2010 Snake Summary Page

This is my description page of all of my snake trips.
   

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January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

 
 Date / Conditions
Summary
January 17, 2010

Overcast
41°

Finally, the weather resembled that of a temperate climate instead of that of the tundra!  It was still a bit chilly, but Brian Willey and I had a bad case of cabin fever and we needed a cure. We decided that we would scout out good snake habitat at a location in eastern Missouri for future outings and maybe we would be lucky enough to find our first herps of the year as a bonus.  Lots of nice habitat was seen. While walking through one of them, Brian stepped on a rock and disturbed it. Underneath was our first herp of the year. It was a southern red-backed salamander. After a couple of pictures, we moved on. We changed locations and after a nice hike, we spotted a cricket frog jump into a small creek. That was herp number two. We changed locations again and searched a small spring. Here we found our third herp, a southern leopard frog. It was nice to finally get out and see some herps.  A total of 0 snakes.
February 28, 2010

Scattered Clouds
47 °

It was supposed to be a nice day, so Brian Willey and I got out to a location in Eastern Missouri that we haven’t spent much time herping before. We were reminiscing about the snakes that had been found there several years before while walking a trail along a rocky, forested hillside. About that time, Brian spotted our first snake of the year, an eastern garter snake. This was a surprise to say the least. At the time the snake was found, the temperature was about 40 degrees. We took our pictures and moved on.  After not having much luck, we moved on. We starting looking for salamanders near a low, wet area, but we were unable to turn anything up other than a green frog, so we headed over to a spring that we had just discovered. At this spring, we found three cave salamanders. It was a nice way to end the day.  A total of 1 snake.
March 06, 2010

Partly Cloudy
58°

The weather was looking great for potential snake activity today, so Brian W. and I were out on what was our first reptile goal oriented herp trip. We headed over to a familiar spot here in eastern Missouri. Not more than a few minutes after leaving the car, I reagrivated an ankle injury. Last october I severely sprained my ankle and I turned it again walking to our location. I was thinking major swelling was about to occur, but I was able to walk, so I just continued on. Soon the pain went away and we soon found a cricket frog and a pickerel frog in short order. We finally reached our destination and I saw a promising area near a rock outcropping. Brian volunteered to check it out. He scanned the area carefully without seeing anything. Suddenly that all changed. Brian called out that he was looking right at a 1.5 foot timber rattlesnake. I got over to discover why the snake was not immediatly seen. The snake sported a mud coat from winter dormacy and it hid the snake perfectly in the leaf litter. I still couldn’t believe we were looking at a rattlesnake! I knew they were here, but I wasn’t expecting to see one so early in the year. We were more than happy to say the least. After getting some photos, we left the snake and continued on. Not long after the rattlesnake, I watched Brian flip a rock and come up with a hand full of small snakes. He wasn’t even sure what all he had yet, so he named them off. That flip produced one prairie ring-necked snake, one midland brown snake, and a northern red-bellied snake. Three snake species under one rock is not an everyday occurance. It was an interesting find. After photos were taken, we moved on. We ended the day with three eastern garter snakes. Also seen were an opposum, a red fox, and a river otter. It was a great day of herping.  A total of 7 snakes.
March 07, 2010

Mostly Cloudy
70°

After getting a timber rattlesnake yesterday, it was going to be hard to top that. However, my dad and I wanted to see what we could find anyway. We went to one of my favorite herping spots. Within the first few minutes we found a northern water snake. After a couple of pictures, we continued on. Some time went by without much activity. I soon came to a rocky sun exposed area where I have seen numerous garter snakes and ribbon snakes in the past. I spent about 2 minutes scanning the ground to see if there were any snakes. I didn’t see any, so I bent down to flip a rock. As I was bending down, a ribbon snake blasted right out from under the leaf litter next to the rock I was going to flip. A few pictures were taken and we moved on. Minutes later I flipped a neonate ring-necked snake. We came to an area where I have seen numerous copperheads in the past. I peered into a crevice to see an adult black rat snake and an adult copperhead. Unfortuantely, they were in too deep to get pictures. We soon continued and before ending the day, we saw a garter snake and another water snake.  We moved on to another one of my spots, but we were shutout finding any additional herps. It was still a fun day regardless. The totals were 2 northern water snakes, 1 eastern garter snake, 1 western ribbon snake, 1 prairie ring-necked snake, 1 black rat snake, and 1 osage copperhead.  A total of 7 snakes.
March 12, 2010

