call it Bonsall [?]
3 P.M. to 5 P.M. Took venom from 37 snakes. Had better results holding them with stick than with hands. Much quicker. Had rather inconsistent results. Got plenty venom from some; not much from others.
|15 C. oreganus
5 C. mitchellii
14 C. exsul
2 C. oreganus? from Mojave Desert, Calif
1 C. oreganus from Arizona (not saved)
Went to Charity Ball tonight. Heard many Hylas at Coronado.
Today went out to Carrizo Stage Station at the county line with Abbott. Started at 9:30 AM and arrived at about 4:30. Total distance (Univ. extension) 115.5 mi. A fine clear day. Quite warm on the desert side of the mountains.
Reached Julian at 11:35 AM. 63.3 mi.
|1 horned toad noted at Ballena.
1 large Masticophis lateralis DOR top of Santa Ysabel Grade.
1 Uta A2 (S. end of San Felipe Valley).
1 Uta A1 (Box Cañon)
Noted many Utas from San Felipe all the way down. One orcutti noted at Box Cañon. Crot. coll. baylii at S. end La Puerta. Callisaurus at Vallecito.
At Vallicitos picked up several H. regilla (A4 to 10) and one H. arenicolor (A3)
At Carrizo walked around the wash in the afternoon and picked up a few H. regilla. Went out on the mesa and got nothing. Got a smallSonora occ. under a piece of cardboard near the shed.
After supper took lanterns and went out in the wash. Abbot got an unusually large Coleonyx. Then went in the swamp and got many H. regilla and several Bufo boreas halophilus. Hylas very plentiful and noisy.
Cold tonight. Couldn't keep blankets in.
Carrizo Stage Station. Up at daybreak. Couldn't sleep anyway [illegible word] cold. No use trying to double blankets on a cot.
Went out hunting on the mesa at 7:15. Still cool but warming rapidly. Quite hot at 8:30. Returned to camp at 9:15. Got Utas, 1 Callisaurus. Saw plenty tracks in the mesquite dunes but was there too early. Saw plenty Utas and a few Callys. Also maybe one whiptail but couldn't be sure. A11-14 Utas Carrizo; A15 Callisaurus.
Back at camp watched Utas nod.
Got a fine red racer under a board at old house. Was coiled.
The wash here is about 3 mi wide mixed wash, plain and bad lands. Then higher hills on each side. Plenty running water.
Started back at about 11 AM. Quite hot. Saw Callys and Utas opposite Agua Caliente. Got Utas at La Puerta (S end A18-19) also a Skelly orcutti? (A20) Saw plenty Utas along here also few skellys and Callys. Got Utas (A16-17) at San Felipe, south end. Frogs eggs just laid at Vallecito. Saw plenty Utas on Banner Grade at least 1/2 way up.
|1 garter DOR Foster Large
1 garter " Riverview "
Home at 5:30 Miles 116 (Bdway ex)
Taking yesterday's trip as a whole I would guess the season a little early for the desert lizards except Utas. Although a few Callys were seen they were not plentiful. Only one doubtful Cnem [-idophorus]. 2Crotaphytus collaris bayllii seen. No Dipsosaurus, no Crotaphytus tessellatus tessellatus. Snakes on the desert were as usual scarce. Looked hard for garters at Carrizo.
Went to Sentenac Cañon today to meet Weiss and Sanger's troop of Boy Scouts (who had gone out Saturday afternoon and camped at foot of grade).
Went out alone; returned at 6 P.M. 157 miles. Went regular road, University extension. Returned same way. A cold windy day especially this side of San Felipe. Had rained the night before. Had to use chains on the Banner Grade. Hot. So wet coming back, but no day for lizards or snakes.
On the way out saw 1 garter large DOR at Goose Valley junction. Coming back, 1 Juvenile gopher DOR at Riverview. Except for these two and a skelly at foot of Banner grade no other lizards or snakes were seen enroute.
Met Weiss and the scouts at top of Sentenac about noon. Very windy. They had 1 garter (foot of Sentenac), 1 Exsul fine light color (1 mi. east of foot of grade) and 2 H. arenicolor from foot of grade.
We then proceeded to hunt at top of grade. Weiss on hill, balance on creek. He got 2 live orcuttis and 1 Uta stans (shot). We got about a dozen H. regilla and 1 H. arenicolor in the creek. Some of the former were females. Pollywogs were seen. This is not a particularly good place to hunt as the creek is not still.
Weiss and the gang then left and Chuck and I went down to the bridge halfway down the Cañon. Here we hunted. Got about 18 Hyla arenicolor; 4 Rana aurora draytonii and 1 Hyla regilla. The Ranas were usually in the water; lost a large one that was too deep. The H. arenicolors were both in the grass and on the rocks. Most of them were taken on the rocks where on the shady sides they were hiding in shallow crevices, cracks, dark patches, etc. Got 4 in one shallow crack. They flatten themselves against the granite and match it closely. Some times they are in shallow depressions where there are no cracks.
Caught a garter top of grade. Forgot to enter.
Recd today from L.H. Ross, Rincon. San Felipe Wash Pole 732 taken Mar 23 2 Red Racers (mating) and Pole 728 1 Spotted Night Snake. These poles are near foot of Sentenac Cañon - Yaqui Well. Spotted Night also Mar 23 -
Remove venom from 20 Rattlers today. 11 fresh, 9 old.
With reference to colors of desert animals:
Spotted Night above is distinctly lighter than average. Lightest I have ever seen.
Uta at N.E. Cor. of County was very light.
Gopher from Jacumba as dark as any annectens. Same for gopher from La Puerta.
2 Red Racers above are darker than average. Red racer from Carrizo about average for red phase.
Horned toad from Jacumba average coloration.
Recd tonight a Sceloporus rufidorsum from Abbott.
Spent the noon hour today fixing cage signs at the Zoo.
Started out this morning from Pine Valley at 8:15 Cool and cloudy. Later clear. Rain in town.
First stop at usual pond cottonwood Bridge 3 1/2 mi S. of Buckmans. Plenty yearling californicus hopping on the sand. Storer watched one dig in. I dug one out. More today than last week. Plenty tadpoles. Also got 3 arenicolor and 2 regilla. Got 2 Utas Nos 632-3. Saw orcuttis, skellys and 1 Gerrhonotus. Latter under bark of tree. Left here at 10:40 - now sunny and warm.
Stopped east of Jacumba and had lunch - then hunted south side of road for Utas. Got 1 Stans. 634 no microscutata in sight.
Dr Storer saw a medium red racer at some distance; seemed to be watching something. White footed mouse ran out of bush with snake after it. Caught it in about 10 ft. Caught by the middle and seemed to be killed by pressure of the jaws. There was no constriction, nor any pressure by the body. After holding for a few moments the snake glided 20' to the shade of a juniper carrying the mouse with head well up about 6" off the ground. In the brush he had his body in this shape [squiggle drawn on page]
He now proceeded to work his jaws toward the head of the mouse after which he began to swallow. Seemed to have most trouble with head and hips especially the latter. There were long waits without movement. After only the tail was showing there were continued long waits with the mouth open and no swallowing movements. The tail finally disappeared - total time since catching the mouse 29 min. We then waited to see what it would do but it was quite evident it was watching us so we caught it. Retained the mouse when we reached home.
