Trip Details

Location: Jackson County, Iowa

Weather: 42 degrees, cloudy and windy. Rain in the forecast.

Time: 11:00 a.m.

Herpers: Don Becker and Jim Scharosch

Account by: Jim Scharosch

Photos by: Jim Scharosch

Don and I set off to the timber den where we are doing habitat restoration work in Jackson County. It was cold, cloudy and windy. Not great weather for timbers, but great weather to get work done without bothering the timbers or losing herping days to work days. On the way up we discussed the possibility of seeing a timber. Don said he wouldn't expect it, but it wouldn't shock him. I said it would shock me. I wasn't really thinking about flipping a rock for a timber, only spotting one in a crevice. Looking back now, I probably should have thought of the rock flipping option...

Of course, soon after we got there, Don flipped this small Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) under a small rock near the den.

We didn't want to bother it too much so we took a few photos of the very cold snake and returned it to it's hiding spot.

We turned a few more rocks away from the den and found this really nice Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis).

Even in northeastern Iowa we don't always find this typical "eastern" looking garter snake. It had no red on the sides and a brown head and background color. It was pretty cool, but was a chore to get to sit for a photo, even in the cold weather.

We also turned up this very dark Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum).

It was a large adult, and in keeping with the theme, it didn't want to sit for photos at all. Thus this really terrible photo.

We got our work done and saw a few cool snakes on a very cold day.

Read our disclaimer here...