2005 Snake Summary Page

This will be my detailed description page of all of my snake trips.
 

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October
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December

 
Date / Conditions
Summary
January 02, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   69°
Itís a new year; therfore, itís time to start my 2005 snake count.  The weather was still warm so my dad and I set out to a favorite spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  It was cloudy but very humid.  We had a good day.  We ended the day with 3 eastern garter snakes, 2 northern water snakes, and 1 western ribbon snake.  We also saw several red-eared sliders, a western painted turtle, several blanchardís cricket frogs, a couple green frogs, a couple southern  leopard frogs, and  a ground skink.  We also heard several spring peepers.  A total of 6 snakes.
January 12, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   70°
The weather called for high temperatures near 70 degrees today, so Mike and I headed out to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  Before Mike got there, I found a nice little eastern garter snake.  After we met up, I took him to the spot where I saw the garter snake and near the area was a different garter snake. We soon spotted two northernwater snakes not far from that spot.  One of the water snakes was in the water.  We continued finding another water snake, a ribbon snake, and several more garter snakes.  We also stopped at a vernal pool and saw many ringed salamander larva.  The days totals were 6 eastern garter snakes, 3 northern water snakes, and 1 western ribbon  snake.  A total of 10 snakes.
February 05, 2005
Mostly Cloudy   58°
The weather was great and I just had to get out, even if it was only for a little while.  On the way out to my  The weather was great and I just had to get out, even if it was only for a little while.  On the way out to my grandparents house I stopped off at a spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  In less than an hour, I found two northern water snakes.  I left, in route to my grandparentís house again and I found a DOR Prairie Kingsnake. A total of 3 snakes. 
 February 12, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   59°
I was ready to get out on this warm winter day.  I headed to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri with my dad.  We herped for several hours searching out new potential herp areas wthout finding anything, but a dead armadillo.   This was the farthest north I have ever seen one.  I then headed over to the spot that usually produces.  I soon saw a southern leopard frog.  The next find was an eastern garter snake.  While photographing the snake my dad found two eastern garter snakes mating.  This was also a surprise to me.  I never would have thought that snakes mated this early in the year.  I guess the weather is a little confussing.  Shortly  after this find, we found the same northern water snake that we see everytime we visit this spot.  Our last find was a small eastern garter snake.  It looked as if he had been out for the first time this year.  It was a good day.   A total of 5 snakes. 
 February 15, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   72°
It was extremely warm for tihis time of the year, so I was at it again.  I headed back over to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  The first find was a trio of snakes.  I first spotted an eastern yellow-bellied racer. I then noticed a nicely colored eastern garter laying on top of the racer.  When I changed my position, I noticed a large northern water snake lying underneath the racer and garter snake.  This was a rather neat find.  I then found five more eastern garter snakes through the rest of the day. A total of 8 snakes .
March 04, 2005 
Mostly Sunny  66°
It was very warm today, and I hadnít been out in a couple weeks.  I took my younger brother to a spot in St. Charles County Missouri that I hadnít been to yet this year.  We herped a couple of hours with some luck.  We saw 11 eastern garter snakes and an eastern yellow-bellied racer.  It was like spring, the way the snakes were darting through the grass.  I heard several snakes rustleing through the vegetation, that I never saw.  However, the highlight of the trip was not a herp, but a Peregrine Falcon.  A total of 12 snakes.
 March 18, 2005 
Partly Cloudy   62°
I took work off early today to do some herping.  I headed over to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  The weatherman called for a 64 degree mostly sunny day.  The temperature was  close, hanging around 60 degrees, but most of the day was cloudy and very windy.  However, the first herp of the day was a black rat snake coiled on the bluff.  Then I flipped my first ring-necked snake of the year followed by seven more.  The last herp was a midland brown snake.  It was a good day.  We saw 8 Prairie Ring-necked Snakes, 1 Midland Brown Snake, and 1 Black Rat Snake. A total of 10 snakes.
March 20, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   52°
I had a little time left in the day, so my dad and I headed over to a spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  We arrived around 3:30 P.M.  There wasnít a lot of time.  We  had some success.  We found two eastern garter snakes, one midland brown snake, and a nice blanchardís cricket frog.  A total of 3 snakes. 
March 27, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   52°
It was Easter so I spent the day at my grandparentís property.  It was barely warm enough to herp.  I found one prairie ring-necked snake and 1 midland brown snake. A total of 2 snakes.
March 29, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy   75°
My dad and I headed over to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  The day was almost too much to take.  There were snakes everywhere.  This includes a den site with 7 black rat snakes and 3 racers.  Also came across 3 copperhead den sites.  Two of the den sites had racers there also.  The days totals were:25 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 13 black rat snakes, 5 western ribbon snakes, 5 prairie ring-necked snakes, osage copperheads, 3 northern water snakes, and 1 eastern garter snake.  A total of 52 snakes.