Then proceeded to Int. [Mt.?] Springs. Stopped part way down grade and got plenty tadpoles large and small in shallow stream barely flowing above ground. Probably arenicolor.
Hunted for a while at the foot of the grade. Got 1 Chuck[walla] in a rock crack but lost him. Got 1 Uta inainsi[?] 635. Turned back at 103.8. County line again at 109.9. Total miles Imperial Co 11.9.
Stopped for leaf mold and frogs [undecipherable] Clover Flat and Campo. Reached home at 7:40. It was dark at Indian Springs. Might have missed snakes from then on. Miles today 147.3-11.9=13.54 S.D. County.
Snakes seen were as follows
|1 gopher small Caught on the road at Live Oak Spring Branch. 4 1/2 w. of Boulevard.
1 Patchnose small DOR Boulevard 83.1
2 Red Racers 1 L 1 M DOR Jacumba
(large had eaten a rat)
1 Red Racer M Caught 2 mi e. of Jacumba
(ate a mouse, not on road)
1 Arizona L DOR 3.2 mi w. of Mt. Springs.
1 Rhinocheilus L DOR 0.5 mi. E. of Mt. Springs.
1 Red Racer L DOR 0.6 mi. e. of Mt. Springs.
1 Trimorphodon* S DOR 3.4 mi. e. of Mt. Springs.
1 Lateralis S DOR bet Blvd & Jacumba 122.4
1 Rhinocheilus L DOR Campo RR Xing
1 Gopher S DOR Campo (1 mi w)
1 Gopher L DOR Campo (2 mi w)
1 Gopher S DOR Campo (3 mi w) 143.3
1 Patchnose S DOR Bingville 145.3
1 Exsul L DOR Dulzura summit 162.1
1 Gopher S DOR Dulzura 163.1
1 Gopher L DOR Dulzura 165.4
1 Gopher L DOR Jamul 171.6
S.D. 197.3=297.3-150 yesterday=147.3 today.
*Bodyspots 39 + tail 16
Went to Coronado Islands today with Weiss, Grant, Hertlein, Searl, Phil and Ranger's troop of Boy Scouts.
Landed only on South Island. Landed at 11:30, left at 2:30. A clear cool day; some fog in the distance.
Hunted well toward the north end of the ridge and south as far as the low place. Got 2 Uta stansburiana hesperis, 2 skinks, 2 Gerrhonotus scincicauda webbi and 4 whiptails. All but the skinks had orange mites. The whips seem to feed on grasshoppers judging by stomach contents of one.
Lost a number of whips and 1 large skink. Saw 2 rattlesnake skins under rocks.
The whips and alligators are in the low brush on the ridge. The skinks are under rocks. The utas are low down. The whips seem to be the most plentiful and are of good size. The lost skink was large. The only 2 alligators [Elgaria] taken were half size as a mainland [undecipherable].
Worked today on the Harvard specimens as Loveridge had asked that they be returned at once.
Noted for the first time that the Cedros Island specimens are different from other C. exsul in tail stripes and relation of prenasal -- first supralabial separation beside color blotches, obsolescence of blotches and size.
Worked all afternoon preserving and tagging. Nothing done on rattlers.
Spent the afternoon pickling specimens. Finished 18 rattlers. Nothing done in the way of checking.
In the evening had a phone call from Dr. E.H. Taylor, Univ. of Kansas that he had been bitten by a sidewinder the previous night at Yuma. Had taken one dose of antivenin. Had driven all the way from Yuma with one hand. Sounded in bad shape; sent Richmond out with 2 more doses (one of which he gave him). Richmond took him to the Mercy Hospital.
Saw Taylor for a few moments at Mercy Hospital this morning. He was much better. He was putting a small stick on a sidewinder's head to catch him, the stick broke and his hand went forward. He was bitten on the index finger. Only noticed one fang puncture. Opened this but not the other. Got on a tourniquet. Got one dose of antivenin in about 1 hour.
Noted the following in the Taylor collection either dead or alive.
|1 Scute Gila Bend
Triseriatus and lepidus [?] Huachucas
Phylerhynchus [?] Yuma
Tigris (a fine Arizona specimen with small head) Sabrino Canyon.
Molossus [?] Ash Canyon in the Huachucas
Scute (alive) Mouth of Ash Canyon
Light Molossus [?] Romero Canyon, Huachucas
Black oreganus Mt Lemon [?] Catalinas
He had a fine lot of material. Altogether had taken some 50 or more rattlers in New Mexico and Arizona.
Friday, March 7, 1930
Today went to Riverside and back to attend a meeting of the Interchange Committee. Started at 6:30; arrived at 9:45. Returned at 3:05 arriving at 7 P.M. Total miles 248 miles in county during daylight hours 104 went via new 6th St grade and Chesterton.
In the morning on the northbound trip it was cold and very foggy in the vicinity of Temecula and Elsinore. Stopped on several occasions to turn over boards but found no salamanders. There were quite a few toads on the road but I stopped only twice to identify. Both were Bufo boreas halophilus -- one 8 mi S. of Escondido, the other at Red Mt.
Two D.O.R. snakes were noted -- a large gopher being eaten by a buzzard at north end new Bonsall bridge and a large T. s. infernalis at Temecula (marsh on both sides.)
Coming back it was warm and pleasant. There was a large freshly killed old rattler at Perris (1 mi this side) Stopped here and looked forXantusias but found none. Saw several nice orcuttis and some other lizards (probably skellies and utas) but couldn't identify the latter.
At 12:30 went with GM Wills to Riverside Junior College and visited with Edmund C. Jaeger until about 2 P.M. Discussed herpetolgy and had an interesting time.
Friday, May 16, 1930
Had a long nose found run over on the road at La Mesa. Couldn't save it.
Tonight I heard the call of Bufo cognatus from specimens in my basement. While there was some resemblance to Bufo californicus yet it was much less musical; more of a chatter, less of a trill. This cognatussound is what I heard at Yuma.
Sunday, June 29, 1930
Went out Cuyamaca to get Philip. started at 10:15 AM. Cloudy in town; hot and clear in the back country. Had trouble with ignition a little south of Julian. Walked back and got towed back. GG came out in the coupe and we went on to Camp Fletcher. Returned to San Diego about 7:15. Out by Fletcher Hills, returned by La Mesa. Total miles 142.
|1 Garter L DOR Alvarado Canyon.
1 Turtle seen alive in pond.
1 Boyles King M. El Cajon
1 Gopher L Seen alive bet. Cuyamaca and Julian (about half way) Couldn't stop with a car immediately behind. This car ran over it.
1 Calif. King L 1 mi. S. of Julian DOR
1 Gopher L caught alive at Sutherland.
This at 5:50 P.M.
Saturday, October 18, 1930
Walker told me today of an oreganus from Deerhorn flat which gives birth to 13 young (all alive) in 4 minutes.
[pencilled in] Probably a damn lie.
Friday, December 5, 1930
Dictated the first very rough draft of the propose Snakes and Autos paper. The tables up to date in preliminary form were worked out on the train going east.
Today I noted carefully the method of rattling of an adamanteus. The motion is clearly sideways that is the short way of the rattle [there was a sketch with an arrow pointing left, a blunt oval in the center, and an arrowing pointing right]. This could be seen clearly as this snake rattled (intending to quiet down) by spasmodic single or double jerks or twitches.
