Trip Details

Location: Linn county, Iowa

Conditions: 65 degrees, partly cloudy

Time: 5:30 pm

Herpers: Austin and Jim Scharosch

Austin and I went out to walk the field near our house today. He didn't really want to go, and I can somewhat understand why. He said that walking around in a field without anything to flip is "boring". I kinda agree with him, but I think I may be able to turn up a hognose in this field and break my jinx so he reluctantly agreed to come along.

We, of course, didn't find a hognose while walking the field. I did see a garter snake or a racer flash through the grass, but I didn't have a chance to grab it for identification.

On the way out of the area, we walked down to the same rocks where we had found the fox snake last week. I let Austin start turning the rocks and I mostly watched. The next thing I heard was a surprise. Austin called "Milk Snake" and I looked over to see him holding a twenty inch long milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

We live in a eastern-red milksnake intergrade area, and this one had a very "easterny" look, with the brown/red saddles and tan ground color. He hands it to me to look at and says "Where there is one snake, sometimes there are two", and he turns the rock next to the milk snake producing rock and there lays another adult milk.

This one was a little longer, at about twenty-four inches long. It was pretty funny how he called the snake and it was there.

We worked our way down this small area of rock. With the milk snakes out, I decided to start turning a few rocks. It wasn't more than a few minutes later and Austin pulls a last year's baby milk out of the rock pile. It was about five inches long.

He hands it to me walks another five steps and turns a tiny little rock and finds another baby milk! This one was the same size as the other baby, but was going into a shed so the coloration was very dark.

It was a cool finding that many milk snakes in a tiny little area that we used to drive by all the time without giving it a second thought. I noted to Austin that on Sunday he was declaring that he had a "Milk Snake Jinx" as he had never found one, and now, he was holding in his hand the seventh milk snake he had caught since Monday morning!

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