Trip Details

Time: 11:00 am

Location: Linn County

Temperature/Conditions: 70 - 73 degrees. Clear. Slightly windy 10 - 12 miles per hour

Herper(s): Matt Ricklefs

Well, this is the first time I've really been out this year. This warm spell will really start things going, although the frogs have been "up" for a bit now as testified by their calling over the last week or so. I was very anxious to get out. The spot I planned to go to was very productive last year and I have been eager to really hit this area hard this year. I had gone out a week before to scout around, and there was more wood debris than last year. Not huge pieces, but they looked favorable for what snakes would use them for. The very first board I turned had a juvenile Brown Snake (Storia dekayi) under it.

I actually went to pick it up and it squirmed out as it was so small, but after a little digging around I found it again. I didn't want to miss my first catch!! As common as they are, Brown snakes are pretty cool. This one was maybe a year or so old. The first catch of the year, and a welcome one. This was a good sign and I had a long way to go, so I was looking forward to what else I may come across.

In this location there is a lot of old railroad ties scattered around. Many are really dug in, and it's a lot of work to find the ones with some air space under them. In the past I had bit a bit intimidated by the sheer number of them, but made the effort this year to really check them out. About half way on my normal route, it paid off. Under a small two foot piece I turned to find the recognizable yellow and brownish pattern of a Bullsnake. It was partially under the wood and partially covered by grass. I could only see one loop of it's body. I picked it up and it was very calm as it allowed me to ready my camcorder.At first I thought it was blue eyed, but it's body was pretty bright. It was then I noticed that the eye shield on it right eye was still on and it looked to be infected. Other than this, it was in very good shape. I took some initial footage and then it went into defense mode, which of course made for some more excellent footage.

I worked to get some good shots than took a break to see if I could help it's eye. I was able to get the shield off and it was still a little fluid around the eye, but looked much better. I took some more footage and then let it go on it's way.

These were the only finds of the day, but I considered myself very lucky. I had only found one juvenile Bullsnake last year, it was in the same area also, so this set a great tone for this year.

I am really ready to get out now with these finds and look forward to the rest of the season.

That's it for now.

Good herpin'!

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