Trip Details

Location: Minnesota

Weather: Mostly clear skies. High in the mid-eighties, low humidity.

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Herpers: Jeff LeClere, Anne Yen, Bruce Brecke, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

The second day of the trip didn’t start out with a snake outside of the field house. We did, however, have an appointment with the veterinarian to get a transmitter implanted. Anne and Bruce took off for another area to do some survey work, and Jeff and I took off with the bullsnake from the day before. I took this photo before we left.

We got to the vet’s office and took a “before” x-ray of the snake.

These are transmitters.

Jeff, recording some data.

After that, we went to the operating room and anesthetized the snake.

It took a very long time for the snake to go under. I was surprised, but I guess snakes can hold their breath for a long time! After what seemed like forever, but was probably twenty minutes, the doctor began the procedure.

From first incision to final stitch-up took less than fifteen minutes. After the procedure, Jeff took measurements and implanted the PIT tag.

The snake slowly began to come out of the anesthesia.

You can see the stitches in this photo.

We took an “after” x-ray. You can see the transmitter and the small PIT tag in the x-ray. We ended up naming this snake Loopie. If you look at the antenna in the x-ray you can see why.

When we got back to the field house we met back up with Anne and Bruce. They didn’t have much to report from the survey work. They had found a small eastern hognose snake freshly hit and dead on the road.

After lunch we ran all of the drift fences and radio tracked the four snakes that we had tracked the day before. The drift fences turned up a couple of Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis).

The radio tracked females hadn’t moved far, the male in the stick pile hadn’t moved at all. Marshie was moving again though. He was about halfway across the field back in the direction he had originally come from. I remember wondering to myself if he would continue that direction throughout the day and would be across the field when we tracked him the next day.

This photo was taken from where Marshie was found. You can barely make out the highway in the distance where we had first picked up his signal the previous day.

Looking the other direction, you can see the marsh behind that first tree and off in the distance the beginning of the treeline for the forest he had crossed through to get to this field.

Early in the evening we checked the last set of drift fences. I pulled out another eastern garter snake.

We then released Loopie, who had had the transmitter implanted that morning.

We located a small hole in the ground that went into a rodent burrow and she shot right down the hole, showing no signs of grogginess from the mornings procedure.

I blew through this day, but it had been a long day and it was already getting near dusk. Anne was going to be doing some turtle trapping as part of her survey work so Jeff wanted to show her how he wanted the traps deployed. Before heading off for dinner, we grabbed four turtle traps of three different styles, baited them with sardines and Anne deployed them in the pond near the field station.

We weren’t expecting to catch much, but hoped to get a couple of turtles so Jeff could show her how he wanted the data recorded.

The field house at dusk.

We headed off and grabbed a nice dinner in town. It was a fun day and I had a great time at dinner with Jeff and Anne.

Read our disclaimer here...