Rain
48°

It was raining pretty good and given the time of year, it must mean there is a good chance that salamanders are out moving. I decided to head out and see what I could turn up. My mom came with me on this expedition.  She has joined me the last few springs and thus it has become a tradition that she and I look for salamanders during the migrations. We started the night out roadcruising, but we were unsuccessful. We decided our efforts would be better spent at the breeding ponds. We soon arrived at the ponds to find numerous spotted salamanders. Most of them were females who were in the process of laying eggs. It was a neat experience. I really enjoyed taking pictures of all the action.  In addition to the spotted salamanders, the northern spring peepers, wood frogs, and western chorus frogs could be seen and heard as well. At one particular pond two ringed salamanders were found. This is the third spring in  row that I have seen this species active, which makes me think maybe they are breeding in the spring or at least attempting to. It was another fantastic night of salamandering.  A total of 0 snakes.

March 19, 2010

Mostly Cloudy
65°

I had been in touch with Dan Willey during the winter and he invited me to come sample for massasauga rattlesnakes with him. Being a herper, it wasn’t in my nature to say no. My dad and I met Dan along with Mike and Sarah, who were also researchers on the project, and we started searching. It wasn’t long before we found our first snake. It was a nice sized massassauga coiled very cryptically in the grass. We soon found more snakes, all of which were found in this manner. Over the course of the day we found 6 eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, 2 eastern garter snakes and 1 DOA blue racer. It was a fun day and I thank Dan, Mike, and Sarah for invited us along.  A total of 9 snakes.

March 23, 2010

Partly Cloudy
69°

It was a nice day and I had some time, so I headed over to one of my usual spots. I didn't find much, but I did scare one northern water snake and one eastern garter snake into a lake.  A total of 2 snakes. 

March 26, 2010

Sunny
54

Well, it is that time of year again where I head down to southern Missouri for a day of herping. My dad and younger brother Kyle joined me on this day. We got there early so it was still cool. I decided to search for salamanders. Within just minutes, I flipped a large spotted salamander under a rock and rolled another one under a log shortly after that. We then moved on to another area where I rolled a small-mouthed salamander and a mole salamander. It eventually warmed up enough to warrant looking for snakes, so on our way to a rocky hillside, we stopped off at a river bank. It was here that I scared up a large southern black racer.  As feisty as it was, it was a great photo subject. We soon let the snake go and moved on to our main targeted area. Within seconds of arriving we spotted a couple of cottonmouths coiled in the leaf litter. This was a good sign. However, we did not see anywhere near as many cottonmouths as we normally see here. The temperature was only in the low 50’s and it was breezy, so this was likely the reason we didn’t see much. After only finding a few cottonmouths, a broad-banded water snake, and a ring-necked snake, we headed to another area. This area was a rocky, wooded hillside on the edge of a lake. Here we immediately saw a couple of broad-banded water snakes and yellow-bellied water snakes take off into the lake. We soon started working the rocks along the edge of the lake and found a juvenile cottonmouth. It is a little unnerving flipping rocks and finding pit vipers, but I am experienced enough to avoid becoming the victim of a snake bite. Anyway, at one point I flipped a rock and uncovered a worm snake, at least that is what I initially thought it was. It started to bolt down a hole and that is when I realized what it was. I quickly grabbed the snake and started celebrating. I had my first mud snake in several years! I had spent considerable time looking for this species the last several years with no luck and I finally had one in my hand. I spent several minutes photographing the uncooperative neonate mud snake, but I didn’t care, it was a great animal, whether it wanted its picture taken or not. I never got a great picture, but the experience was worth it. I soon let the snake go and I continued on my way. We worked the hillside finding a couple more cottonmouths, several ring-necked snakes, and a large gravid smooth earth snake. Our totals were 18 Mississippi ring-necked snakes, 10 western cottonmouths, 3 broad-banded water snakes, 2 yellow-bellied water snakes, 1 western smooth earth snake, 1 southern black racer, and 1 western mud snake.  A total of 36 snakes.

