Trip Details

Location: Delaware, Buchanan and Benton Counties, Iowa

Weather: 58 degrees, cloudy, no wind

Time: 5:00

Herpers: Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

I went on a three county spin-around tonight after work. The temperature never topped 60 degrees so it seemed like a perfect day to see some milk snakes.

First stop was an area I visit every year in Delaware county. It always produces milk snakes, and today was no different. Just a couple rocks in and I pulled out this large, dark colored Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

It had some sort of damage to it's mouth, but looked like after a shed it would be okay. It was a bit over two feet long.

The next milk snake was much more attractive.

It was much less brown, with a grayish background color and dark red saddles. It was smaller at just under two feet long.

The next one was similar, but with slightly smaller black outlines on the saddles.

Then another darker one.

And finally another with the more grayish background color.

That was it here, and I moved on to a spot in Buchanan county. This spot is always good for juvenile fox snakes. First thing I found was a young adult Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina).

It was just under three feet long.

The next rock held a milk snake.

Next was a juvenile fox snake.

A few rocks later, another milk snake.

This one was smaller and in shed. It was very dark colored.

Then another juvenile fox snake.

Then another fairly average milk.

That took care of this spot. With all the milks I was seeing, I decided I would stop off at my Benton County spot even though the light was getting low. It was about 8:00 when I got there so I was cherry-picking only the best rocks. I wanted two more milks to get my number up to ten.

It didn't take long to get the first one.

It was a bit over two feet long. I thought it was a very attractive snake for this area. It had a light background color with smallish saddles and an oddly patterned head.

Soon I got another, pushing my afternoon total to ten.

This was another adult, pretty much the opposite of the last animal with it's brownish background color, long, deep brick red saddles and wide black saddle outlines.

The final find of the night was another fox snake, pretty much the same size as the first one from the previous site.

It was a fun night, cramming all of those finds into a three and a half hour, niney mile round trip. Sometimes things just sorta work...

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