Trip Details

Location: Delaware, Benton counties, Iowa

Weather: High of 70 degrees, cloudy early, partly cloudy late

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Herpers: Don Becker, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

Don and I went to Delaware County to check back on an area we found earlier this year. We knew it was an overwintering spot and with the season winding down we wanted to see what might be hanging out there. We turned some rocks and found a this year's baby Fox Snake (Pantherophis vulpinis).

We also turned up a number of Common Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis) at the site.

This one was a large female on the crawl. She was out to catch some late season sun and was very dirty from being underground.

That was all we found at the site, and we moved on toward a site we have been visiting for years. Along the route we stopped at a likely looking new spot, and though much of the rock wasn't what we would consider quality herping rock, we mangaged to find this nice Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

It was a very pretty snake, and had a very high blotch count.

That was it from this site so we headed on to our target site. When we got there we were disappointed to see a herd of cattle hanging out amongst the rocks. We didn't want to get out and chase them off, so we reluctantly skipped the site and headed on. We drove around for a while looking for other new sites, but we struck out. We decided to end the day with another site that we both visit often. It's normally the first and last site I visit each year, and and it will likely be this year again.

Stopping here paid off quickly, as we found another milk snake.

Don flipped another milk just as it was headed down into the deeper rocks of the den. We were able to fish him out for photos before returning him to the hole he was headed down.

A few more rocks and we turned up our second fox snake of the day. This one was another young snake, but appeared to be a second year juvenile.

We also found a handful of garter snakes. I stopped to photograph this one as it was a bit oddly colored. It was much more brown than most garters we see in our area. The camera flash gives the snake a much more red appearance than it actually had.

That rounded out the day. I was disappointed not to get to check the one densite, but it was still a good day. I know I have said on the last two posts that I was probably done for the year, but this time I'm pretty sure I really am done for the year.


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