March 27, 2010

Sunny
66°
Brian Willey and I woke up early this morning to head out to Indiana to meet up with Greg Stephens and Mike Pingleton to look for some stream-side salamanders, which Brian and I had never seen before. After Greg showed us a couple natural features at the meeting site, we headed over to a nice stream where the salamanders like to breed. We soon arrived at the destination and before I could finish getting my boots on, Brian had found our first stream-side salamander. We were excited and as soon as we were done taking pictures we resumed the search. We found several more throughout the creek including several batches of eggs, which clinged to the underside of rocks.  Along the hillsides bordering the creek, we found several ravine salamanders, which were also lifers. Eastern zigzag salamanders, both normal and leadback phases were found, along with southern two-lined salamanders. We soon switched gears to look for some snakes. We actually found a large eastern garter snake and two southern black racers. After the short snake excursion, we headed to a small pond that had some Jefferson salamander egg masses and a very gravid spotted salamander, who was actively laying eggs. We then moved on to an area where we found some northern dusky salamanders. As night time was approaching we meet up with Andrew Hoffman, who took us to a woodland pond. Here we found a deafening chorus of northern spring peepers, and numerous red-spotted newts. Finally, we attempted to locate northern crawfish frogs, but after hearing several calling, we were unable to locate any. So far this trip produced almost everything we wanted to see. There was no way this trip could get any better, however, tomorrow we would get an unexpected surprise that highlighted this trip.  For now, it is time for sleep. A total of 3 snakes.
March 28, 2010

Mostly Cloudy
61°

Today was a new day, and we all looked forward to herping. We all rested very comfortably because Andrew was kind enough to let us crash at his house. We headed out to a bottomland forest to search for Jefferson salamanders and four-toed salamanders. One of the first salamanders found was a small stream-side salamander. After a while of not finding much, Brian found a small four-toed salamander sitting with her eggs in some moss. This was the first time I had seen one with its eggs. Everyone was excited.  It is hard not to get excited about this awesome species. We continued on and found a really copper-colored western chorus frog.  This animal was absolutely stunning. I made it a point to get great pictures. I have never seen such an attractive chorus frog before. After the picture session we let it go. Later on we found several eastern red-backed salamanders. This was another lifer for me and a welcome one at that.  We took pictures and moved on. We soon came to a great looking salamander log. It was huge, so three of us had to muster up some strength to roll it. I’m glad we did because we uncovered a nice looking spotted salamander. We soon moved on to another section of woodlands where we would go on to find another spotted salamander, a marbled salamander, and a red-spotted newt. By midday, everyone had to leave because of prior engagements. Greg was nice enough to give us some spots to search for various things. Due to some rain we could rule out finding any snakes. Greg then told us a spot where we could potentially find red salamanders in Kentucky. We liked the idea of finding one of those so we headed over there. We arrived to a rocky creek where we immediately found southern two-lined salamanders, and northern dusky salamanders. A couple of hours in I flipped a large larva red salamander under a rock. We felt encouraged, but we followed the stream to a point where it just didn’t look promising anymore.  I was pretty much in give up mode but Brian kept looking hard. I got out of the creek and was casually walking the bank, when I noticed a small spring with a couple of rocks laying on the hillside above it. I figured I would flip a couple of the rocks. Under the second rock I flipped, a sharp shot of red hit my eyes. I couldn’t believe it. I was staring at my first northern red salamander! It was a large and bright one at that. We spent some time with the animal making sure we grabbed some good pictures. We finally let the animal crawl back under its rock. I had a huge smile on my face at this point. This was my favorite find in the last couple of years. We weren’t expecting to be within the range of this species let along find a perfect example of one. Anyway it was now getting dark so we started hiking back to the car. On a rocky hillside we were passing, we flipped four northern ring-necked snakes and a couple of lizards. It was a fantastic trip! I herped with some great people and we got a great diversity of herps. I want to thank Greg, Mike, Andrew and Nick for showing us some great animals and taking us to some great places.  Also, an extra thanks goes to Andrew for giving us his house for a night. Thank you guys!  A total of 4 snakes.

