Trip Details

Location: Jefferson and Bullitt Counties, Kentucky

Conditions: Sunny, highs in the mid seventies

Time: 9:00 am thru early evening

Herpers: Will Bird, Phil Peak, Ben Helm, Wes Lego, Clay Schmutke, Brian Baker, Barry Ransom, Steve Craig, Mike Pingleton, Jeff LeClere, Jim Scharosch

This was the day we were to meet up with the Phil Peak, Will Bird and members of the Kentucky Herp Society. Later in the morning, Jeff was going to arrive at the airport and then meet up with us. After breakfast, we met up with the group and set off to the first site. This was a site where we could find mud salamanders, and the group set out to flip some rocks. I didn't flip anything here, I just talked with Phil. Not much was turning up, then Mike called out that he had one and walked up with an awesome Midland Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus diastictus)

Some habitat shots

Will working on some photos

We all took pictures, released the sally and moved on to the next site.

The next location was a tin site, and we all gathered at the first few pieces. We flipped five Black Racers (Coluber constrictor) under the first four sheets of tin we turned.

That was pretty cool, see those kinds of numbers right off the bat. We worked our way around the site, and under one of the last few sheets of tin, I turned up this Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getulus nigra).

It was one of the snakes I really wanted to find while I was down here, and I was glad to find one myself. All the necessary pictures were taken, and we went to meet up with Jeff. Jeff arrived at the meeting spot about the same time we did. His ten mile cab ride cost eighty-five dollars! Thankfully the KHS was kind enough to pick up the tab.

We got our wagon train together and we went out to check some sites. At the first site, we turned up this Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix).

We found a couple of Ring-Necked Snakes (Diadophis punctatus), and while everyone else was taking pics of the copperhead, I took some pics of the one of the ring-necks.

I usually don't take much time to photograph them, but I was glad I did as I got this one to sit nicely. We also turned up a couple of Smooth Earth Snakes (Virginia valeriae).

At another site, we found this Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus).

Snake wrangling for photos is one of the universals of the hobby, here's Will wrangling the worm snake.

We also found another racer at this site. Here's Jeff with the racer.

We also found another copperhead at this location. It was really nice, the head was very coppery colored and was very distinctly separated from the body color.

It was really cool, and I had really hoped to see one this nice on the trip.

At this point, we stopped to grab lunch, then we headed out for a last quick stop to find queen snakes. We drove into the suburbs of Louisville, and ended up at a creek in a park. It didn't take long to find a Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata).

There were tons of them at the site, we probably found about ten of them in just a few minutes. Jeff turned up this really pretty Midland Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis).

Both of these snakes were lifers for me.


After this long day of herpin, and still stinkin of queen and water snake musk, we headed off to present at the Kentucky Herp Society meeting. Mike went first, presenting on the Snake Road in southern Illinois. I went next, presenting on Kansas herps, and Jeff went last, presenting on "A Year in the Life of a Minnesota Herper". It may have been a bit much, as our presentations went on for a healthy two and a half hours. I think they went pretty well though, and everyone seemed to like it. We were pretty wiped out, and it was late when we finally got back to camp.

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