Thursday, January 1, 1931
Spent the morning checking unusual atrox in my collection (i.e. S.D. Co, Sonora, N.W. Arizona, New Mexico) Cook having checked the balance.
Also studied rattles and got a good idea of the method of production. For the first time discovered that the rattle is the hardened result of a hardened exudation from the under skin (not a part of the skin as previously supposed) laid down as a granular and laminated material following the corrugations of the skin below. There is much more to be done on this.
In the afternoon listened to the football game and worked on tabula and totalizing sheet forms.
Sunday, June 28, 1931
Pickled snakes today. Completed a large number of rattlers.
Noted today a mixed King which had eaten a small gopher and a large skink when carried home in a sack on the 26th had [skipped word!] by today. Gone a long ways toward digesting them. The gopher and in fact the skink as well (which had been swallowed later) were quite disintegrated.
Sunday, December 27, 1931
This morning I made the first draft of the Anniella paper for Copeia. Had to work at the office in the afternoon a/c pending rate hearing.
The present is not a good time to undertake highly involved papers because of the rate case. Can only work odd hours and it is difficult to drop and pick up complicated problems.
At present the status of unpublished paper is as follows:
|Hoover Dam: In Copeia's hands over 6 months
Snake Dance: Second galley proof returned with corrections to printer yesterday
Anniella: First draft finished today
Rattle: Outline complete. Bibliography largely complete. Measurements available but not coordinated. Biblio-references listed by subject.
Santa Fe Rattlers: Statistics compiled.
Locality Bibliography: Introduction and outline prepared. Scope discussed with Schmidt.
Thursday, February 18, 1932
Talked on Snake Dance at San Diego Musuem this afternoon.
Theo. Tausch a collector was in today and tried to sell me some snakes. He had many queer yarns to tell. He collects rattlers for a living. Got 1400+ at some point in Napa Co in one day. Rattlers don't like blue. He picks them all up with his bare hands. Has only been bitten twice. Gets 50¢ a pound for the common ones. Largest rattler he ever caught was 9 1/2 feet long near Roosevelt Dam in Ariz. Has found dens of 50 or 60 in San Diego, usually all one kind together. He also findsruber mild tempered. He can trail rattlers by sex gland smell in spring. He thinks they travel up to 60 or 70 miles from their winter dens (in Colorado) and has checked this by tying threads to rattles.
Friday, September 9, 1932
Spent all day and evening measuring fangs.
Tuesday, March 14, 1933
Today saw a snake-bite case at the County Hospital. Took out preserved snakes and let the victim check them. He identified the culprit as oreganus.
He said he picked up a rock to smash a rattler (it was in mixed rocks and brush) and a second rattler which he had not seen bit him in the hand.
He slashed the wound and bled considerably. He got a dose of antivenin in about 10 minutes; a second dose was given at the County Hospital at 3 P.M. He was bitten at 10 A.M. The snake was about 3 ft long.
When I saw the patient he looked pretty sick. The local symptoms were mild; but the systemic symtoms [sic] seemed serious. Evidently considerable shock. Also a rash.
Friday, April 14, 1933
This afternoon started at 3:30 with Philip on a trip to Laguna Hanson, B.C. A clear, cool windy day.
1 C. ruber DOR Dulqura Summit Brush. S
1 M. lateralis DOR Cotton wood Brush M. Saved.
Met the rest of the party Rivera, Barnes, Cota, Barrett, Clark, Bater, Ted Myers at Tecate.
Had some little difficulty getting across in spite of advance preparations by Rivera.
Hyla regilla heard at Zacatosa.
Arrived at the Steam Shovel where we camped at 8 P.M. Alt. 4710. road after leaving the main road is rather rough.
Temperature this night 27° F. Too cold to sleep after 2 A.M. Up at 4 to tend fire. Rest of party up at 5.
Miles for the day 85; 41 in SD. Co.
|Branch Road to Neji||29|
|(Leave main highway|
|Steam Shovel (Camp tonight)||44|
Saturday, April 15, 1933
Before we started this morning a few logs were turned over and dormant skellies and utas were found beneath.
Started from camp at 7:15. Stopped to hunt 4 mi. W. of Steam Shovel and got Xantusia henshawi, skellies and orcutties. Also at 7 mi. S. and 8 mi S. and hunted for a short time. It is now 9 A.M. and quite warm. Many Utas are seen crossing the road. This is a high rolling mesa. Utas seen every hundred feet or so all along here. The road is rough and rocky. A small mitchellii was collected in the rocks 8 mi. S. of the Steam Shovel at alt. 5500. Utas seen again 10 mi. S. Hunted for quite awhile in granite in a park 11 mi. S. of the Steam Shovel. Orcuttis were common here but not collected. The granite does not flake properly for X.h. We found our first graciousas here. The altitude was 5600 ft. One skink seen but not collected at San Pedro, 13 mi. S. of Steam Shovel. Two Hypsiglenas were found under a large, thick side flake 2 mi. S. of San Pedro. Orcutties were seen 3 mi. S. of San Pedro, and graciosa 3 mi. N. of Laguna Hanson. Arrived at Laguna Hanson at noon. 26 miles today. 5620 ft. alt. Cota shot a racer.
Around Laguna Hanson orcutties were quite common but wary as usual. Skellies and graciosas were also seen and one X.h. was collected.
Most of us hunted until about 2:30 and then gave it up as it turned quite cool, windy and overcast. Looked like rain for awhile. All the way down to the lake is a rolling high mesa with scattered trees, first a park, then a divide etc. Laguna Hanson is a pair of lakes, the eastern shallow, the western deeper and more permanent but smaller in area. There are scattered pines about, and many huge granite boulders, smooth and rounding but with almost no flakes. Garter snakes are reported plentiful.
In the late afternoon hylas were croaking in the upper lake. Walked down to the lower lake but nothing of interest was found, except one garter snake.
Hunted at both lakes in the evening but got only 3 hylas. To bed at 9 P.M. in the lodge. Quite cold; about 30° F.
Sunday, April 16, 1933
Up this morning at 5:45. Started for home at 8:15. A clear cool day with considerable wind. Temperature at this time about 35° F. A few hylas were croaking.
The cold wind was too much for the lizards and they were not nearly so plentiful as on the previous morning. We stopped at a number of places to collect but with indifferent success. All through here the granite fails to flake.
Hunted for quite a while 8 mi. E. of Valentin. Here Xantusia henshawiwas quite common but I lost many as they were quick. Pried off one very large side rock and found deep in the crack a large dark X.h. quite cold and dormant. This shows they do go deep into the rocks. Skellies, orcutties, utas were all common here. Got 1 Mitch. in the rocks. He saw me first and buzzed under my feet. Had to shoot him to prevent his escape in the rocks. Reached Tecate at 4 P.M.; still cold and windy. No trouble crossing.
Barnes came up with a small gopher from Zacatosa (afterwards found to contain the hind remains of a large skelly) 2 T.o.h. found under a log at Laguna Hansen and a large black oreganus that had been sunning itself in a pancake coil amongst pine needles. This snake was very black like the Arizona oreganus and like them changed color notably on preservation.
1 C. ruber M DOR Cottonwood Brush.
1 P. c. annectens S DOR Jamul Fields.
Reached home at 5:40; cold and cloudy.
Miles today from Laguna Hanson 110; miles in S.D. County 41.
Sunday, April 30, 1933
Spent the day milking snakes and pickling specimens; also packing material for shipping.
