Trip Details

Start Time: 10:00 a.m./9:30 p.m.

Weather: Day: Mostly sunny and little wind. High 83 degrees. Night: Little wind and about 73 degrees.

Location: Harrison County, Missouri and Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma

Herpers: Mike Pingleton, Jeff LeClere, Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs
Photos by: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Quest for the Pigmy!

We had planned this trip this late in the year as it was the only time we could get the four of us together. Jeff was came down from Minnesota and he and Jim, picked me up. We would then meet Mike in Kansas City and we would gather our stuff and head south. Our first stop would be Oklahoma before heading down to eastern Texas.

On a previous trip Jim and I had spotted where an old billboard had blown down and there were a number of boards in a ditch. They were in a nice open field and had a creek nearby with rocky areas around the area as well. When we first found the boards we did not find animals, but it sure looked nice.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Some of the boards needed to settle in a little more and some we moved to a better location. We hoped it would pay off in time. Of course on this trip it had been a couple of months and so Jeff, Jim and I checked it out. Things were looking good and we did find one Ringneck Snake. On the last board the site paid off. We found a Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis c. calligaster) about twenty-six inches long.

Photo by Jim Scharosch

It was in shed, but it was still a nice find! After some pics, we headed out.

Our next stop was to get Mike and head out. Mike, as it turns out, had a herping stop of his own. Unfortunately in turning a railroad tie he injured his shoulder. He was in bad shape when we arrived, but armed with some ice bags he toughed it out and we headed out.

When we arrived in Oklahoma we did spot an old building not far from the hotel and so we walked over. We found some ground skinks, a leopard frog, a garter snake and a brown snake in some debris around the building. It was a quick stop and neither Jim nor I brought our camera. Had it been "bigger game" we would have gotten them.

A little later we went out again, and it wasn't long before we found what we were looking for, our main goal in this area, an eleven inch long Western Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius streckeri). It was a lifer for all four of us.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

Photos by Jim Scharosch

GREAT! Part of the pressure of the trip was off. This was one of the big finds we really wanted so it was awesome.

Photos by Jim Scharosch

A little later we found our next snake. It was a Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon c. contortrix). It was about twenty-two inches.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

Photo by Jim Scharosch

Later in the evening we found a Grey Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) in the road and I got a quick shot of it.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

Our trip had finally started and we were headed further south! Yeeeee-ha!

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