Trip Details

Start Time: 6:45 p.m.

Weather: Sunny with few clouds. Around 74 degrees. Little wind.

Location: Linn Co. Iowa

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account & photos by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Double Double!!

I had recently returned from Colorado and had spent little time getting out in Iowa. When I had, I had gone to some of my normal spots, and so I planned this again. I had one area that had not produced for me yet, but it had for others. I started there.

My first find was a good one. I got a double! A twenty-four inch racer (Coluber constrictor) and a twenty-eight inch Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos). The hoggie played dead pretty quick so I got some pics of the racer.

The racer was very blue-eyed and getting ready to shed. As I took pics of the racer, the hoggie started to “come alive” and I got one quick shot of it in a defense mode before it “died” again.

After that it stayed “dead”. I tried to finagle some shots of the “dead hoggie” with varied success. If they kept their mouth closed, it would be easier :). The flipping on the back doesn’t help much either though.

I finished with these two snakes. When I let it go, the racer went back where it was and I carefully placed the Hognose safely under cover.

I had one other area to check and it was starting to get a little darker out so I knew I didn’t have much time. Yes, as the thought of the day suggests, I got another double. As a matter of fact it was an EXACT double. Another racer and Hognose, both about the same size and color. This time I was prepared. I got my camera ready in case there was another hoggie, and to my surprise I was rewarded with one. I got some situ shots and rather than mess with the hognose, I let it go down a hole it was near.

I was able to get pics of the racer as the first one was more dull colored being blue eyed.

I pondered to myself how coveted the Eastern Hognose had been for us for so long and now we have an area where we have found them with some “regularity”. The magic still hasn’t worn off though, they are still awesome to find!

Until next time, happy herpin’

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