Digital Dimdima
-By Rashmi Menon
Independence Day
Lake Tahoe
Hola Amigos!
Gila Monsters
The Petrified Forest

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Hola Amigos!

That's Spanish for "Hello friends!"

I'm Rashmi and I live in the Southwestern state of Arizona in the United States of America. Since most of the American Southwest shares its borders with the country of Mexico, Spanish is a language we use widely.

The great American Southwest is made up of extensive desert lands. For those of you who have visited Rajasthan or the Middle East, and think that all deserts are made up of sand dunes, let me set the record straight. In Arizona and other parts of the American Southwest, there are hardly any sand dunes. In fact, this "desert" area is filled with exotic bushes and shrubs. Monsoons are extremely rare in the Southwest and water is a scarce commodity here. The sturdy desert plants have to fight for survival and conserve water in their fleshy stems and needle-like thorny leaves.
Plants are not the only living beings that have survived the harsh weather conditions of these deserts. On a dark, dry evening, the eerie quiet of the desert is often broken by the loud mournful howl of a coyote or the piercing roar of a mountain lion. These are only a couple of the many animals that live and thrive in this rocky terrain. I shall tell you about these brave animals in the forthcoming issues.
Today I would like to introduce you to the Ridge-nosed Rattlesnake. It is the state reptile of Arizona. The children of Arizona voted to adopt the ridge-nosed rattlesnake as their state reptile on August 13th 1986.
The ridge-nosed rattlesnake is a smaller variety of rattlesnake. It can be distinguished from other rattlesnakes by the row of upturned nose scales that form a ridge across its nose. The ridge-nosed rattlesnake is usually reddish-brown in colour and has pale white cross-bands across its body. These reptiles prefer the moist crevices of the rocky desert canyons. They eat lizards, mice and other tiny desert animals. They are quite rare and many snake collectors are willing to pay a huge fortune to be able to buy them for their collections. Such serious collectors know this snake by its scientific name Crotalus willadi willardi.
Now that you know a little something about this beautiful reptile, I hope you will surf the net to learn more about it.


That's it for this fortnight then.
Goodbye, or as they say in Spanish, Adios Amigos!

Rattle...Rattle…

All rattlesnakes have a tiny "rattle" attached to the tips of their tails. When they sense intrusion or feel threatened, they shake their tails vigorously to ward off their enemies. That is how these snakes got their name.

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