April 02, 2005 
Clear   57°
My younger brother, my dad, and I decided a trip to LaRue Road in Union County Illinois was in order.  The day wasnít as we expected it.  It was windy and cool, and the low temperatures dropped into the 30ís.  Our totals were 6 southern black racers, 4 western ribbon snakes, 2 yellow-bellied water snake, 2 northern ring-necked snakes, 2 prairie ring-necked snake, 1 northern water snake, 1 midland brown snake, 1 black rat snake and 1 western cottonmouth.  A total of 10 snakes. 
April 03, 2005 
Scattered Clouds   76°
Headed back over to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri with my brother and dad.  It didnít produce as well as I had anticipated, but still a good day.  We saw 4 prairie ring-necked snakes, 1 western ribbon snake, 1 eastern yellow-bellied racer and 1 black rat snake.  A total of 7 snakes.
April 09, 2005 
Sunny  77°
Headed down to Oklahoma one day early to storm chase.  My dad, Brian Stertz, and I wanted to find a diamond-backed rattlesnake, so we herped in Major and Woodward County, but we had no luck.  We did eventually find a western ribbon snake and a texas rat snake.  Also saw a collard lizard.  A total of 2 snakes.
April 10, 2005 
Cloudy  58°
Went storm chasing in Kansas, so herping time was extremely limited.  We only had 15 minutes to herp.  We stopped on the side of the road in Lincoln County Kansas.  All we found was a collard lizard.  We did see 3 tornadoesA total of 0 snakes.
April 11, 2005 
Cloudy. Rain  69°
My dad needed to sleep while on route home, so we stopped in Franklin County Missouri.  It was raining so I knew it was unllikely to find anything really good.  I found 4 prairie ring-necked snakes and 1 eastern yellow-bellied racer. A total of 5 snakes.
April 16, 2005 
Sunny  78°
My dad and I hooked up with Mike Pingleton and Jim Scharosch in Clinton County Illinois.  It was an outstanding day.  The totals were 6 eastern garter snakes, 5 northern water snakes, 5 eastern massasauga rattlesnakes,  and one snake that bolted before I could ID it.  A total of 17 snakes.
April 17, 2005 
Partly Cloudy  82°
While cutting my neighbors yard in St. Louis County Missouri, a big eastern garter snake went darting through the grass.  After photographing her, I released her. . A total of 1 snake.
April 20, 2005 
Clear  80°
Mike Cravens wanted to herp in his element so I met Mike in Farmington.  I expressed interest in finding a speckled kingsnake and he said, ďNo problem.Ē  At the first site under a piece of tin, was a beautiful subadult speckled kingsnake.  I was thrilled.  We then headed down to Wayne County Missouri where we herped  some glades.  Our goal species was a pygmy rattlesnake, timber rattlesnake, or a red milk snake.  Unfortunately, we found none of these.  All we found were flat-headed snakes, and a juvenile speckled kingsnake.  At the next site a ring-necked snake and another speckled kingsnake was found.  We headed back  to St. Francois County Missouri to herp for milk snakes.  Mike found a fresh milk snake skin.  Unfortunately, we knew the snake was under a nearby rock, but a strong storm rolled in causing our retreat to the car.  We never made it back to that spot.  It was raining the rest of the day.  On the way to our last site we stopped off at a couple of tin sites finding a racer and yet another speckled kingsnake.  At the last site we found many prairie ring-necked snakes.  As night was falling and we were ready to call it a day, we decided to flip a pile of tin.  In between the tin slabs were ring-necked snakes.  To our surprise, under the last sheet of tin, we found a large and beautiful osage copperhead.  Our totals were 32 prairie ring-necked snakes, 7 flat-headed snakes, 4 speckled kingsnakes, 1 eastern garter snake, 1 eastern yellow-bellied racer, 1 DOR black rat snake, and 1 osage copperhead. A total of 47 snakes.
April 23, 2005 
Partly Cloudy  52°
I visited my grandparents in Warren County Missouri today.  While there I herped the day away.  The first find was a garter snake with a weird behavior.  he opened his mouth while swaying side to side.  I have seen this before, but the snakes have always been willing to bite.  He never offered to bite.  However, just as I got done explaining to my grandpa that it was a bluff, the snake latched onto my hand.  Well, the snake made a liar out of me.  The next finds were prairie ring-necked snakes.  18 to be exact.  I also found 2 northern water snakes and a midland brown snake. A total of 22 snakes.
April 24, 2005 
Partly Cloudy  58°
I headed to Jersey County Illinois with my dad.  The first find was an adult blue racer that unfortunately got away.  Next my dad found a northern ring-necked snake.  I was credited with the next find.  Under a piece of tin was a beautiful northern copperhead.  Minutes later, I found a northern red-bellied snake.  We also saw a DOR midland brown snake.  While on the way home we stoped by at one of my spots in St. Charles County Missouri.  I found 2 northern water snakes, one of which was a very impressive four footer.  A total of 7 snakes.
