Trip Details

Start Time: 12:45 p.m.

Weather: Sunny with few clouds. Around 67 degrees to start to a high of about 73. High winds with gusts to about 15-20 mph.

Location: Douglas Co. Colorado

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account & photos by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: There’s one!!!

This was a day I had set aside for herping. The wind was bad, but the other weather conditions were pretty good. It had taken a while to warm up, but I finally ventured out. I went to a small park my cousin told me about. It didn’t seem like much, but it had an old foundation and some scattered stuff around. I wandered around and followed the foundation. I was looking closely when behind me I heard a distinctive hissing. I turned around to find not one, but two Bullsnakes (Pituophis c. sayi) coiled together. Colorado also had a late spring and there was no doubt they were thinking about, uh, getting to know each other a little better. I was glad they were not locked up and both started to move, so I did as well. The largest one had a very beautiful mostly yellow head and was about five feet.

The other was a little more typical for what I usually see and was about four feet long.

I was very glad to find these two. Since I wasn’t sure what else I may find I took some time with getting pictures of these two, although it was not easy. Both were well tempered, but did NOT want to pose. I was able to win out though and I got a few good shots. After I was done I set one down exactly where I found it to see where it would go. I was not surprised when it went right for the foundation and down inside.

I repeated this and the second did the exact same thing and both ended up in the same area.

Later in the day I hit a larger park, but only got pictures of a Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans vagrans) about twenty-two inches long.

I was glad to document another of these garters. They have a habit of raising their heads high to survey around them. I thought that was pretty cool. I did also get a nice shot of a Bluebird on a nesting house in the park.

By the time I was finished it was 4:25 p.m. On the way to the park I went by a house. I was not sure if it was live or abandoned and on the way back I determined it was abandoned. There was a few things scattered around, but there was one large board that lit off my herp senses so I decided to stop.

I wandered around the house and had not found anything, however, as is good to investigate, there was more good stuff that I could see at first. I saved my board for last. I was hoping for a least a racer but was rewarded with something better. As I turned the board what “materialized” was a familiar and beautiful ringed pattern. It was a Central Plains Milk Snake (Lampropeltis t. gentilis).

It was about twenty inches long and was a VERY welcome sight. It did not want to pose much, but I did spend a little while on this. Gentilis really are beautiful milk snakes.

I had corresponded with Tim/“CViridis” from FieldHerpForum and we hooked up later in the early evening to try and squeek out a little herping. It was getting cool quickly and we did not find anything as late as it was, but it was great talking with him and getting to know a fellow herper. This was a really great day of herping considering I was not sure I would be able to really get out at all. I made a new friend and found some cool Colorado herps.

Excellent herping to all!!

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