Milked 4 Oreganus, 2 ruber, 6 mitchelli (all from Cape San Lucas) and 36 lucasensis.
Got everything fairly well cleared up.
Noted yesterday a P. vertebralis that disgorged three quail eggs.
Noted today a M. f. frenatus that contained the head and neck of a small snake, probably chilomeniscus but will be checked later. (Yes,chilomeniscus)
Found in a medium lucasensis found several large fangs and several small ones. The latter could have come only from a small rattler as they were not immature adult fangs. Also there was gravel. (On second examination they proved to be solid teeth).
Friday, May 5, 1933
Today outfitted Tony Green for his proposed six-weeks trip into Lower California with Tom Ballantyne. Gave him 2 Winchester single-shot rifles, 900 shells (he has some left over from a previous trip in addition), partitioned box with 12 -- 1/2 gal. glass jars, 1 -- 3 gal milk can, 1 1/2 gal. formalin, 2 ram rods, 1 flash light, tags, wrapping cloth, steel wool, map, collecting directions, etc. Gave him full instructions and agreed to pay 50¢ per snake and 5¢ per lizard up to at least $50.00 with restrictions as to the number from each place.
Out to dinner tonight.
Sunday, June 4, 1933
This morning we started from Yuma for home at 7:30. Took much time packing the specimens so they would successfully withstand the desert trip which afterwards proved unnecessary as it was quite cool and windy all day, in face cold in the mountains. It was overcast on the desert.
We first stopped at the sand hills and collected a number of Umas alive. We found they usually buried themselves in the sand in the vicinity of bushes growing on the sides of long slopes at the critical angle. By digging away the sand below a general slide would be caused. The lizards would then try to keep themselves buried by swimming upstream like trout. When thus discovered they were easily caught. Some appeared to be quite deep, 4" or more. Out of one bush we got 4 or 5 more than we saw take refuge there...
Monday, July 3, 1933
Today Fred Lewis in the yacht Stranger returned from Cedros, Cape San Lucas and Guayanas. Snakes were secured only from Cape San Lucas. Although Capt. Lewis left word at Cedros on the southbound trip that he would buy up to 100 snakes and horned toads none were forthcoming on the return.
But at Cape San Lucas he was more successful and bought about 270 snakes of which about 220 were rattlers. Of the harmless snakes most were red racers in the usual gray and yellow colorations but there were 4 gopher snakes, 2 boas, 1 conjuncta[?], 2 patch-noses. The rattlers were largely lucasensis but there are a few mitches and still fewer enyos. A good many are quite thin; they piled up in a corner of the large cage today and suffocated 7, 5 lucasensis and 2 mitches.
I secured the remains of the first trip of lucasensis and racers, except 4 lucs. which are feeders.
Tonight pickled the 7 specimens which died.
Met Capt. Lewis for a few minutes at 9 AM when they docked; he left promptly for the north.
Tuesday, July 4, 1933
Spent the entire day milking rattlers from 7 AM to 6 P.M. these being the snakes from the Lewis collection brought in yesterday. In this series there were the following:
|6||3||Not milked. Died first.|
Thus the total number of snakes milked today was 224 and the amount of venom secured far exceeded any other yield because of the relatively large amount from the lucasensis.
Lucansensis is a quiet snake much like ruber -- quite different fromatrox. It is easy to catch and hold and does not fight. The venom yield is relatively large. In nine juveniles the venom was clear and coloreless; in the adults it was yellow and decidedly cloudy. Most of these specimens seemed to have fairly full glands. A few only had bad fangs. We carefully tested several with double fangs -- either with two solidly fixed or with one very slightly moveable and in several cases both fangs unquestionably discharged venom. They were separated by a card and the blobs were seen to appear by different observers at the discharge lumens.
Mitchelli from the Cape Region continues in this large series to have a distinctly smaller head and smaller venom yield than the S.D. Co. specimens. The venom is clear and yellow. It has a white precipitate when mixed with tap water probably a/c of the chlorine. This was not shown by the other venoms and should be followed up. These mitchelliiwere very violent and hard to handle compared with the lucasensisnotwithstanding their small size.
The enys give a somewhat cloudy yellow venom. They are easier to handle than the mitchelli. Venom is small in quantity. The sides of the head feel very rough compared with the other species.
One enys gave birth to about 7 young prematurely tonight. The patterns are clear but the scales could only be counted with difficulty especially on the head.
Monday, October 2, 1933
Tonight attended the organization meeting of the San Diego Reptile Club.
[Frank] Gander -- a medium Cal. boa (exhibited) ate baby mice readily, taking a total of 18 from time to time. Also tried to swallow a small sparrow. In eating mice it seizes in the mouth by any part and then quickly rolls around the prey. After that it works around to the head. Ate one dead mouse. This boa actually dug holes, or enlarged a hole by working the dirt out.
Wm Debonne -- Termites (termopsis) are the best food for all lizards such as horned toads, fence lizards, whiptails etc. He demonstrated with Coleonyx which readily ate them.
Coleonyx also eats roaches, butterflyes and bees. The [sic] are the easiest lizards to feed. They are quite timid and will run away from food if it touches them. They rub bees vigorously in the ground to kill them. Have also taken bits of meat and bread.
Whiptails will eat almost anything. One ate 27 termites at a sitting.
Sheldon Campbell -- talked on the importance of keeping records.
David Regnery -- told of his desert hunting trips. Altogether he has got 11 leafnoses. Keeps desert snakes in sand. Leafnoses do well. They prefer to burrow under rocks. They are fed by putting the head of a termite in their mouths; they then swallow the insect readily. One has a temper (acquired in captivity) and will hiss and strike.
Gophers and king's eat young sparrows and also dead sparrows (shot). They seem to prefer to get a mouse by going into a hole after it.
A shovelnose would take termites off the tip of a stick. Fed every week on 2 or 3 termites.
Sunday, December 7, 1933
Milked 45 rattlers of the South Dakota series and pickled 25. Also made 10 rattle speed records.
Noted a conflue with one hemipenis protruding and dried; another with bumps along the back evidently some kind of disease.
Spent balance of time on rattles. Some progress.
Proved quite certainly that rattle speed varies with temperature.
Saturday, March 17, 1934
Went out to Scripps Institution to hear McEwen lecture on the Coefficient of Racial Likeness. Very interesting and quite along the lines of recent studies. Bailey along - a fine clear morning. 28 miles.
2 Gopher L DOR Grass Morena
1 Oreganus M DOR " La Jolla
2 Gopher S DOR " Pac. Beach
Spent most of the afternoon cleaning up in the basement. Also started working over "head length" section of the rattle paper in the light of additional knowledge of statistics, particularly dispersion. Also taking advantage of added material since work originally done.
Company in the evening - Kuhns.
Sunday, March 18, 1934
Still working on head-length. Pickled a few specimens in the afternoon.
Discovered this afternoon that mitchellii from the Cape is clearly a valid subspecies based on head size. Always thought this looked queer but never appreciated the extent of the difference until I examined the Cape material brought in by Lewis last summer.
Sunday, April 15, 1934
Miscellaneous work in the morning.
Worked on the dispersion of head lengths today and made some progress. Proved definitely that C. mitchellii pyrrhus is a perfectly good subspecies.