April 25, 2005 
Cloudy  66°
Mike and I headed back to Jersey County Illinois to rustle up some herps.  The first find was the northern copperhead that I saw the first visit.  The next find was surprising in that Mike flipped a rough green snake under some tin.  We then found two northern ring-necked snakes under various pieces of tin.  The last find was a nice eastern garter snake found under a rock. A total of 5 snakes.
April 30, 2005 
Partly Cloudy  62°
Coming back from Arkansas, my dad and I decided to stop at Mingo Swamp in Missouri on the way home.  The day started of slow but it picked up.  The first find was a large opaque southern black racer.  It was a while after that before the next snake.  However, the second snake did arrive in somewhat of a weird place.  I found a juvenile broad-banded water snake on top of a large bluff.  The water was a distance away.  I guess the snake has to den somewhere.  Several diamond-backed water snakes and a couple of western cottonmouths were found also.  My favorite find was my first ever eastern narrow-mouthed toad.  We left Mingo and started toward home, but I wanted to make a last quick stop. While looking for a tin site, I made a wrong turn and ended up on a glade in St. Francois County Missouri.  No more than a half hour later, I was holding a long deserved red milk snake.  All my hard work finally paid off.  We released it at the site of capture after the photography session.  That was the last herp.  The totals were 6 diamond-backed water snakes, 5 - broad-banded water snakes, 2 western cottonmouths, 2 southern black racers, and 1 red milk snake.  A total of 16 snakes.
May 01, 2005 
Scattered Clouds  61°
My dad, younger brother, Mike, and I decided to hit a new area in Jersey County Illinois.  We were rewarded immediately.  The third snake was the most beautiful red milk snake (Flipped by mike) that I have ever seen.  Also seen there was a nice northern copperhead.  The totals were: 5 midwest worm snakes, 4 smooth earth snakes, 3 northern ring-necked snakes, diamond-backed water snake, 1 red milk snake, and 1 northern copperhead.  A total of 15 snakes.
May 04, 2005 
Partly Cloudy  68°
I had some time after school so Mike and I headed over to a spot in Jersey County Illinois.  It was a good day.  We finally got pictures of an adult blue racer.  Unfortunately we didnít find any red milk snakes this time.  Our totals were 8 northern ring-necked snakes, 5 eastern garter snakes, 4 blue racers, 3 midwest worm snakes, 2 midland brown snakes, 1 smooth earth snakes, and 1 northern copperhead.  A total of 24 snakes.
May 14, 2005 
Mostly Cloudy  74°
My brother and I spent the day herping my grandparentís property in Warren County Missouri.  We started the day with the usual ring-necked snakes.  While, herping I noticed a rock pile.  I have always known it was there, but I had never flipped in and around it.  I thought it looked good for red milks.  I started flipping through some of the rocks and under a large flat rock I found something I least expected.  There was an adult speckled kingsnake coiled up.  I have only seen one other speckled kingsnake on their property and it was a juvenile years ago.  I was very happy to see that.  However the day got better.  Just as the day was turning to night I flipped another rock.  Under the rock was another unexpected find.  It was a ringed salamander.  I thought they were extirpated from the property.  I hadnít seen one of these on the property in several years.  I use to see them with frequency.  The finds included: 29 prairie ring-necked snakes, 2 northern water snakes, and 1 speckled kingsnake.  A total of 32 snakes.
May 15, 2005
Sunny  64°
I trip south was in order.  My dad, younger brother and I decided to herp in Jefferson County Missouri.  It was a great day.  The first great find was an adult speckled kingsnake.  I was thrilled especially after seeing one the day before.  The next great find, and in my opinion the best find, belonged to my younger brother.  It was a beautiful adult red milk snake.  Hoping we would find more, my younger brother found another great serpent.  Coiled under a large rock was a huge eastern hog-nosed snake.  This was a lifer for him, so this was his favorite find and the animal that made the trip worth the effort, in his opinion.  We saw 19 lined snakes, 9 western worm snakes, 6 prairie ring-necked snakes, 1 speckled kingsnake, 1 red milk snake, and 1 eastern hog-nosed snake.  A total of 37 snakes.
