Trip Details

Location: Benton County, Iowa

Weather: 65 degrees, clear skies, light winds

Time: 6:00 pm

Herpers: Don Becker, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

Okay, so I lied about this past Sunday being my last time herping this year...

Don and I went out to scout a new location not far from where I live. When we finished up we went for a quick stop at a nearby den site that I often visit in the early spring. It was the same spot I started my season at back on March 31st. It consistently pays off with at least gartersnakes, and often with milks and the occasional ribbon snake.

It only took a couple of rocks before we flipped a triple. One large rock sheltered a Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum), a Fox Snake (Pantherophis vulpinus) and a Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon).

The milk was an adult around two feet long. The watersnake was probably eighteen inches. I didn't bring my camera so I only shot voucher shots with my cell phone. The fox snake didn't stay put for a combined in-situ photo.

It appeared to be a two year old snake, probably about sixteen inches in length. A few rocks later turned up another milk snake.

It was another adult, slightly longer than the first and had the dark chocolate coloration that I commonly find at this site. The last find was an Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis).

All the snakes were right at the den entrances, and the temperatures around here are really beginning to drop. The watersnake was very dirty from going deep underground in the den. I think snake season is really shutting down for the year now, so that should be it for 2015. It's been a great year for me and seeing a fox snake and a couple of milks was a great way to close it out!!

Read our disclaimer here...