Trip Details

Location: Madison county, Iowa

Weather: High of 70 degrees, mostly cloudy

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Herpers: Kenny Wray, Don Becker, Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch except where noted

Don and I went to Madison county to meet up with Kenny Wray. Kenny had moved to Iowa earlier this year from the much more herp rich Florida, but we wanted show him that Iowa did have a few things to offer. It was pretty late in the season, but we knew we would see at least a few things in Madison county. The sun was peaking in and out of the clouds after a foggy morning and it was reasonably warm for the time of year.

We started at an area well known for milksnakes. It didn't take long to find our first Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum) of the day.

It was a very pretty snake, but it had a large wound on it's side so I didn't want to mess with it for photos. You can see the gash in the photo.

Unless I missed photographing one, and I don't think I did, we ended up with five more milks at this area. I didn't spend a lot of time taking photos, and it shows in the quality of shots I took.

There was decent variation between the snakes, and I thought the last one was really nice. I especially liked the head pattern, which very symetrical.

Don also turned up a Lined Snake (Tropidoclonion lineatum) under a large rock.

It was a small one, probably about five inches long. They are snakes I don't often see in Iowa, so it was a welcome find.

The telltale sign for lined snakes is the crescent shaped markings on the ventral side.

We moved on and stopped at a couple of smaller timber dens without any luck. We moved to a larger den, and saw three Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) in holes and crevices.

Photos by Don Becker

Don managed to get photos of two of them.

We also saw a couple of Cricket Frogs (Acris blanchardi) in a small seep near the den.

Photo by Don Becker

We also saw a handful of common garter snakes throughout the day, though I didn't stop to photograph any.

It was a fun late season herping trip. It was nice to get out with Kenny, whom I had talked to over the phone and online, never actually met.

I'm still hoping to get out one more time this year, just to get a post up in November. Come on weather, help me out!!

Read our disclaimer here...