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Laurence M. Klauber

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Selected Journal Entries from the 1920s

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.


Sunday, March 14, 1926

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.


Sunday, May 2, 1926

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.


Sunday, June 6, 1926

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.
Dead snakes.

  Long nose - Mission Valley
Red Racer 10.3 - Rosedale
Patch nose 5 mi west of Pala
Garter 8 mi do call it Bonsall [?]

Sunday, July 18, 1926

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)

Saturday, February 4, 1928

Went to Charity Ball tonight. Heard many Hylas at Coronado.


Sunday, March 18, 1928

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 small Sonora 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.


Monday, March 19, 1928

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)


Tuesday, March 20, 1928

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]. 2 Crotaphytus collaris bayllii seen. No Dipsosaurus, no Crotaphytus tessellatus tessellatus. Snakes on the desert were as usual scarce. Looked hard for garters at Carrizo. Negative.


Sunday, March 25, 1928

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.


Monday, April 9, 1928

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.


Tuesday, April 10, 1928

Spent the noon hour today fixing cage signs at the Zoo.


Monday, May 7, 1928

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


Sunday, August 19, 1928

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].


Sunday, July 21, 1929

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.


Saturday, August 17, 1929

Worked all afternoon preserving and tagging. Nothing done on rattlers.


Saturday, August 31, 1929

Spent the afternoon pickling specimens. Finished 18 rattlers. Nothing done in the way of checking.


Sunday, September 1, 1929

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.


Monday, September 2, 1929

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.