May 18, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  84°
I still have the craving for more herps.  My brother and I hit a location in Montgomery County Missouri.  Knowing it was going to be a hot day, we were determined to see if our luck would hold out.  The first couple of hours yielded nothing, but a prairie ring-necked snake.  However, we soon began finding flat-headed snakes and more prairie ring-necked snakes.  When our luck started to increase, I made the comment to my brother that it would be neat to find a speckled kingsnake.  Without missing a beat, I flipped the next rock and found a juvenile speckled kingsnake.    Perhaps the best find was darting through the grass in front of me.  The first thing that ran through my mind was diamond-backed rattlesnake. Instantly realizing that couldnít be correct, I thought maybe a copperhead.  Fortunately the snake stopped long enough for me to catch a glimpse of the pattern.  Knowing what it was now, I scooped up a juvenile eastern hog-nosed snake.  This was the prettiest hog-nosed snake I have ever seen.  It was a good day.  We saw 4 prairie-ring-necked snakes, 4 flat-headed snakes, 2 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 1 speckled kingsnake, 1 eastern hog-nosed snake, and the biggest Missouri tarantula I have ever seen.  A total of 12 snakes. 
May 24, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  76°
I had an offer to work a summer job with the Missouri Department of Conservation.  I was very interested so I went to talk to the guy offering the job.  After the interview I headed quickly down to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  In a total of ten minutes I found 2 prairie ring-necked snakes.  A total of 2 snakes.
May 27 2005
Mostly Cloudy  82°
I decided to take some paper work to my soon to be new boss.  While in the area, I decided to herp around my spots in St. Charles County Missouri.  Matt Noatch was also along since he was also turning in paper work for a similiar position.  We found a few snakes, but the one that surprised me was an osage copperhead found on the edge of an agricultural field under a board.  We saw 2 western ribbon snakes, 2 northern water snakes, and 1 osage copperhead. A total of 5 snakes.
May 28, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  74°
My dad, Brian Stertz, and I went storm chasing in central and western Kansas.  We saw many ornate box turtles and a few snakes.  We saw 3 bull snakes, two of which were DOR.  A total of 3 snakes.
May 29, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  78°
We were still storm chasing and saw various snakes as well as other animals.  We were all over the place.  We saw stuff in Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.  We saw 6 bull snakes (5 DOR), 1 DOR western plains garter snake, 1 DOR prairie rattlesnake, 1 DOR western diamond-backed rattlesnake, 1 western hog-nosed snake and 1 unidentified snake.  Unfortunately, the hog-nosed snake was run over by a semitruck as I was trying to save the snake.  The unidentified snake made it off the road before I could get back to it.  The best finds of the day were antelope and prairie dogs. A total of 11 snakes.
May 30, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  78°
This is the third day of storm chasing.  Most of the time was spent in eastern Colorado.  The only snake seen was a DOR western coachwhip.  We also came very close to a tornado, but the trip ends with no twisters.  A total of 1 snake.
June 01, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  84°
I started my new job today.  While at work spraying herbiside on invasive plant species, I flipped a rock and found a midland brown snake.  A total of 1 snake.
June 02, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  84°
At work, doing various things, I found several snakes.  I saw 3 western ribbon snakes, 2 northern water snakes, and 1 black rat snake.  A total of 6 snakes.
June 03, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  85°
Saw a northern water snake at work again today.  A total of 1 snake.
June 05, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  94°
Mike Cravens and I had planned a herping trip today.  We decided to head to Jefferson County Missouri.  When I got there, I waited a few minutes for Mike who was running late.  When he didnít show up, I started to herp with the knowledge that he could find me when he gets here.  It wasnít long before I found the first herp of the day.  Under a rock was a snake that I really wanted to find.  It was a prairie kingsnake.  It was actually the second of the day.  Early in the morning I saw a DOR.  Fortunately for Mike, he arrived just as I was photographing the snake.  When the photo session was over, we continued on.  The temperature was entering the 90ís so we knew it was going to be hard work with potentially no reward.  Just as I was complaining about how our time was being wasted, Mike flips a rock and finds a beautiful red milk snake.  After finding a couple more snakes we left for a new location.  The next location yeilded a lovely timber rattlesnake tucked under a rock crevise.  We saw 2 prairie kingsnakes, 1 red milk snake 1 western worm snake, 1 eastern yellow-bellied racer, and 1 timber rattlesnake.  A total of 6 snakes.
June 08, 2005
Cloudy  94°
While at work, I saw a northern water snake dive into the water.  A total of 1 snake.
June 09, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  91°
Since work has kept me busy, I really wanted a herp outing.  My whole family came with me to Monroe and Randolph County Illinois.  The purpose was to find a copperhead or two.  My wish was granted very quickly.  In the road was a DOR copperhead.  It looks very much alive however.  Later I was blessed with a live one.  We saw 2 northern copperheads (1 DOR), 1 DOR western ribbon snake, 1 DOR blue racer, and 1 DOR black rat snake.  A total of 5 snakes.
June 19, 2005
Partly Cloudy  81°
Again my brother, dad, and I headed back to Monroe and Randolph County Illinois, this time during the day.  We spent several hours looking with no luck.  We decided to head to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri to find at least one snake.  One snake is all we found.  A prairie ring-necked snake.  A total of 1 snake.
