Trip Details

Location: Jackson County, IA

Weather: 59 degrees. Overcast to partly sunny. Moderate wind.

Time: 5:15 p.m.

Herpers: Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Matt Ricklefs

Well, let's face it folks, as of late a post from me on my own is about as unusual as a Timber basking on a cold, windy, cloudy day, but...

I had some time and needed to do some things in checking out our Herpjournal Habitat Restoration Project so I got off work and headed up and over. What? Not sure what the HHRP is?? Well, just check out the special section on the main Herpjournal page for further details!!

If you have followed along on posts over the years, or I suppose if you havenít there are a few specific locations at this spot. I went to the first spot and under my first two rocks, both of which had paid off more often than not, I found a Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) under each.

We had had a nice amount of rain and the conditions under the rocks were about perfect for Milks. Each was about 27 inches long. For being a cold, cloudy day they really did not want to sit still. I suppose it was late and Iím certain they were settled in for the night as well. We had also had pretty seasonal weather and from this day through the next couple days it was going to be much cooler so perhaps they were able to pick up on that. I got a few Ok shots and moved on.

At the second location I put my camera bag down and was checking out the area when I noticed I had a little friend not too far from me checking out what I was doing. It was a juvenile Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) from the previous year.

I got all my shots as it lay and did not disturb it. It had been sunnier earlier in the day, but it had been cloudy for quite a while before I got there. Perhaps it knew something as well, because about 15 minutes later the sun came out a little more; though it did not last.

I had to call Jim to touch base on a couple of things and in going over the herps found I boasted I could probably find many more Milk snakes. A boast that apparently gave me a Friday the 13th jinx early (the next day was Friday the 13th). Though I didnít work super hard because I did need to get home, I did hit some other good rocks and nothing. I did find an Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) about 13 inches long under a rock and used it to pad my species count a little.

That was it. Not bad for a gloomy day and a quick trip. Ya just never know what you'll find, so it is worth getting out. :) Yeah, I know - the irony.

Happy Herp'n Everyone. Observe and Preserve

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