Trip Details

Location: Northwestern Missouri and Johnson County, Kansas

Conditions: Sunny and 75 degrees

Time: 11:00 am thru 5:00 pm

Herpers: Chad Whitney, Laura Scharosch, Austin Scharosch, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Laura, Austin and I went to Kansas City to go to my sister Jill's graduation. She had been teaching at Cleveland Chiropractic College, and now she has finished her chiropractic degree. She worked hard at that and balanced it with teaching full time, and graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Pretty impressive!

Of course, no trip to Kansas would be complete without slipping in a bit of herping, so I talked to Chad Whitney and we set up a one day trip. The weather was great, highs in the middle seventies and mostly sunny.

We met up in the morning and headed to some locations Chad knew about in northwestern Missouri. Our first stop had some boards here and there, and there were ringnecks under pretty much every one of them. It wasn't long before Austin flipped our first Red Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila).

It was going into shed, but you could tell that it would have been a very pretty snake.

A little farther on, Chad flipped another milk snake under a piece of tin.

We were all fairly close by at the time, and the snake was so colorful you could see it easily from ten feet away. I was glad to see this one, out of shed and perfect.

We moved on and worked some areas near the road. Some of the rocks were perfect, but we only saw more ringnecks. Chad did find this Western Worm Snake (Carphophis vermis).

Worm snakes are one of my favorites, but I didn't stop to try to take any good pictures.

We moved on to a junk site that Chad had visited previously, flipping some rocks along the way. When we got to the junk site, it had been bulldozed. That is always a crappy feeling, especially when it is a big part of the trip you have planned. We turned some more rocks and found another worm snake.

We decided to cut our losses and head back to Kansas. We went to a timber rattlesnake and copperhead den site that is fairly well known amongst Kansas herpers. I had never been there before. It was a really cool spot. We worked some rocks on the hillside on the way up, and then searched the cracks in the rock face. Chad spotted all the animals here, and if I remember right we saw four timbers and two copperheads. Only one of the snakes was out far enough to be easily photographed, this small Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).

Chad had to leave to make an appointment, but we stuck around for another hour. We turned some rocks in the glade habitat above the rock face. We turned up some more worm snakes and the ever-present ringnecks. I did find this last year's hatch baby milk snake under a rock. He did not want to sit still for photos, so this is all I got.

Though the animal count wasn't really high, it was a fun day. I always have a good time herpin' with Chad and this was no exception. Thanks to Chad for making time to get out with us. I just wish I could have stayed longer and herped more.

Read our disclaimer here...