June 23, 2005
Scattered Clouds  96°
At work I found a big eastern garter snake.  While he was chewing on me, I gave a lecture to my coworkers about the snake.  They loved it.  A total of 1 snake.
July 07, 2005
Scattered Clouds  89°
A quick trip up to the Mississippi River in St. Charles County with my dad and brother Kyle in tow.  No luck finding any snakes.  A total of 0 snakes.
July 17, 2005
Scattered Clouds  84°
Mike Cravens called me up and asked if I wanted to go to southern Missouri and look for amphiumas and sirens. I agreed and met him in Farmington.  From there we headed south.  Our time was spent in Wayne, Stoddard, Bollinger and Scott counties in Missouri. After a few phone issues, we were greeted with the first live snakes.  Coming out from under a rock was an adult speckled kingsnake.  We didnít find any amphiumas or sirens, but it was fun.  We saw 3 eastern garter snakes (2 DOR), 2 DOR  southern black racers, 1 DOR western ribbon snake, 1 DOR yellow-bellied water snake, 3 DOR black rat snakes, 1 DOR broad-banded water snake and 1 speckled kingsnake. A total of 12 snakes.
July 18, 2005
Scattered Clouds  89°
We had camped for the night in hopes to resume our search for the sirens and amphiumas.  They still eluded us, but we did see some cool stuff.  We saw 1 southern black racer, 1 broad-banded water snake, 2 yellow-bellied water snakes (1 DOR), 1 DOR western ribbon snake, 1 diamond-backed water snake, 1 western cottonmouth, 1 DOR black rat snake, and 1 midland water snake.  I also added the river cooter to my life list.  A total of 8 snakes.
July 19, 2005
Cloudy, Light Rain  89°
This was our last day of the trip.  No sirens or amphiumas were to be had this trip.  Maybe next time.  Our totals were 1 DOR black rat snake, 1 DOR western cottonmouth, 1 southern copperhead.  A total of 3 snakes.
July 27, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  80°
While leaving the job site in St. Louis County Missouri my co-workers and I stumbled across a large black rat snake.  I plucked the snake up from the ground, while the snake showed no aggression.  However, while lecturing to my friends about how the snake will not bite, the snake decided to make a liar out of me.  The 65 inch snake nailed me right in the arm.  The point of the story is:  I looked really cool.  A total of 1 snake.
July 28, 2005
Partly Cloudy  84°
Again, while at work, I caught a glimpse of an eastern garter snake as he darted into an old brush pile.  The location was in St. Louis County.  A total of 1 snake.
July 29, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  87°
This was the third straight day that I saw a snake while at work in St. Louis County.  At the pavilion, where we eat lunch, my fellow workers and I saw a neonate eastern yellow-bellied racer.  A total of 1 snake.
August 01, 2005
Scattered Clouds  93°
I decided I needed a snake hunt.  My mom asked if I wanted to go for a drive and I accepted.  I figured while we were out, I would check a couple of junk piles in Jersey County Illinois.  At the first site I only found a midland brown snake.  The second site had boards, drywall, and tarps.  The first thing I flipped, a board,  had a nice eastern garter snake.  The pile of drywood had a neonate midland brown snake and a large diamond-backed water snake.  Then I hit the tarps and found another diamond-backed water snake and a northern water snake together.  Good to get out again.  A total of 6 snakes.
August 09, 2005
Clear  96°
Finally found another snake at my work in St. Charles County Missouri.  It wasnít much, but Iíll take anything at this point.  The lone snake was an eastern garter snake.  A total of 1 snake.
August 11, 2005
Partly Cloudy  99°
While spraying Bush Honeysuckle in St. Charles County Missouri, I found a neonate eastern garter snake.  This was the second garter snake in three days.  That is great considering the high temperatures and drought we have been having in the Midwest. A total of 1 snake.
August 12, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  100°
While at work in St. Charles County, I spotted a small snake in the road.  It was a very pretty but aggressive prairie kingsnake.  It was a nice find and I enjoyed showing my coworkers a species of snake that I donít see very often.  A total of 1 snake.
August 13, 2005
Clear  97°
I was spending the weekend at my old field biology teacherís place in Crawford County Missouri.  Herping was slow, but I managed a few frog/toad species, a blue grosbeak, and my first live armadillo.  I also saw an eastern garter snake.  A total of 1 snake.
August 14, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  87°
Still in Crawford County Missouri.  My friends and I decided to go swimming and do a little kayaking.  We kayaked for a good hour maybe an hour and a half.  As we were tipping the kyack over after using it;  Sarah says there is a snake in the kayak.  At first Iím wondering what she had been drinking, but sure enough there was a northern water snake sticking itís head out from under the lip of the kayak.  Later that day, back in Saint Louis County Missouri, I found four more northern water snakes in a lake under a small dock.  It was a fun day, and a snake got a free ride.  A total of 5 snakes.