Wednesday, June 20, 1934
Attended the meeting of the Western Division of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Berkeley all day. Heard a number of interesting papers, especially one by Bollin on species differentiation. Took lunch with Prof. Grinnell. Met V.M. Tanner, Svihila [?] and a number of other herpetologists for the first time.
Started south at 5:10 arriving at Bakersfield at 11:50. Saw only one dead snake and didn't stop for this. A cool evening.
Sunday, September 23, 1934
Worked in the morning.
Went out to the Brookfield Zoo [in Chicago] in the L at abut 2 PM, arriving at about 3 and stayed in the Zoo until 6:30, returning to the hotel at 8. Found the reptile house tremendously crowded so that it is very difficult to see anything on Sundays or holidays. Went in to see Mrs. Wiley who shortly came into her office. We talked snakes and their care for an hour or more and then went out and looked at reptiles. First looked at those to which access is had from the rear of the cages; then after the people had gone out we looked over the others particularly those in the aluminum cages.
Mrs. Wiley has much of the material which she brought down from Minneapolis, some of which she has had for many years. A two headed turtle is doing well; it has grown to be a large animal. The rattlers are not exceptional; she has a good pink tigris from near Tucson, a number of good horridus, a S.D.Co. mitch and 2 rubers sent by Cook. One very large atrox from Texas is doing well; this she has had for a long time. It weighs 13 lbs, but is not so very long; probably does not exceed 5 ft. He holds a pose when desired. While he rattles when handled, he does not offer to bite. She ties ribbons and hats on him. To me the most interesting specimens were her home raised atrox. These are California or Arizona stock - probably a mixture of the two; they have the usual creamy color (There was by contrast one very dark atrox from Texas, about the darkest I have ever seen). Of the first atrox brood there were 9 or 10 and 8 or 9 survive today. They were born on the 17th of June, 1932. Of these 4 have complete strings 3-15s and 1-14 (a female) and one is 15+1c. The rest have lost rattles. These are the finest complete strings I have ever seen.
There was a second brood born to the same parents; of these only 1 remains. They were born July 9, 1933. this one had 8c rattles.
For mites she uses soap and water, with good success, although not perfect. The snakes are put in sacks and then the sacks are put in soapy water over night. She is much troubled with other diseases.
Her experiments lead her to believe that Oreganus venom is much more neurotoxic than Cerbeus; however as she described them there were too few to be conclusive. She finds Oreganus venom very powerful.
She seems to handle all the venomous snakes. I saw her handle puff-adders, Australian coral snakes, Australian black snakes, and tiger snakes. With king cobras she uses more care but states that she has force fed, alone, both king cobras and mambas. The king cobras (one 14 ft. long) look in every way more dangerous than the mambas. The cobras would be far too powerful to handle by force. The mambas are much lighter and slimmer.
Australian black snakes bite each other, seemingly without effect.
Saw a very beautiful Central American Coral Snake; also a small B. atrox.
She has a number of Galapagos iguanas -- one sea iguana doing well on apples, bananas etc. Australian pythons are plentiful. There are a number of boas and 3 regal pythons; one 22 ft.
There are many interesting Australian lizards including skinks of various kinds, water dragons (5 young) and 2 Fulled [?] lizards. The water dragons hang around in a tree. There is some Spanish material. A beautiful green sceloporus. She tried small lizards in the large center cage but the large lizards ate them.
There is a large Yuma king snake raised from an egg from a specimen she got from Cook. It is very dark; the bands are hardly visible.
She hatches eggs by putting them in moistened leafmold, then covers with bark. Then warms with a light (with reflector)about 10" above. Moisten from time to time.
She has to do much forced feeding, but seems to be successful in this.
A green-headed snake from Central America was another handsome snake.
She has an alligator weighing over 200 lbs, raised from the egg.
Sunday, May 19, 1940
[Please note that the snakebite treatments described here are no longer recommended! We have included them for their historical interest. --Ed.]
This morning went out to Corte Madera for lunch. 44 miles. Nothing seen.
This afternoon at 5:20, toward the eastern edge of the Corte Madera Valley, there was a small oreganus[now Crotalus viridis helleri] in the road. Put a stick on his head and picked him up, or started to. In some way which I will never understand he got enough of his head loose to bite me on the inner side of the right thumb above the upper joint. Both fangs, but probably got very little venom as he was small and had already bitten the stick.
I jerked my hand loose and got a tourniquet on (necktie) at once. The pain was evident in the thumb instantly. Started to drive on and then went back (about 1/4 mile) and collected the snake. There was some pain in the armpit at 5:27. Drove as fast as possible in spite of the Sunday traffic. Drove as far as El Cajon myself; GG drove the rest of the way. Loosened the tourniquet at 5:35 and at 5:56 for about 1/2 minute each time. First noticed a tingling and numbness in the upper lip at 5:50; this spread to the tongue and lower lip. It was very noticeable at 6:10.
Reached El Cajon about 6:15 and called up Dr. Knox. He came over to his office above the drugstore and made a deep cross-incision at the site of the bite and got a good flow of blood. However his suction apparatus wasn't working and it took 15 or 20 minutes to get it in order and even then it didn't seem to do much good.
The tourniquet was removed and I don't think was replaced until I reached the hospital. He tested me for horse serum, found I was sensitive and thought I had better not take a shot until I was desensitized. I had him call up Crawford and then went on in to Mercy Hospital where Drs. Mark Young and H.A. Thompson were waiting to see me.
From here on the symptoms are worth very little, being complicated by the results of the treatment
|a) tourniquet (later applied to forearm), then to upper arm as a red streak became evident clear up to the arm-pit. This later turned yellow.
b)incision. This did considerable damage to the ball of the thumb.
c) serum. This caused a very severe case of hives and other bodily reactions.
Crawford came in shortly. Was desensitized and given 5cc of serum in the lower arm and the other 5cc in the upper arm. More suction was applied and rubber tourniquets. Was typed but not given a blood transfusion. Arm and thumb very painful probably on account of the treatment, not the bite. Some swelling in the armpit and the facial symptoms continued. Was given dope and got some sleep intermittently.
Thursday, May 23, 1940
In bed with serum sickness and hives. Very nervous. Arm still shows yellow streak and is rather painful, but the hives are the worst part of it.
Saturday, June 1, 1940
Arm still bad. Bothered me a good deal last night. It tires very easily and when it is tired is quite painful. Otherwise there is no longer any apparent effect from the bite. Of course writing is difficult both because of the tired arm and because there is a large mass of dried blood where the pen is held.
Today at 10:45 Chas. Shaw and I started for the desert. It was part cloudy and windy.
|1 Longnose M DOR Morena grass Regular lecontei [?]
3 Cal King L DOR Rose Canyon grass
1 Bogles King M DOR " "
2 Bogles King L DOR " "
1 Red Racer L DOR Bonsall " (saved)
1 Striped Racer L DOR Fallbrook Brush
1 H.T. DOR at Anza Branch Saved Blainvillii
1 Gopher M DOR " " Brush
1 H.T. DOR Nightingales straight Blainvillii
1 Leafnose DOR 3.8 mi. below Nightingales
(This was 0.8 mi. above the 3000 ft. contour) Rocks and brush. Very high for a leafnose.
Reached Indio at 4 P.M. Put up at the DeLuxe Moto Court. Rested until dinner time.
