Trip Details

Location: Des Moines County, IA

Weather: Sunny. High of 82 degrees. Low Wind.

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Herpers: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Faster than a speeding Racer!

With the unseasonable spring you have already heard about in about every post up to this point, we took advantage of the extra time to do yet another scouting mission. This time we headed to SE Iowa and reports of Timber Rattlesnakes at a location down there.

When we arrived we walked an enormous concrete hill. This literally looked like someone tore up about a half mile of road and made a hill that eventually just became part of the surrounding ground. There was even some nice pieces of tin lying around that someone obviously laid out. Even at this time in the morning it was already getting warm and with sunny conditions basking snakes were very wary.

The April Fools was on us. We saw three, yes three Racers and yet all were on the move and we didn’t even get a hand on one. D’OH!!!

We went off to scout the area to no avail. Wherever the Timbers were, they were not where we were. Perhaps they developed a den from the cement as it really was extensive, but there was no sign of them this day. We knew it was a slow day when we stopped to take pictures of the local flora!

Photos by Jim Scharosch

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

We decided to move on and followed a road along a river in hopes of some rocks along the road.

As it was we did find some nice road cut rocks, but it took a while for them to pay off. Finally we found a decent sized rock that both of us lifted together and we were rewarded with a pretty nice Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) about 28 inches long.

Photos by Jim Scharosch

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

Since this was a pretty nice Milk and the only thing we found thus far we took time in getting some pics. It even posed fairly nicely for us and we rewarded it with a quick photo session and a nice replacement of its rocky home to go back to.

On the way back we stopped at a backwater area by the river and Jim got a some pictures of a couple of frogs.

A small Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Photo by Jim Scharosch

A Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)

Photo by Jim Scharosch

That was it for the day. Not a great day, but we did find the Milk and that is the earliest we have found one. We also learned a bit about a new area so that in itself was a success. We will see what the rest of the spring brings, but we already have a great start. No fooling.

Herpin’ Happy!

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