High Desert Sightseeing - The Devils PunchBowl In Pearblossom – Rattlesnakes Scorpions And Rock Formations

High Desert Sightseeing - The Devils PunchBowl In Pearblossom – Rattlesnakes Scorpions And Rock Formations

Mojave Rattle Snake On Display in Visitors Center

(Best Syndication) This week we visited the Los Angeles Regional Park Natural Area called the “Devils Punchbowl” (see video below) near Pearblossom California. The park includes a visitor’s center, a hiking trail and various places to see this rather unique pattern of sandstone formations extruding from the ground to form a punchbowl.

We talked to Park Superintendent Dave Numer about the various animals in his visitor center (See Contact Information Below). The center was home to several types and sizes or rattlesnakes, a California King Snake and Gopher Snake.

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The rattlesnakes are the only venomous snakes in the area, according to Numer. The Kingsnake is a non-venomous constrictor snake which feeds on lizards, snakes, birds and other rodents. “They love to eat rattlesnakes,” according to Numer.

The two most common rattlesnakes in the area are the Mojave (Sometimes called the Mojave Green) and the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. The snakes may have a diamond pattern on their back; however neither is technically considered a “Diamond Back” Rattlesnake.

The Mojave-Green has both a neurotoxin and hemotoxin poison. The neurotoxin will cause problems with the brain, while the hemotoxin will cause internal bleeding and necrosis. When these snakes are young they can be lighter in color and green, but adults can be black.

The Southern Pacific Rattler is found in both the mountain and coastal areas of California. These snakes may sometimes be referred to as a Timber Rattler. This snake only possesses a hemotoxin.

But which is more deadly? “From my experience feeding them, rats and mice die much quicker from a Southern Pacific bite, than from a Mojave bite,” Numer said. He believes it could be because either the hemotoxin is more potent in the Southern Pacific, or possibly the poison is more specialized for mammals and rodents.

Although the Mojave Rattlesnake has been known to eat lizards, they also feed on rodents and mammals. Numer said that the non-venomous Redracer and Glossy Snakes “specifically” feed on lizards.

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Sidewinder Rattlesnakes can also be found in the Mojave Desert. These snakes are typically smaller than the others, measuring a maximum of 31 inches or so. The others can measure five feet or more.

The Night Snake does have venom but the teeth are far back in the mouth and they are not a threat to humans. These snakes can only feed on lizards.

In the Palm Springs area there are Speckled Rattlesnakes, Red Diamond Rattlers and Sidewinders. The Red Diamond Rattlesnakes are real big and bulky and can grow in excess of 5 feet.

There are no deadly scorpions in California according to Numer, but there are deadly scorpions in southern Arizona. California scorpions can vary from dark brown to yellow to real pale. Some California scorpions can be clear, Numer told me.

Palmdale pearblossom pinon hills la

Devil's Punchbowl

The Giant Desert scorpion is probably the most common species found in the Victor and Antelope Valleys. They have lots of hairs on their tails and arms. The ones here in California tend to more yellow in the desert but browner in the mountains.

The deadly scorpions in Arizona may vary in color as well. They can be real light yellow and clear. They are not black or real dark.

Outside the visitors center you will see why they call the park the “Punchbowl”. The geographic feature is shaped like a punchbowl. It was produced by a combination of sedimentation and rocks being pushed upward by tectonic forces.

The punchbowl was formed over a million-year period as the Punchbowl fault raised the San Gabriel Mountain block. During this time there was also right-lateral movement on the punchbowl fault which broke and crushed the surrounding rock and created what is called the “crush zone”.

The Punchbowl is a great day trip for anyone living in the high desert including Victorville and Palmdale / Lancaster, or even the Los Angeles / San Bernardino areas. On Sundays at 1 pm, the Los Angels Department of Parks and Recreation offers a guided tour of the San Andres Fault. But if you can’t make it on Sunday, any day is a great day to see the visitor’s center and Punchbowl.

See what others are saying and join the discussion at our Forum

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication News Writer
Photos by Dan Wilson

Devil's Punchbowl Contact Information

Tel (661) 944-2743
Fax (661) 944-6924

Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area
280000 Devil’s Punchbowl Road
Pearblossom CA 93553

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