Trip Details

Location: Jackson County, Iowa

Conditions: Middle 60's, breezy, mostly sunny

Time: 11:00 am

Herpers: Austin Scharosch, Jim Scharosch

Account and photos by Jim Scharosch

I was looking forward to having a chance to get out with just Austin on a decent trip this year. We had been out together a few times for really short trips, but I thought a longer trip to one of our regular Jackson county spots would be nice. The weather was a bit cooler than I would have liked, when we arrived it was a chilly 55 degrees. But the sun was shining, and it seemed like it would warm up.

We hiked up to the first location, some tin that has been laying out for years. We used to find stuff fairly regularly under the tin, but it hasn't really paid off lately. We found a small Redbelly Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata) under one piece.

Redbellies are small, but this one was really tiny and thin. It didn't want to sit still for pics.

Another piece of tin held another Redbelly, this one was fatter, and posed very nicely. I wish it hadn't been in shed.

We finished the tin and moved to the rocky area that was our main focus. We worked for a while, and I found a really nice baby Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

We moved on, and I found another milk snake. This one was about eighteen inches long. It was as pretty a milk snake as you will find in the eastern part of Iowa.

When I flipped the rock, I didn't call my standard, "MILKSNAKE!", I just said, "WOW!".

We worked along farther, and went thru the best part of the location for Timbers. I was kinda disappointed, as we didn't see any. Just past this area, for some reason, I hung around as Austin flipped a good sized rock. There sat the only Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) of the day.

It was about 26 inches long, which is the norm for most of the snakes we find in this spot. It was the pretty gold phase that we see often in Iowa. It was also the first Timber Austin had ever flipped on his own, so that was cool. I took a picture to commerate the event.

A while later, I found this baby milk snake. It was in shed and would not sit for pictures.

On the way out, Austin found another baby milk snake. This one was really nice, and Austin tried his hand at wrangling the little milk for photos.

As we walked back to the car, we could hear American Toads (Bufo americanus) calling. Austin found this one hopping along the road. It had a cool striped pattern, so I took some pictures.

It was a fun day, and it was nice for just Austin and I to get out on a longer trip together.

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