Started out for the evening drive at 7:05; dusk but not dark. Windy. Slightly overcast. Cooling fast. Went out on the aqueduct road. The branches are badly washed and risky without a daylight presurvey. First went up Berdoo branch and boiled the car very badly but got out all right. Got back to the main road at 8:17. Now quite dark and breezy 86°
|1 H.T. COR 8:25 82° main road near Berdoo Canyon
1 Gecko LOR 8:33 Pushawalla Canyon
1 Sidewinder COR 8:33 " " 80° This snake was found neatly coiled beside the road so that his top was flush with the surface.
1 Gecko COR 8:35 80° Pushawalla Canyon
1 Leafnose COR 9:10 78° 1000 Palms Canyon
1 " COR 9:18 77° " " "
1 Boa COR 9:23 76° Wide Canyon
1 Leafnose COR 9:25 76° " "
(Went up Wide Canyon but got nothing)
1 Gecko COR 9:56 77° Lone Canyon
1 Mitch Small COR 9:58 78° Desert Hot Springs
1 Leafnose COR 10:06 78° 1 1/2 mi N. of Garnet
1 Leafnose COR 10:14 76° blowing a gale. Garnet
1 Bogles King DOR M Hugo, Riverside Co
1 Sidewinder L DOR Palm Springs Junction
1 Cally COR Palm Springs RR Sta 10:30 74° Windy
1 Leafnose L DOR Palm Springs
1 " COR 2 mi. NW of Cathedral City 11:00 78°
1 Sidewinder " " " " " " "
1 Leafnose L DOR 2 mi. NW " " " "
1 Sidewinder S DOR 1 1/2 " " " " "
1 " M DOR Cathedral City
1 " COR " " 11:12 81°
1 " S DOR " "
1 Arizona S DOR Date Gardens (saved)
1 Sidewinder L DOR " "
1 Leafnose S DOR " "
1 Sidewinder DOR Indian Wells
Reached Indio at 11:50 breezy slightly warmer.
S.D. Co miles daylight 65. Night desert hunt 80 miles; 4 hours 45 min. Total miles today 248.
Sunday, June 16, 1940
Shaw worked today and made some head way in the rat's nest in the basement where incoming specimens have been over flowing into every corner.
I continued catching up with recording; filing, entering, trips of others in this book and similar activities. This is fairly up to date. Must soon return to research; whether I can concentrate on it remains to be seen. These days it's purely an escape mechanism -- nothing else. Don't seem to be able to concentrate on anything except the most mechanical calculations. Today marks the last real resistance in France.
Saturday, April 12, 1941
Went over to the Natural History Museum and the Zoo. Talked to Mrs. Benchley about papers. Got permission to start a new series under the title "Applications of Statistical Methods to Herpetological Problems." Part 1 will be the frequency distribution and part 2 the desert vs coast.
David Mocine talked.
Spent the rest of the morning checking some statistics in Grobman's paper.
Spent the afternoon and evening drawing random samples.
Tuesday, April 22, 1941
Was appointed general manager of the company [SDGE] today.
Saturday, June 14, 1941
Shaw worked today.
Spent the morning at UCLA checking a few specimens. Not much new. No new Rhinochiilus. Noted a worm snake No. 1571 from Riverside Mts, May 1, 1941, collected by Bill Salt. Quite dark for cahuilae. NoUtahensis tendencies.
Saw Cowles and Vanderhorst.
Went to President Sproul's for luncheon. Regents there.
Received honorary degree LLD. in the afternoon.
Returned late in the evening.
Locality from R.M. Williams 8 mi. NW of Arbucle at Corina Creek Colusa Co. C. marmorata.
[Later entry] The other recipients of LLD's were Harvey Seeley Mudd, the mining engineer; and Karl T. Compton, President of M.I.T.
Thursday, June 19, 1941
Attended the meeting of the Ich & Herp Soc in Pasadena today. Met many herps. There was a symposium on pit vipers in the morning and on Africa in the afternoon. Presided at the first and presented a paper on speciation in rattlesnakes. Chap and I pulled out at about 5:20, reaching Banning at 7:12. Dusk but not dark. Clear and breezy. No moon.
|1 Red Racer L DOR Owl Light brush.
1 Sidewinder S COR 5 mi. N.W. of Palm Spr.
7:40 87° dusk not quite dark very windy
1 Sonora L COR Cathedral City 8:00 89°
1 Sidewinder S COR 3 mi. W. of P to P Junction 8:22 87°
1 Chuck DOR at 3000 ft contour (10 mi. W. of Junction) Saved
1 Leafnose L COR 11 mi. W. of Junction (4 mi E of Nightingales) 8:45 79° Cool and breezy.
1 Leafnose L DOR Same saved.
1 Gopher S. DOR Nightingales. Saved.
1 ? LOR 2 mi. W. of Nightingales 9:10 P.M.
1 Red Racer L DOR Elsinore
1 Oreganus S DOR Fallbrook.
Reached home at 1 AM Miles today 204
Miles evening drive 40 miles; 1 hr 40 min
Tuesday, December 16, 1941
A M Jackley of South Dakota called this afternoon. Had a very interesting discussion with him particularly concerned with the rattler dens of South Dakota.
He says they are 4 to 6 miles apart. Large males get there first. Easier to catch them in fall than spring. Many juveniles don't reach the dens; the ones which do follow the adults.
Monday, May 11, 1942
As I was due in Los Angeles for a business meting tomorrow, I went via the Mojave for what may be the only snake hunt of the year. Started at 3:30 PM (Pacific War Time) Warm, windy and part cloudy.
|1 Red Racer L DOR El Toro Grass Blackhead
1 Gopher S " " " " " Saved
San Bernardino at 7 PM Cold cloudy and windy. The outlook bad.
Adelanto at 7:55. Cold and windy.
Sundown at 7:45.
Kramer Junction at 8:55. Very cold and windy. 52° F. Seeing there was no chance to get anything we drove fast from here on, reaching LA at midnight.
Total miles today 329.
Evening drive 1 hour (Adelanto to Kramer Junct) 29 miles.
Monday, June 8, 1942
Arrived at Washington at 8:40. Took quite a while checking baggage and buying tickets. Then went to the USNM where I met Miss Cochran. Talked specimens, and statistics. Visted Dr. Stejneger for an hour or more and discussed the possibility of Cope's Chilomeniscus Ephippicus coming from California. Wonderful how the old gentleman (now nearing 91) remembers all the notes and lines of investigation. I asked him particularly about the Baird and Girard ms. to accompany the Pacific RR reports, but he didn't know where it could be.
Went to the U.S. Nat Gallery of Art for lunch. Waited a long time for a chance to eat.
Then back to the USNM until 5 P.M. Checking a few snakes and snake lists.
Left for NY at 6 P.M. and arrived at 10.
Tuesday, June 9, 1942
Went to the AMNH a few moments after 9 and stayed until 5:15. Saw Bogert's work on teeth, on cobras (especially teeth) and on Salvadora. He has many wonderful drawings. Met Jas. Oliver; also later in the afternoon Mrs. Clifford Pope. The entire day was spent in the discussion of problems and statistics, and was most interesting.
Took lunch with the staff and met G.G. Simpson. After lunch went to Simpson's office and discussed statistics. Met Mont. Cazier an entomologist with whom I had corresponded. Then back to Bogert's office for more discussion and argument.
Also met Heifetz the man who overhauled Uma.
A very worth-while day.