August 20, 2005
Scattered Clouds  92°
My friend Matt hadnít really been herping before so I decided to take him on a short outing.  We stayed in St. Louis County Missouri for this effort.  When we got to our destination, we started to check rocks.  It wasnít long before the first snake was seen; however, what I saw was surprising.  It was a beautifully shed red milk snake.  It was a good hook for someone who has never been herping before.  We also saw 4 ring-necked snakes, 4 pickerel frogs, 4 western slimy salamanders, 2 dwarf american toads, 2 five-lined skinks, 2 ground skinks, and one brightly colored northern spring peeper.  A total of 5 snakes.
September 01, 2005
Partly Cloudy  87°
Mike Cravens and I had a hankering to find a timber rattlesnake or two.  We headed over to a place in Montgomery County Missouri.  Almost immediately we were greeted with a very lovely find.  Mike got a hand on my first ever western slender glass lizard.  After the photo session we continued.  Not too long after that I spotted an adult copperhead in a rock crevice.  Mike came over to take a look himself and pointed out the four juvenile copperheads that also shared the crevice.  Apparently upon picture comparison, I  found the same adult copperhead on May 3, 2003 under a nearby rock.   Once the photo session was over we continued.  While checking a crevice, Mike flipped a juvenile hog-nosed snake.  We took our photos and moved on.  The last find occurred just as it was getting dark.  Mike peered into a crevice and saw yet another adult copperhead.  Also present were several neonate sheds.  As Mike continued to look for more snakes, I poked around the edge of the crevice.  Moments later I scared up a neonate copperhead in the process of shedding itís skin.  I called Mike over and I got my pictures.  That proved to be the last snake of the day.  It was a fantastic outing.  The totals were 7 osage copperheads and 1 eastern hog-nosed snake. A total of 8 snakes. 
September 04, 2005
Clear  90°
I visited my grandparents in Warren County Missouri in hopes of finding snakes.  It wasnít a bad day.  One of the first snakes of the day was an adult opaque red milk snake.  That was the find of the trip.  We saw 3 prairie ring-necked snakes, 2 western ribbon snakes, and a red milk snake.   A total of 6 snakes.
September 05, 2005
Partly Cloudy  86°
Mike Cravens, my brother Kyle, my dad Rich, and I all  went out to look for rattlesnakes.  We started out searching in St. Louis County Missouri.  We looked for several hours without seeing one.  All we managed to find was a prairie ring-necked snake.  We also saw several  timber rattlesnake sheds and a copperhead shed.  We then  high tailed it over to Jefferson County Missouri.  We again  found several timber rattlesnake sheds and a couple of  copperhead sheds.  Just before we were about to leave I  saw our target laying at the edge of a large rock.   Unfortunately he spotted me too, and was out of sight  within seconds.  That proved to be the only rattlesnake of  the trip and no picture. A total of 2 snakes.
September 17, 2005
Partly Cloudy  77°
I again found myself at my grandparentís property in Warren County Missouri.  It wasnít a spectacular day, but I did well for myself.  I found 10 prairie ring-necked snakes, 3 northern water snakes, 2 western ribbon snakes, and 1 western slimy salamander with five legs.  A total of 15 snakes.
September 18, 2005
Scattered Clouds  81°
My dad and I decided to head to northern St. Charles County Missouri.  We had problems finding public land, so not many snakes were found.  We found a yellow-bellied water snake, and a northern water snake.  A total of 2 snakes.
September 19, 2005
Partly Cloudy  92°
I took a ride to Jersey County Illinois.  While up there, I stopped off at a junk site.  I found a midland brown snake.  A total of 1 snake.
September 21, 2005
ScatteredClouds  86°
Mike Cravens wanted to go herping today, so we herped the St. Charles County Missouri area.  At the first location I found my first juvenile black rat snake.  We also saw ring-necked snakes.  The rest of the snakes were found dead.  We saw 9 prairie ring-necked snakes, 1 black rat snake, 2 DOR eastern yellow-bellied racers, 1 DOR midland brown snake, and 1 DOR prairie kingsnake.  A total of 14 snakes.
September 23, 2005
ScatteredClouds  81°
I was asked to serve as a biologist for a bio-inventory being conducted at Little Creek Nature Area in St. Louis County Missouri.  The weather was hot so only one snake was to be found.  That snake was a juvenile black rat snake.  A total of 1 snake.
September 24, 2005
Overcast  86°
I was hoping to have a better day at the bio- inventory, but I had the same result.  All that was found was another juvenile black rat snake.  A total of 1 snake. 
September 29, 2005
Partly Cloudy  65°
Mike Cravens and I again were out to find timber rattlesnakes.  We headed over to Jefferson County Missouri.  We hadnít herped long before Mike pointed to an adult timber rattlesnake tucked in between rocks.  We got pictures and continued on.  The only other find to note was a speckled kingsnake.  We saw 3 prairie ring-necked snakes, a western worm snake, a speckled kingsnake, and a timber rattlesnake.  A total of 6 snakes.
