Making New Friends In The Desert Night…

by | Jan 22, 2023

If you’re brave enough to venture out at night in the desert, don’t forget your flashlight. Be sure and stay on the trail. Otherwise, you could step on a Tarantula or a Gila Monster, or run into a Javelina. These guys come out at night to look for their favorite meal. Not you, though!

Jimmy stinks like a sewer plant. Have you ever toured a sewage processing plant in your town? I have as a public official just one time.

The Javelina is a good bet for hunters, who know about such things. Best way to cook them is on an open fire pit just like indigenous people did so long ago.

I wouldn’t try to get close to a pack of Jimmy’s friends or they might chase you. Their bite is ferocious and painful. They are an interesting family to observe from a safe distance. My friend Jimmy is the dominant male.

See his eyes in the dark with your handy flashlight. He can’t see very well, but knows exactly where you are. They stink so bad that most living things stay a good distance away from them.

Jimmy Javelina

Coco Coati…

The Coati is a relative of the Raccoon. Coatis live and thrive in a Sonora desert climate. There’s a delicious buffet of all his favorite recipes spread across the desert landscape, including, insects, lizards, roots, fruits, nuts and eggs.

The Sonora Desert isn’t a bare wasteland to be sure. And, there’s plenty of water for flora and fauna to sustain a lavish life style.

Coco is easy to spot at night with a good flashlight. He’s curious, so rarely runs away. Just like most Coatis and Raccoons alike. It’s not a good idea to get too close or you’ll likely be heading back home looking for sympathy, and bandages, including a trip to your doctor’s office.

Coco travels on a trail made for him and his fambamly. The Coatis clan loves to party at night, and have a few laughs on us while they dance under the Moon. The darkest hour makes it far easier to sneak around and have some fun. Favorite foods are more plentiful at night as well. Take your flashlight and hang around with Coco while he entertains.

Coco the Sonora Coati…
Timmy Tarantula…

Tarantulas can be good pets once there’s a bond of trust. Handle them gently. Timmy loves to be held. He can feel your heart and soul. These handsome critters can live for 30 years if treated with love and kindness.

If you decide Timmy is the cats meow pet for you, take your time. I wouldn’t do anything to move him from his home until researching how to keep him healthy and happy in a new home.

Don’t go into the desert day or night awithout a pal. And, be sure you take extra water. A First Aid Kit is also a must do. Take an extra flashlight and some batteries, just in case.

Henry the Gila Monster…

I know lots of people love to play with lizards, including me, if you can catch one. Most lizards become tame after getting used to being handled gently. But, not Henry the Gila Monster.

He is venomous with a bite that you’ll have nightmares about. Look for Henry in the early morning hours. Use a flashlight to see him hiding in his burrow. Don’t try to pull him out of the comforts of his home. Wait until he is sunbathing and looking for his breakfast and only to observe.

Spring is the best time for Henry. When it’s hot, he’ll return to his burrow for weeks at a time. He can go for months at a time without food while hibernating during the coldest months of the year.

Henry fights with other males for a mate of his liking in the spring when food is most plentiful. In late April to early June, courtship and male-to-male combat is the highlight of their lives. Females spend the winter below ground and hatch the next spring after 120 to 150 days.


There isn’t enough time to observe all our friends ‘n neighbors in the desert, night or day. If you have the time and passion to take on this hobby, it is fun and rewarding.

Finally learn how to be safe first before venturing out day or night. Most of all, don’t forget your flashlight. Take a jug of water or making it home might be a stretch. Also, wear robust clothes and high boots to protect yourself from Rattlesnakes.

Now, after knowing more, do you still want to explore the beautiful Sonora Desert?

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
View all posts by stevesparks →

You might also like

Translate »