Trip Details

Start Time: 11:00 a.m.

Weather: Sunny. Around 80 degrees. Low wind.

Location: Jackson Co. Iowa

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account & pictures by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Last trip of the season?

This may well have been the last trip for 2007. I had found a few good herps the day before and wanted to at least end with a Timber. I trekked out east and went to a familiar site. After a decent amount of rock turning I finally found my target. Mt first find was a twenty-five inch Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus).

It was hesitant to go defensive and just wanted to get outta there and be left alone. Of course I needed to get some pics first. I did need to "lid" it (take a plastic flower pot lid and allow it to go under) to make it settle down. This worked pretty good and I was able to get a few shots before it went on the run again.

The habitat shot provided is its victory of being allowed to go back under its rock when I had gotten my pictures.

My next find was a juvenile Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) about eight inches long.

This one would NOT sit still. I staged a nice rock to work with it and that still didn't work. I cupped with my hands and that worked to some degree. It did want to stay on the run, but did get a little feisty as I kept working with it. It was a little dark and I was soon to notice why upon closer examination. It was ready to shed. As I wrangled it I noticed the skin EASILY coming off on its own. I let the snake crawl through my hands and it shed itself out. I got a couple of pics before the shed, a pic while shedding and a couple after.

I was having a hard time with light and shade. I am still working on getting a decent flash, so the pics are somewhat variable, but you get the picture, no pun intended. I finally let this little one go about its business.

My last find was not one I usually take pictures of, but as it was a little lazy and easy to capture I decided to take an "in hand" shot. It is a juvenile Five-Lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus) about four inches long.

That's it for me and probably it for this year.

Until next year?...

Happy Herpin'

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