`October 01, 2005
Clear  82°
My dad, younger brother and I just had to get down to LaRue Road.  We were disappointment with the spring production so we had high hopes for this one.  We didnít have a spectacular day, but it was still a good day.  Perhaps the best moment came when I flipped a rock and saw an unexpected sight.  Underneath the rock was a very bright neonate red milk snake.  I have always wanted to see a LaRue milk and now I have.  Our totals were:  4 western cottonmouths, 3 rough green snakes, 2 yellow-bellied water snakes, 1 western ribbon snake, 1 midwest worm snake, 1 northern ring-necked snake, 1 Mississippi green water snake, and 1 red milk snake.  A total of 14 snakes.
October 02, 2005
Scattered Clouds  88°
Our second day of our trip and we met Mike Pingleton and Mike Cravens in Johnson County Illinois.  We started off by finding several salamanders including cave salamanders, a smallmouth salamander, a northern slimy salamander, and marbled salamanders.  We then started finding cottonmouths.  As the day grew later, my dad, brother and I made the decision to head for home as the snakes were a little tough to find.   The rest of guys continued to herp and then left for another spot.  Bad choice again because as soon as I'm out of sight,  I miss out on a black kingsnake. Then at their next site I missed out on an eastern hog-nosed snake, southern copperhead and a timber rattlesnake.  Iím still kicking myself for leaving too early!.  Anyway, we saw 10 cottonmouths and a rough green snake today.  A total of 11 snakes.
October 06, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  65°
I went to one of my spots in St. Charles County Missouri.  My goal was to find a grahamís crayfish snake.  I figured since a cold front came through last night, the cool temperatures would entice the snakes to become active.  I was a little wrong.  It was actually quite chilly.  All the snakes were under cover.  But as luck would have it, the first rock I flipped had a grahamís crayfish snake under it.  It was a nice one at that.  The rock next to it had an adult northern water snake under it.  I finished the day with 4 northern water snakes and 2 grahamís crayfish snakes. A total of 6 snakes.
October 08, 2005
Clear  64°
We were making our second trip to LaRue in consecutive weekends.  It was my dad, brother, and I again.  We also knew it was a good opportunity to meet and herp with some of the people from the herp forums.    I also had an ulterior motive.  I still wanted to find a LaRue timber this year.  We were having a typical LaRue day.  Near the end of the day I wanted to check a known cottonmouth den before it got dark.  I started up the hill and there it was!  The unmistakable pattern of a timber rattlesnake.  I got pictures before I even told anybody about it.  I wanted to be discrete about my find, but had  to shout to my dad and brother and in doing so, I gained the attention of many other people.  Mitchel, Warren, Mike Cravens who had just arrived, and soon many others had all rushed over.  Luckily everyone was a moral herper and we were able to have a photo session without stressing the snake out too much.  Thanks again to Mitchel, Mike, and Warren for the extra help.  Our totals were: 10 western cottonmouths, 2 western ribbon snakes, 1 Mississippi green water snake, 1 rough green snake, 1 northern red-bellied snake and 1 timber rattlesnake.  A total of 16 snakes.
October 09, 2005
Partly Cloudy  68°
Day 2 of our weekend trip and we herped with Mitchell and Mike again today.  We we hoping for a good day and we got one.  We found a couple of bird-voiced treefrogs, which is a species I wanted to see on this trip.  Thie interesting find of the day was Mike plucking a water snake from Winters Pond.  He called diamond-backed at first, then he called mississippi green water snake knowing that diamondbacks are rarely seen here.  However, he quickly overturned his second identification when he examined the snake closer and saw that it was indeed a diamond-backed water snake.  Most people donít usually see this species here.  It was a real treat.  Our totals were 10 western cottonmouths, 2 western ribbon snakes, 2 black rat snakes, I northern ring-necked snake, 1 yellow-bellied water snake, 1 diamond-backed water snake, and 1 DOR black kingsnake.  A total of 18 snakes.
October 15, 2005
Clear 80°
Weekend outing number three in a row and my dad and I headed down to Mingo to meet with Mike Cravens and his friend Brian.  We didnít see anything spectacular, but we had a great time.  We saw a couple of eastern narrow-mouthed toads.  We also noticed many snakes especially the broad-banded water snakes migrating.  There were also many snakes at their den sites.  The highlight for me was a 3 and a half foot monster western cottonmouth.  I was also very disappointed to find an eastern hog-nosed snake DOR.  It looked like a bull snake.  It had a bright yellow ground color with dark black blotches.  We saw 15 broad-banded water snakes (3 DOR), 13 western cottonmouths (1 DOR), 1 yellow-bellied water snake, 1 midland brown snake, 1 speckled kingsnake, 1 DOR eastern hog-nosed snake, 1 DOR western ribbon snake, and 1 DOR black rat snake.  A total of 34 snakes.