March 29, 2010

Mostly Cloudy
55°

After having such a great trip, Brian Willey and I decided to herp southern Illinois for our last day. The day started slow, because the temperatures in the morning were pretty cool. We only say a few cottonmouths in crevices for the first couple of hours. As the day started to warm up, we started seeing a few more cottonmouths, ribbon snakes and a yellowbelly water snake or two. By the mid to late afternoon, the snakes were out moving. We were seeing cottonmouths and ribbon snakes out on the move. We also got a black rat snake sitting out in the open. On the way back to the car, we were walking a rocky hillside, and we flipped two ring-necked snakes, a worm snake, and a earth snake under rocks. While driving home, we stopped a road side ditch and found three small western sirens. It wasn’t a great day in terms of the quality of the snakes we found, but it certainly was a great way to end an even better trip. The total for today are 20 western cottonmouths, plus 1 DOR, 6 western ribbon snakes, 3 yellow-bellied water snakes, 1 black rat snake, 1 northern ring-necked snake, 1 Mississippi ring-necked snake, 1 Midwest worm snake, 1 western smooth earth snake, and an 1 unidentified water snake, because it disappeared too quickly.  A total of 36 snakes.

April 2, 2010

Sunny
77°

Since today was pegged to be warm, my dad and I decided to hit southern Illinois. As usual the morning started out being slow with only a few cottonmouths showing up here and there. Northern ring-necked snakes seemed to be common under rocks in the morning as several were found before noon. Once the afternoon hit, there seemed to be a flurry of cottonmouth movement. In between the cottonmouth sittings, yellow-bellied water snakes and eastern garter snakes would appear. However, as the day drew to a close, I flipped rocks along a rocky hillside and found a couple of ring-necked snakes and a Midwest worm snake. We also got a juvenile racer before we started heading out. While driving out of the area, we roadcruised two large diamond-backed water snakes, which we were happy to photograph. That topped of the outing. The totals are 35 western cottonmouths, 9 northern ring-necked snakes, 4 yellow-bellied water snakes, 3 eastern garter snakes, 2 diamond-backed water snakes, 2 Mississippi ring-necked snakes, 1 Midwest worm snake, and 1 southern black racer.  A total of 57 snakes.

April 3, 2010

Partly Cloudy
66°

I had some free time and it was still going to be warm today, so what better thing to do than to go herping. My dad and I headed to a spot of mine and immediately started finding some stuff. Within minutes we had found a racer and a northern water snake. We moved on to find several ring-necked snakes under rocks. While flipping some rocks, my dad noticed a black rat snake climbing a bluff wall. We took pictures and continued on. We then hit an area that is known for denning copperheads. As was expected, I found several copperheads in rock crevices and one was sitting in the leaf litter. We took our pictures and left the snakes to bask in piece. On the way back to the car, we found another racer. We arrived back at the car and decided we still had some time to kill, so we headed to another area. Minutes after the arrival, we saw a yellow-bellied water snake dart into the water. We moved on scanning the grass for more snakes when I caught a glimpse of a gray snake out of the corner of my eye. It was my first prairie kingsnake of the year. Though it was snap happy and didn’t want to sit still, I still managed a few pictures of it before letting it go on its way. The next hour or so was spent counting the garter snakes and ribbon snakes. We ended the day seeing 3 diamond-backed water snakes along a rocky shore line.  Unfortunately, they all disappeared in the water without a picture. It was a good day! The totals were 10 prairie ring-necked snakes, 9 eastern garter snakes, 6 osage copperheads, 3 diamond-backed water snake, 2 northern water snake including a DOR, 2 western ribbon snakes, 2 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 1 black rat snake, 1 yellow-bellied water snake, and 1 prairie kingsnake.  A total of 37 snakes.

