Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Trip Details

Kansas Whirlwind Trip - Day 2

Start Time: 3:00 p.m.

Location: Russell County, KS

Weather: Cold in the morning and windy (about 35 degrees with the wind chill). By the start of herping, it was about 62 degrees, partly sunny with low wind.

Herpers: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: A crappy day to herp.

So Sunday was the opposite of Saturday. It started poorly and ended...well, you'll find out. We woke up and it was sunny. That was good. It was also cold. That was bad. We headed toward an area we planned to herp and on the way traveled through Greensburg, KS.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

This is a town that was literally wiped off the map by a tornado a year before. The destruction was still very evident as we drove through. We did take some pictures, but they can hardly convey what you see and actually feel when you are there. You gain a poignant perspective. I had not felt that way since I was in New York at ground zero. It is a quite humbling experience. We had not eaten breakfast and since we had not camped we thought we would stop at a park in town and cookout. We did. It was cold...oh yeah - AND windy (see notation in intro). We ate BBQ pork in tortilla wraps which was actually pretty good. Quite the breakfast, however it was nearly noon. We decided to head a little further than planned in order to maximize our time when it was good to herp. By the time we reached our destination it was 3:00 p.m. We were set for the next day being this far along. It had warmed up and the wind had died down a fair amount. We did get out to a few close spots. We found another Western Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus), this one being about fifteen inches.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Photo by Jim Scharosch

Considering the conditions of the day, this was a good find. We also found a female adult Five-Lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus).

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Since we did not plan to find much, I took a few pics to fill out this post - ha ha. We also found another juvenile Eastern Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor flaviventris) and this time I did take some pictures.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

This one was about ten inches long. We also found some nice male Eastern Collard Lizards (Crotaphytus c. collaris) that posed quite nicely.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

They were about eight inches long. The weather was fair now and we were looking forward to actually setting up camp. Our last stop proved to be our highlight. In some scattered junk we flipped a double - two adult Great Plains Rat Snakes (Elaphe emoryi).

One was in shed, so we didn't spend much time taking photos of it.

Photo by Jim Scharosch

The other was a really nice looking animal.

Photos by Jim Scharosch

Both rat snakes were adults. It was 7:02 p.m. We took a fair amount of time getting some good pics before we decided it was time to set up camp. That was it for the day. I did manage get a few nice shots of our camping area.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

During the night we could hear some geese that had set up by us and a lone coyote in the distance. Many areas were also burning off fields and the glow was cool but slightly ominous. A night on the lone prairie. I got up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break and living in town and then being out in the open like this one can forget how many stars there really are. It's not the easy way, but it's the herpin' way!!!

Happy Herpin'!

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