Friday, January 1, 1943
Although out in the evening I got a fair amount of work done today. As of this date, the tail-length paper, with the exception of a few minor pick-ups, is complete up to the rattler section. The temptation is to drop it now and take up the many taxonomic problems that have lately piled up, including the descriptions of a number of new subspecies. Also I am far behind in card indexing, filing, cataloging and similar activities. But, except for necessary work for other museums and herpetologists, I shall keep on with and try to finish the tail-length study, while the methods and formulas are still fresh in mind.
Monday, February 8, 1943
Went to the meeting of the Fellows SDSNH and heard a too-long talk on Guayule by Osborn. While dozing I had an idea on showing the difference of a specimen from 2 related species by co-ordinates representing probabilities. Think it is a useful scheme and will drop everything and follow it up.
Monday, March 1, 1943
The tail-length paper is finished; now I shall try to find an avenue of publication, or store it in the safe until after the war. It is necessary to keep finished papers separate from the mass of data at home, out of which no one but myself could ever make head or tail.
After mature consideration I have decided to try to complete the correlation paper which was started a year and a half ago (9-14-41) and which was interrupted to do the tail-length off-shoot. 125 typewritten pages are finished and much more computation, and it would seem poor judgement not to complete this (it will take months) before tackling the descriptions of the new species and subspecies which I have on the hook. But the latter surely look attractive and restful.
Saturday, March 27, 1943
Spent most of the morning at the zoo. Saw the room constructed for the specimens to be removed from the Natural History Museum, which is now practically dismantled.
Went over the tail-length paper with Perkins. Mrs Benchley agreed to print it.
Spent the rest of the day on morphological correlations and made some progress.
Saturday, April 17, 1943
Worked all day and evening on the correlation paper and it is now practically finished with the exception of the usual checking -- also bibliographiy, acknowledgments, and summary.
This paper was begun 9-11-41 so it took about 1 1/2 years, with time out for the tail-length interlude.
I think I had best quit statistics for a while now and go back to taxonomy. But first I shall really clear up the correlation paper ready for Perkin's review and then publication if any avenue is open.
Friday, December 31, 1943
Out to dinner and midnight party tonight.
Thus ends a year characterized by slowly developing papers and hence considerable disappointment with respect to total production. But of course the extra work by reason of war work was considerable. And with the loss of Shaw [drafted] and Menzies [college] the curatorial work which I must do myself is very time-consuming.
Friday, January 7, 1944
Drove to Los Angeles this morning to attend an Army-Navy Conference at the Ambassador Hotel.
Attended the conference all afternoon. Heard talks by Patterson (Under Secy of War), Gen HH Arnold, Gen FF Armstrong, Col. Nance and Col. Ruddell. There were also fine "restricted" war movies. It was a very impressive conference.
In the evening we had a buffet supper and then a vaudeville show at Warner Bros. studios. At the supper saw among others: Allan Hale, Donald Crisp, Gary Cooper, Robt. Montgomery, Ann Sheridan, Joan Crawford, Geo O'Brien, Ida Lupino, Lina Basquette, Sidney Greenstreet, Errol Flynn.
The performers Jack Carson, Abbott & Costello, Jane Wyman, Reggy Gardner, Bob Allen, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Irene Mamy[?], Ray Bolger, Jack Benny, Dinah Shore, Spike Jones and his City Slickers.
The trip to and from Warners in busses with military outsiders was something in itself.
Saturday, April 14, 1945
All day and eveing cliping and arranging correspondents rattler comments for semi-popular paper. Good progress.
Sunday, April 15, 1945
Worked all day (except Amphion concert in afternoon) on semi-popular paper on western rattlesnake habits. Made some progress -- not as good as I had hoped. Banta called tonight.
Wednesday, April 25, 1945
Started for Twenty-nine Palms this afternoon with GG at 2:30. A cool overcast day.
Nothing seen in the county (via Escondido)
|1 Live snake started across the road at Temecula. Didn't stop to try to catch it.
1 Gopher snake S. DOR Wildomar Fields Saved.
1 " " L DOR North Elsinore Grass
Reached Riverside at 5:30 cloudy.
After getting a room. Left for Twenty nine Palms.
1 Gopher Sanke L. DOR Morongo (at Lodge) light brush. Bad condition but saved.
1 Scute L. DOR Yucca Valley
1 Sidewinder S COR " " 8:20 P.M. 70° F
1 " L DOR " " Saved.
Reached 29 Palms at 8:50 Just dark. Full moon. Quite cool.
1 Longnose Small COR 10:10 62° Very windy the mesa 5 mi. north of 29 Palms Junction
Reached Riverside at 11:20 cold with some rain. 288 miles today. Night drive 62 miles.
Saturday, May 12, 1945
Worked on rattlesnake habits bibliography, having decided to do it thoroughly. Zoo meeting at noon and out to dinner at night took too much time.
Sunday, May 20, 1945
Worked on the bibliography in the morning. Went out to lunch and stayed all afternoon.
Have decided to make another one of those inquiry campaigns -- foresters, game wardens, etc.
Picking up odds and ends in the evening.
Sunday, June 17, 1945
Pickled snakes in the morning.
Tried several rattlers to see if the myth about their following the parallel [?] with their eyes had any foundation in fact. None was found. This has been written up in more detail elsewhere.
Then continued work on the bibliography until late at night, making some headway on a very long job.
Saturday, June 23, 1945
Spent the morning in the Public Library on rattler bibliographical matters and cleaned up everything there. Good progress. In the afternoon, let rattlers swim in the pond and made notes. The rest of the time was spent with postal card inquiries for further information from foresters and similar items; also Jane Peckham's wedding.
Sunday, July 1, 1945
Spent the entire day and eveing reading through old correspondence looking for rattlesnake field notes.
Vasco M. Tanner called this afternoon and we spent an interesting two hours discussing herpetology and books.
Saturday, July 7, 1945
Put in a long day and evening on the rattler habits paper. Some letters; some bibliographic work. Went over some of the past letters.
Had a long talk with Mrs. Benchley this morning about the increased scope and size of the paper -- probably run at least 300 pages -- and she is still willing and anxious to publish it. Also talked over the press of clerical, stenographic, and copy work. She was quite willing to hire a girl to do it. All this is very encouraging indeed.
Saturday, August 4, 1945
Spent the day and evening on bibliographic work at the Medical Library, main library, and at Chapman Grant's. The bibliographic work for this paper is certainly a long and major effort.
Only 4 answers from the game warden series of inquiries. They are coming back much slower than the forester series; evidently there will be a smaller proportion of returns.
King snake from San Jose B.C. ate a small Pacific Rattler at the zoo. Full notes were made. Threw it up on the way home. Rattler unhurt. Full notes were made.
Sunday, August 5, 1945
Spent the day and evening running through all the diaries from 1923 on looking for rattler life history notes that may not have been transferred to the yellow cards. Got up to 1937.
Same King snake ate the same rattler. Full notes were made.
This rattler was from Palomar, not otherwise recorded.
Saturday, August 11, 1945
Spent the morning checking the diaries and on other clerical and co-ordinating work on the rattler habits and life history paper.
Went to the zoo at 11 AM to talk over administration matters with Mrs. Benchley and to attend the meeting of the directors at noon.
