Trip Details

Location: Linn County, IA

Weather: Sunny. High of 74 degrees. Low Wind.

Time: 12:30 p.m.

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: May the Fourth be with you!

First off, Happy Star Wars day to everyone! Being born in 1970 and being 7 years old when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time, it was a pretty huge influence on me. So what better day to go out herping!!!

I went to a usual local spot and after a nice walk came up with a “double” under a piece of metal. Two Milk Snakes (Lampropeltis triangulum) for the flip of one. Indeed the force was with me. Once was about 15 inches and the other, a little nicer one not getting ready to shed was closer to 22 inches.

Neither was all that eager to pose, but with a little patience I was able to get a few OK shots before moving on.

The next find was another Milk Snake about 13 inches long and had a nice post hibernation nose blister.

It appeared that it would be fine after shedding and otherwise was in good shape. It just looked a little grundgy now. This one was found near a hibernation site.

Next find was…another Milk. This one was about 11 inches and was in beautiful shape.

It clearly had shed not long ago and not only was a nice size between juvenile and adult, but had beautiful patterning and color. It was not all that cooperative either, but I did take some time to get some nice shots. That was four on the 4th. Not bad!

A little while later in a large open field tin where we have found racers and hognose, I found another milk snake.

This was a first for this species at this place. This one was the smallest at about 8 inches.

That was it for the day. A day later and I would have posted the thought as Cinco De Milk Snakes! I’ll take five for Star Wars days though. It was a quick get out and this was a nice number for the day.

And since Yoda choose to go into exile on a reptile rich planet, with his words of wisdom...I leave you.

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship. Do. Or Do Not. There is no Try.

(editor's note from Jim - I had absolutely nothing to do with the dorkiness of this post)

May the Force be with you…always.


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