Trip Details

Day & Date: Saturday, September 22, 2007

Start Time: 1:00 p.m.

Weather: Sunny. Around 75 degrees. Medium wind.

Location: Linn Co. Iowa

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account & pictures by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: A wide variety of critters.

My wife was out with her cousin so I decided to venture out for a quick herp outing. I let my dog, Wiley, outside the front door.

In doing so I noticed a rather large moth clinging to the front screen.

I'm not sure what kind it was, but it was pretty cool. It looked as though it was on it's way out. Unfortunate, but part of the way things are. It was there until that evening and it was gone, so perhaps it had some life after all. An interesting way to start the day. I let Wiley back in, of course, and headed out.

I stopped at a few usual spots and the first find was something again a little unusual. An Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma t. tigrinum).

It was in a shallow half burrow under cover. It was approximately seven inches long. Not huge, but that's fine with me. It spent its time looking awkward as they often do. This one would hunch over in defense and milk up then lay out and look odd that way too. I was able to get a few OK shots before allowing it to burrow back up.

En route to my next check spot I spooked a flock of turkeys.

I got a few fleeting shots. They are cool birds.

My next find was not unusual, but something I had not found in this particular area for some time. It was a Racer (Coluber constrictor).

In this area there is some debate on Blue vs. Eastern Yellow-Bellied, so I will keep it simple. I got a few shots from above and below as well as a close up to show the coloration. This one posed fairly well. It was approximately nineteen inches long. That was it for this area, so I moved along to my last spot.

I only found one thing at my last spot. OK, I did see some deer and did get a few quick pics.

I included one for proof of my find (ha ha). In correction, I found only one herp. It was a good way to end the day though. It was a juvenile Bullsnake (Pituophis c. sayi).

It was approximately twelve inches long. It was a little skittish, but did allow a few good pics. Not bad for a quick outing. It did make me want to do a little more, so I planned a quick, but longer trip on Sunday.

But that is a whole other post....

Until next time...

Happy Herpin'

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