A good-sized chunk of the book deals with depressions. No, not those sad days some of us experience on occasion, but any sort of shallow bed or resting place made by an animal. Depressions can be made by tiny creatures such as antlion larvae, or by seldom seen animals such as spadefoot toads. They may be nests for cottontail rabbits, or a spot where a heavy bodied rattlesnake coiled to rest. Javelina beds can be large enough for the whole herd. They will usually be located under sheltering trees and consist of soft dirt pawed up by the sharp hooves of the animals.
Snake homes are covered in the section on “borrowed/modified shelters”. Since snakes don’t have the capacity to dig their own hole they usually live in rocky crevices or move into burrows dug by other animals. A really prime den may house a variety of species. Gopher snakes, racers, rattlesnakes and desert tortoises have been known to share, apparently sleeping through winter in harmony.
A really bad day is when you are a packrat and a snake comes to visit. The visitor may well eat you and then take over that sweet abode you’ve been remodeling. Packrats will pile debris including joints of the nasty cholla cactus at the entrance to their home to discourage snakes as well as other intruders such as spiders, centipedes, Gila monsters and desert tortoises.
At the very back of the book on page 124 I found these words, “One of the most commonly asked questions about desert holes is whether it is a snake hole.”