Trip Details

Herper: Jim Scharosch, Jay Parsons & Matt Ricklefs

Location: Jackson County

Conditions: 70 - 75 degrees. Calm, mostly sunny

Time: About 11:30 am

This is an area that Jim & I are very familiar with and we knew this would probably be the last trip to this site for this year. The area was still quite overgrown but we followed our normal path and found a couple of Garter snakes and also some Ringneck snakes, all very blue-eyed and close to shedding. We walked our normal route and hit spots that have produced Timber Rattlesnakes before, but without success this time. We followed about half way through the bluff that we usually encounter snakes on and were somewhat surprised not to find anything. In the shady areas the rocks were cool, but these spots had produced before under these conditions. We got to an area that we usually slow our efforts as it has not produced as well in the past. In an open sunny spot we overturned a rock and to our surprise found not one, but three Timbers, all very alert and very mobile. They did not sit or even rattle but immediately bolted. Fortunately Jay was close to me and Jim came to our aid and we were able to detain all three of them for some pictures. They were not very cooperative.

This was Jay’s first time looking for rattlesnakes and I have to commend him for handling this situation as well as he did, especially with keeping one on a snake stick while Jim and I were taking pictures.

Two were twenty to twenty-six inches long and were the more typical brown/golden phase. Being younger the colors were very bright and very beautiful.

The third Timber was the biggest of the day at about thirty inches long and was the gray phase. This was the first gray phase we have found this year. We were relieved to have such a find, especially with bringing Jay along to hopefully see some. After quite a while of negotiating the snakes into trying to pose, which they did not seem to appreciate, we turned the rock back to its original resting place and let the snakes go back home.

Not more than twenty feet further, we noticed another one with a portion of its body exposed under a rock. We took pictures prior to turning and then moved the rock to the same bolting response.

Jay was able to snap a good picture before this one got too far.

This snake was similar in size and coloration to the first two we found. At this point we had considered it a fine day of snakeing, but obviously gathered a second wind and continued our efforts.

Another thirty feet brought us into a more weed covered area and the rocks were a bit more covered. Under the rocks it was moister than in the previous areas. Jim found a very nice baby Ringneck which we captured some footage of.

After this we found a Red Bellied Snake. It was an adult. It was the first one we had ever located on this section of the bluff.

I found a baby Brown snake and thought I had captured some footage, but I had the camcorder in standby mode. Oops. I tried to re-find the baby Brown and actually succeeded and scored an adult Brown too!! This photo is of the baby.

After capturing some footage I set them down to be on their way. We had thought at the beginning of the day it would be cool to find a baby Timber as it was a good time of year for this and we had not found any for a while. When I stepped on the rock next to me, it gave a little. It was then that I noticed that it was sitting on top of another larger rock.

In between, and unharmed, was a baby Timber sitting nicely and still quite undisturbed. Again we captured some footage and moved on. We were really to the end of where we usually look when we heard a sound in the grass. Upon seeing the pattern of black chevrons on the brownish-gold, we realized we had our sixth Timber.

It was out in the open moving along quite quickly. It was the about twenty-four inches long like the other older ones and a little lighter in overall color. It was a very good day. We are already anxious for next year and the herps we may encounter.

Until next time – good herpin’!!

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