Trip Details

Location: Linn and Benton Counties, Iowa

Weather: 72 degrees, clear skies, light winds

Time: 3:30

Herpers: Jim Scharosch, Jim DeRynck

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

My wife Laura's brother Jim was in town from Michigan and we had some time to kill in the afternoon so we went out to try out three of my local spots. It was a nice warm day so I knew we would see at least a few things. Jim isn't a snake guy, actually, just the opposite. Jim is not a fan of snakes at all, but was a good sport about it and enjoyed the time outside and asked a lot of questions.

I'm not going to go into a lot of detail about what we saw because it was mostly Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) and Brown Snakes (Storeria dekayi). We ended up with nine garters and five browns. One rock had four browns and a young of year garter. Here are various "in hand" cell phone shots of the garters and browns.

At my spot in Benton County I found a Western Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus).

This would have been a really big deal if I hadn't found one in this spot last year, but even so it was really cool to see another one. The one from last year was a new county record for Benton county, but this one proves that last year's wasn't a fluke. This one was larger than the one from last year. I would guess it at about 26 inches long.

That's all we saw. I was hoping for a Fox Snake or a Milk Snake, but it might be just a shade too early. Soon enough though...

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