Trip Details

Location: Buchanan County, Iowa

Weather: Skies clear, very little wind, 70 degrees.

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Herpers: Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

A day ago I found a large dead on the road fox snake within a stone's throw of my house. Today I saw a huge DOR fox snake within a quarter mile of where I work. The weather was nice, so I decided I wanted to see a live fox snake. I ran up to a spot in Buchanan county where last May we had seen five juvenile fox snakes under a single rock.

This location did not disappoint, as I turned up a juvenile Western Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina) under about the fourth rock I turned.

The snake was about fourteen inches long. I decided I wasn't going to work very hard at photos since it was getting late and the batteries in my flash were dead. I returned the snake to it's rock and moved on. I covered another twenty feet or so and then found three more juvenile fox snakes under another rock. All three were in varying stages of the shedding process.

I posed them together for a quick shot then returned them to thier rock.

Not three feet away, I found another small fox snake.

Same deal, pics and release...

After seeing so many snakes spread across the hill, I didn't expect much when I got to the rock where we had found the five snakes last May. I was happy when I turned it and found another small fox snake.

All six of the fox snakes were about the same size, most likely starting thier second full summer. I have no idea if they were the same snakes we found last May, but I like to think so.

I turned a couple more small rocks on the way to the car and turned up a eighteen inch Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis), which by now I did not have the patience to take photos of. I shot a quick "in hand" shot and released it.

It was a nice short trip that helped to erase some of my "DOR Blues"

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