After the meeting had another king snake eat a rattler. This took much longer than expected, 3 hours in fact. Among the witnesses were Chas. Lowe Jr., his wife, and Ensign Frierson, nephew of L.S. Frierson, Jr. Full notes have been filed elsewhere.
At Forward's for dinner and evening so not much done today.
Tuesday, August 14, 1945
Peace at 4:01 this afternoon.
Monday, August 20, 1945
This afternoon with Phil & GG went out in the back country. Started at 3:50. Clear & hot. Went out via the highway to Descanso, Cuyamaca, then down the Banner grade to Scissors Crossing. Daylight drive 75 miles; only one DOR seen
1 Red Racer M DOR Banner Brush.
Hung around Scissors Crossing waiting for it to get dark. It was quite comfortable. 81° and breezy.
Then drove out beyond the Narrows and back. Not a snake was seen alive or dead.
Reached the Narrows at 8:18 82° almost dark.
Turned back 7 miles east of the Narrows 8:45 93° F.
|Got 2 Coleonyx
1 2 mi W. of Narrows.
1 1 " E " "
Also a Uta stans COR at Sentenac Bridge. 9:45 Turned it loose.
Reached Scissors Crossing at 9:55. 82° F. Cool & breezy.
Total evening drive 38 miles 2 1/2 hours nearly full moon. Another proof that it isn't the temperature, but the season that controls.
Reached home at 12:30. Total miles 186.
Sunday, August 11, 1946
Worked all day on Indian snake-bite remedies and made good progress. Not easy to co-ordinate and arrange. This Indian-rattler section is going to be much larger than originally contemplated.
From 11 to 12 at the zoo. I talked to Prof. Zimmerman, who with Clifford Pope, has worked out fundamental theories of rattle formation. No doubt they are right and have proved me wrong on several counts, but there are still some serious gaps in their theory from a purely mechanical standpoint.
Saturday, August 17, 1946
Worked all day and evening on Indians and Rattlers and made good progress. This section should be finished shortly.
It's been a tough week -- one of the most difficult I can remember. I suppose nowhere is age more evident than in the loss of ability to withstand nervous shocks -- such as that involved in the death of a 15 year-old dog. The terrible homesickness that no home can assuage; the loneliness that is always present; the all-gone feeling in the pit of the stomach; under these circumstances it is hard to be objective and retain a fair sense of relative values. Only a little dog -- yes -- but a tearing bitter loss just the same. No patter down the hall; the scratch on the door that never comes.
Monday, September 2, 1946
Finished the Indian and Historical sections. Decided to separate them. The rest of the day was taken up in necessary curatorial work which is now far behind. I hate to waste time in this kind of activity, but it must be done. I am thinking of tackling the Food section next.
Mrs. Benchley has OK'ed printing the gopher snake paper -- Western U.S. This is the last unprinted ms.; for all the time since its completion has been spent on the Rattler Life History book.
Monday, December 9, 1946
Was elected president of the Company [SDGE] today.
Saturday, August 30, 1947
Worked on the copying of the portable bibliography and other misc. work. Bogert came in for lunch, and also for dinner, after which we had a long talk (to 11PM) on herpetological matters.
New boy* started in the basement today; Bruce Provin leaving shortly.
Bogert volunteered to read sections of the rattler paper any time.
Sunday, August 31, 1947
Finished copying the bibliography today. This will be a great help on all future trips to libraries. Also worked on various items to clear up the bibliogrpahic records. Drudgery, but necessary for more efficient work later.
Worked a little on the "Speckled Band" project.
Monday, September 1, 1947
Worked all day and evening on the "Speckled Band" project and finished the first draft. [See The Truth About the Speckled Band, reprinted from the Baker Street Journal, an Irregular Quarterly of Sherlockiana. --ed.]
Saturday, February 21, 1948
The entire day -- to 4 PM -- in catching up with a number of unfinished items, mostly bibliographic in preparation for my eastern trip. Hate to quit actual writing of the Habits section of the paper, but it seems advisable to so in order that the eastern trip and library visits can be most efficient.
Am investigating old snake bite cases in the medical journals -- mostly 1800-1860 -- to get the history of treatments; also such notes as the doctors included on the snakes themselves and how people happen to get bitten.
Then I have started a deeper investigation than was originally intended into ancient and medieval folklore and treatment to learn the sources of as many stories and beliefs as possible.
Sunday, February 22, 1948
Spent the morning at the SD Public Library consulting the Library of Congress and British Museum Catalogs. Made good progress on a bibliographical investigation of ancient and medieval medicine. Lined up a number of new references.
Out to a buffet supper at 4.
Saturday, June 12, 1948
Spent most of the morning at the Zoo because of various meetings.
In the afternoon, having made the decision after coinsiderable thought and regret, I put aside Section 7 on habits and reverted to the descriptions of new subspecies -- Coronado oreganus,San Estebanmolossus[?], El Muerto mitchelli, and southern willardi. Also the revival of helleri and cerberus. So I picked up the oreganus part where I had dropped it in March 1945; for the beginning of that paper and the attempt to gather data on habits for it were the forerunner of the expanded program that has engaged my attention during the subsequent 3 years, with 2 years or more still to go to finish it. But as the nomenclature changes ought to be included in the Life History book, the quicker I make them the better, for this will reduce the changes in the final manuscript. Regretable but good judgement.
Made a good start picking up the oreganus problem.
Thursday, January 1, 1953
Started off the New Year by writing up the section of the snake-bite chapter on the duration of snake-bite cases, a small part. Not a very fruitful day. Listened to the Rose Bowl game in the afternoon.
As of this date the snake bite chapter, on which I began to work last March 1, is all finished, except for the present approved treatment. This shouldn't take very long.
Sunday, January 4, 1953
Today I finished the first draft of the snake-bite chapter. Treatment still needs some working over; and the other parts of the snake-bite chapter must have some new items incorporated. It can almost be said that the first draft of the book is completed, and I can now begin the overhauling, chapter by chapter, to include the new material and also the suggestions made by Perkins, Shaw, Schmidt, and Bogert.
Saturday, January 17, 1953
Made a revised table of contents for entire book.
Spent the rest of the day and late evening classifying the new items for the folklore section.
Richard Etheridge, stationed here in the navy, called and we talked herps.
Sunday, March 22, 1953
Spent the morning finishing the preparation of a copy of the snake-bite section (§13) to be sent to Bogert and Oliver. This section is now completely up-to-date with the most recent new data all incorporated.
Spent the afternoon and evening working on §5 and §6, Populations and Ecology. I can see that these are going to be tough, not only because of the quantity of new material available, but also because some rearrangement and co-ordination is necessary.
Sunday, July 19, 1953
Worked all day and evening and completed the revision of body proportionalities, including head and tail length. Slow going.
Sunday, December 13, 1953
Worked a little while today on the combination of sections 5 and 6. Also reread a long part of section 7.
Bert Lynch and Allen Chickering at supper tonight.
Thursday, December 31, 1953
This was my last day as Chairman of the Board and Chief executive officer of the San Diego Gas and Electric Co after 43 years with the company. I shall continue in a consulting capacity as a member of the board of directors, executive committee and finance committee.
I hope to get along faster now with my herpetological projects, especially the completion of the rattlesnake book. I have no regrets at quitting at age 70; I have no worries as to keeping busy, the trouble with so many retired people. There will be no let-down for me.
At the Cavanees[?] for a New Year's party tonight. Out later.