Trip Details

Location: Iowa

Weather: 61 degrees, mostly cloudy, windy

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Herpers: Jim DeRynck, Jim Scharosch

I list Jim DeRynck as one of the herpers, but that is a bit of a stretch. Jim is my wife's brother, and when he comes to visit he likes to get out and walk around with me when I go look for snakes and such. This was one of those trips, but this one had the added bonus of possibly finding massasauga rattlesnakes, which probably make him a bit more nervous than he wanted to admit.

Well, spoiler alert, we didn't find any. The weather and our timing didn't quite work out, we were a bit too early in the day to hit the correct window and we had family obligations that kept us from staying late enough to hit the proper temperature window that occured later in the afternoon. Oh well, that's herping I guess.

Here are our consolation prizes...

I almost stepped on this Plains Garter Snake (Thamnophis radix).

I like seeing these guys, and don't come across them all that often. He was about twenty inches in length.

We also found this Western Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus) on the crawl.

I thought it was a garter snake as it jetted off, but had second thoughts and grabbed it up. Glad I did. I knew it was going to be a lot of work to get it to sit for photos so I didn't try.

This tiny Smooth Green Snake (Opheodrys vernalis) was under a board.

It wasn't any more than two and a half inches long. It was coiled when I found it and the coil was the size of a nickle. I didn't work very hard at getting pics because I didn't want to mess with the tiny snake too long.

We probably saw seven or eight eastern garters that I didn't stop to photograph.

That was it, too bad the timing didn't work out better, but we did see a nice variety of the animals that are up there.

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