October 16, 2005
Clear  75°
Day 2 of the weekend and my dad and I along with Mike and Brian all met up with Mike Pingleton to herp Jackson County Illinois.  After a good breakfast we began the hunt.  It started out cold and slow, but it soon exploded with activity.  Only a few snakes had been seen when I looked in a crevice and saw a few cottonmouths and a black rat snake.  While taking pictures I hear Mike C. shout, ďTimber!Ē  I ran over to see.  While wrangling the neonate rattlesnake, Mike P. Notices a large northern copperhead coiled in a crevice right behind use.  In less then a minute, we had nailed the viper trio.  While photographing the animals, we all combined to find another timber rattlesnake, another copperhead and a few more cottonmouths.  We were consistent about finding snakes until we got to the last spot.  That's when green became noticeable everywhere.  There were green snakes every few steps.  ďThereís one,Ē Mike would say.  I would follow with, ďGot three more over here.Ē  My dad would then respond with, ďThereís a couple on the ground and a couple in the tree.  It was insane how many there were in that one location.  Most were neonates.  By time the sun had set, we were tired, but very pleased.  This was my favorite trip of the year so far.   Thanks guys!  Our totals were 23 rough green snakes (roughly, might have been more), 14 western cottonmouths, 4 black rat snakes, 4 northern copperheads, 2 western ribbon snakes, 2 southern black racers, and 2 timber rattlesnakes.  A total of 51 snakes.
October 22, 2005
Partly Cloudy  63°
I went to my grandparent's property out in Warren County Missouri.  I found 4 prairie ring-necked snakes. A total of 4 snakes.
October 26, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  57°
Mike Cravens and I decided to herp in St. Louis County and Lincoln County Missouri.  We were looking for four-toed salamanders.  We didnít see any salamanders, but we did see a prairie ring-necked snake and a DOR midland brown snake. A total of 2 snakes.
October 29, 2005
Partly Cloudy  63°
My father and I went to my spot as well as a new location in St. Charles County Missouri to herp today.  The day was good as we saw 9 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 3 eastern garter snakes, 2 black rat snakes, 1 northern water snake, and a beautiful speckled kingsnake.  A total of 16 snakes.
October 30, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  71°
I returned to that new location I found yesterday in St. Charles County Missouri and all that was found was an eastern garter snake and a western ribbon snake.  The rain ended the outing early.  A total of 2 snakes.
November 03, 2005
Partly Cloudy  77°
The temperature was looking too good.  I went by myself to my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  It was a great but exhausting day. I saw 5 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 4 prairie ring-necked snakes, 3 eastern garter snakes, 1 black rat snake, 1 northern red-bellied snake and 1 osage copperhead sticking his head out of a crevice.  A total of 15 snakes.
November 05, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  72°
My younger sister and her highschool stream team were hosting a stream cleanup in St. Louis County Missouri.  My family was there to help out.  While working at the cleanup, I found two eastern garter snakes.  One was under a plastic bag in a bush.  After the stream cleanup, I then went to my grandparentís house in Warren County Missouri and found two prairie ring-necked snakes out there.  A total of 4 snakes.
November 06, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  59°
I met Mike Cravens at my spot in St. Charles County Missouri.  He wanted to find a ringed salamander.  However, before we looked at the vernal pool, we checked the snake spot.  We saw 3 eastern garter snakes, 3 eastern yellow-bellied racers, and one osage copperhead.  As a side note, we saw no ringed salamanders, but found a nice spotted salamander instead.  A total of 7 snakes.
November 13, 2005
Clear  62°
Mike Cravens wanted to know if I still wanted to find a four-toed salamander.  Well of course Mike!  My brother Kyle and I headed down to St. Genevieve County Missouri.  We hunted several hours.  By the end of the day we had found numerous red-backed salamanders, a spotted salamander, a central newt (eft), and 2 of the goal species, the beautiful four-toed salamanders.  We were shutout today for snakes.  A total of 0 snakes.
December 22, 2005
Partly Cloudy  54°
I was near one of my herping spots in St. Charles County Missouri with my friend Sarah, and the temperatures were rather warm; so I decided to quickly check for basking snakes.  To my surprise there was a nice eastern yellow-bellied racer and a northern water snake both out basking.  A total of 2 snakes.
December 23, 2005
Mostly Cloudy  62°
I decided since I didnít get to herp the whole area yesterday that I would come back to my St. Charles County spot today with my dad and younger brother.  I immediately saw the same two snakes that I saw the day before.  I then found another racer not too far from the first.  Continuing on with the hike we saw a large racer and a 5 foot plus black rat snake.  The totals are:  3 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 1 northern water snake, and 1 black rat snake.  A total of 5 snakes. 


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