April 4, 2010

Partly Cloudy
84°
Today was a day of visiting my grandparents, so that means there will be some time for herping. I only herped for a couple of hours, but I sure did find a lot of ring-necked snakes in that time. The temperature was so warm that the ring-necked snakes came up in numbers. Within all the ring-necked snakes, a smooth earth snake was found as well. I also found a small ribbon snake along a pond. I easily found more ring-necked snakes on my grandparents’ property than I ever have before. Though, finding all those ring-necked snakes was fun, the highlight of the day occurred when my brother Kyle flipped an adult ringed salamander under a rock. I love finding those things here. While driving home, I saw a DOR prairie kingsnake. The totals were 51 prairie ring-necked snakes, 1 western smooth earth snake, 1 western ribbon snake, and 1 DOR prairie kingsnake.  A total of 54 snakes.
April 10, 2010

Sunny
77°

Brian Willey and I woke up early today and headed over to a place where we thought we might be able to find a milk snake or two. We arrived at our first location and immediately started finding ring-necked snakes. While Brian was resetting a log that he had rolled, he noticed a small copperhead near where his hand was. We took our pictures and vowed to be more careful in the future. We then moved on to another spot. Here we were finding ring-necked snakes and a couple worm snakes and flat-headed snakes. Brian flipped a rock on rock and found our target for the day. Between the two rocks was a small milk snake, our first of the year. Brian had to wait several seconds to grab it because there was a scorpion walking on the milk snake. The scorpion soon moved on and we had our photo session. It wasn’t long before Brian found another small milk snake under a rock.  Again pictures were taken and the snake was released. A few minutes later, I was photographing a worm snake when Brian once again declared that he had flipped a small milk snake. This was turning out to be a good day. We continued on and arrived at a rock that looked good. While scouting areas during the winter, we came up to this rock and joked that we would find a milk snake under it during the spring. We were excited to flip it.  To our surprise there wasn’t one milk snake, but two milk snakes and about six ring-necked snakes. We grabbed the adult milk snakes for a photo session. We had found five milk snakes and it was barely mid day.  We moved on to another location where Brian quickly spotted a nice timber rattlesnake hiding under a rock ledge. We photographed the snake and moved on to another area. We had seen timber rattlesnakes in the area before, so it was no surprise when Brian spotted a timber rattlesnake in a rock crevice.  After a picture or two, we moved on. Not long after that, Brian found yet another timber rattlesnake sitting under an elevated rock. This rattlesnake was the biggest of the three and was longer than 3 feet. We again moved on to another place that Brian had seen milk snakes before. Here we found numerous ring-necked snakes, a smooth earth snake, and I finally flipped my own milk snake. This was milk snake number 6 on the day. I enjoyed photographing my triumph. Brian was hogging all the good finds, so it was nice to get on the scoreboard.  It was starting to get a little late at this point and unfortunately I was feeling bad. I was suffering from heat exhaustion, but we were having a great day and I didn’t want that to end early. We continued on to one last spot. At this last spot we were finding loads of ring-necked snakes. It was getting ridiculous. We also found some more worm snakes and flat-headed snakes as well.  Anyway, I realized I was in trouble and had to sit down. I told Brian to keep on looking while I rested, but I was feeling worse and worse. I eventually told Brian we had to leave. I could barely walk by the time we made it back to the car. It was close to dark anyways. Today put me out of commission, for a couple of days while I recovered from the heat exhaustion, but it was more than worth it. The totals for the day were 163 prairie ring-necked snakes, 15 western worm snakes, 6 red milk snakes, 4 flat-headed snakes, 3 timber rattlesnakes, 1 osage copperhead, and 1 western smooth earth snake.  A total of 193 snakes.

