Trip Details

Start Time: 9:45 a.m.

Weather: Sunny. 80 degrees for a high. Mild wind.

Location: Delaware & Linn Co. Iowa

Herpers: Austin Scharosch, Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Let me introduce you to Allotta Walking.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Jim and I are trying to make a point to search new areas. It’s a little difficult when you only have so many days to herp to balance places you know you will (may) find stuff with places that you are expanding to or trying to perhaps reestablish old records. This year we made a concerted effort to broaden our range. On 5/24 we did re-establish a county record for Black Rat Snakes in Delaware County and we were back in the same area to see if we could do the same for Timber Rattlesnakes.

Our first stop however was a place where I had found some Milk Snakes. This spot did not disappoint. The first find was a Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) that was blue eyed and about 21 inches in length. Somehow we missed getting pictures of this one. It was already quite warm and the Milks were very wriggly. Not long after we found a second, about 15 inches in length. This one had some spinal abnormalities and was a bit garfed up, but seemed to be doing OK considering.

Photo by Jim Scharosch

The third was to be the nicest looking. It was about 18 inches and not only in good shape (no garfs) but had a nice pattern and color.

Photos by Jim Scharosch

After these, we hit it old school and on the permission from a new friend with empathy for our “odd” hobby we hit the hillsides and walked...and walked. We put in a few good hours searching to no avail. We did see some great natural features, but the only other snake in this area was a be a nice size Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) about 10 inches long under a piece of tin that we got a quick situ shot of and left alone as she was gravid.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

It was a great effort and well worth the work. This will add to our knowledge of the area and will help in future expeditions to the area.

On the way home from Jim’s I did stop by one place I wanted to check quick. I didn’t find much and was walking back to my car when I spotted a large Racer (Coluber constrictor). This was one of the larger ones I have seen in Iowa. She was a good 48 inches and appeared to also be gravid. She was a little garfed up and did not have the best color, but she was big and that was cool.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

I got a few quick shots, tried not to bother her much and when done she slid off into a pile of mulchy undergrowth. No doubt this is where she was basking and will soon intend to lay her eggs. That’s all folks!

Until next time, Happy Herpin’!!!

Random shot of Jim's truck and a waterfall from the trip

Photo by Jim Scharosch

Random shot of a snail too...

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

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