Trip Details

Location: Linn County, Iowa

Conditions: 85 degrees, sunny

Time: 8:30 pm

Herpers: Austin and Jim Scharosch

Last week we visited a quarry near our house with Jeff LeClere and Dāv Kaufman. Jeff caught a fox snake that had a very dry shed stuck on and had yellow bubbles of an infection under the skin showing thru. I brought it home and put it in a damp cage. I got the nasty shed off and gave it a clean place to hang out and heal for a week. You can see how kinda see how nasty it looked on this picture, notice the swelled up eye on the bigger snake.

Austin and I took it back to the quarry to cut it loose. After we let it go, we went to one part of the quarry that we had mostly bypassed on our previous stop here. It was a spot where a west facing ridge of rock curves around some to the south, and the soil is a little more sandy. Mosquitos were killin me, but we decided to turn a few rocks on our way back to the car. After a couple of minutes, I turned a rock and found a really nice fox snake (Elaphe vulpina).

It was very light with a striking gold body color. The head was orange, and was distinctly different from the body color. I think it is the prettiest fox snake I have ever seen.

I also found a garter snake, but didn't take any pictures. A couple of minutes later, I said, "this little area looks very milksnakey" and then I turned a couple of rocks and saw a fifteen inch long Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

It was typically colored for the area, with dark red saddles on a gray background.

I decided to bring the fox snake and the milksnake home to take pics as the sun was starting to set and the skeeters were kickin my butt.

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