April 17, 2010

Sunny
66°

After having a great outing last weekend, Brian Willey and I headed out again this weekend. We headed over to a spot we hadn’t been in a while. We spent some time walking to a location that looked good and we immediately started having some success. Actually, Brian pointed to a rock and said, “milk snake rock".  He flipped it and to our amazement there was an adult milk snake under it. After doing this enough times, one is bound to get lucky. Anyway we photographed the snake and let it go. We continued on and Brian soon flipped an adult copperhead under a rock. It was difficult photographing the copperhead because it kept moving, but I got a picture and we moved on. Brian soon came to a rock pile where he promptly flipped another milk snake. This one was opaque and due to shed in a few days. I took a quick picture and moved on. We found a few worm snakes, ring-necked snakes, and racers before we decided to head back to the car. While heading to the car, Brian stopped dead in his tracks, and I realized why. He had spotted a large hog-nosed snake laying in the grass.  It was nearly black and went through the whole routine. Fortunately, it tried to bluff for a while before it "died". We got great photos. We put the snake in the grass and covered him up so that something wouldn’t make an easy meal of it while it was "dead". Anyway we made it back to the car and headed to another location. Here we found a few more ring-necked snakes, a racer or two, and a flat-headed snake. Oh, and Brian found a nice looking timber rattlesnake in a rock crevice. The rattlesnake capped off another successful day of herping. The totals are 43 prairie ring-necked snakes, 5 western worm snakes, 5 eastern yellow-bellied racers, 2 red milk snakes, 1 flat-headed snake, 1 eastern hog-nosed snake, 1 osage copperhead, and 1 timber rattlesnake.  A total of 59 snakes.

April 18, 2010

Partly Cloudy
67°
Today, Brian Willey and I had plans to meet up with Jim Scharosch, and Matt Ricklefs who had come down from Iowa.  Both our parties had great outings the day before, so we wanted our luck to continue.  After swapping stories about our experiences the day before, we headed out.  The primary goal was to locate a graham’s crayfish snake for Jim and Matt to photograph.  It wasn’t long before Brian found a trifecta of juvenile northern water snakes under a piece of tree bark.  We took pictures and moved on.  We soon found a couple more northern water snakes under various pieces of cover.  While walking along a rocky bank, I spotted an adult diamond-backed water snake.  We all took pictures of the nice looking snake and set it free.  We soon found a nice looking adult northern water snake that remained partially hidden in the grass.  We had found several water snakes, but not our target. We had spent a lot of time flipping, without any luck.  Jim, Matt, and I had gotten lazy about flipping and Jim made the comment that if we wanted to find one, we should get back to work. I said, “Nonsense!, Brian will find you guys one". Just minutes later, Brian holds up a small adult crayfish snake. The guys were happy.  We all took our pictures and then realized we had a decision to make.  We didn’t know what to do. It was only late morning. We decided to head over to another one of my spots.  We first stopped at a tin site where we flipped a couple of ring-necked snakes, a garter snake, and a couple of racers. We then moved on to a third area. Upon arrival, Jim quickly flipped an adult milk snake and we proceeded to take pictures. A few minutes later, Matt and I simultaneously flipped a milk snake each. His was a bright juvenile, while mine was a duller adult. We soon continued herping. We found a couple of nice racers to photograph. We then came to a rock pile. We got to the bottom of the rock pile, where we flipped a pair of nice copperheads. One got away, but the other one was detained for pictures. Eventually the snake was allowed to crawl back under its rock. After finding some ring-necked snakes, worm snakes, and a very large and attractive garter snake, we headed back to the car. While walking back to the car, I heard a rustling in the leaves, and then I saw Jim dive to the ground. He had just grabbed milk snake number 4 on the day.  it was opaque and not much to look at, but it was still nice nonetheless. We soon continued on. We made it back to the car and Jim wanted a group picture. While waiting for Jim to set up his camera, I flipped a small rock in the parking area and found a neonate milk snake. It was a surprising find, but we were happy to include it in our group shot. Unfortunately, they had to leave to make it back home at a reasonable hour. Brian and I decided to hit one last spot before we called it a day. We herped for a while without finding anything other than a few ring-necked snakes. We however hiked back as far as we could go where Brian flipped our 6th and last milk snake of the day. This one was the biggest and it was a dark brown. I have never seen one so dark before.  It was a great way to end the day.  Jim and Matt, it was great herping with you guys again. I hope you guys can make it back down here next spring. The totals for today were, 15 northern ring-necked snakes, 7 northern water snakes, 6 red milk snakes, 5 blue racers, 3 Midwest worm snakes, 2 eastern garter snakes, 2 northern copperheads, 1 diamond-backed water snake, and 1 graham’s crayfish snake.  A total of 42 snakes.
April 24, 2010

Overcast
68°
I had a little time on my hands and the weather was nice, so my dad and I spent a couple of hours herping locally.  Nothing too special was found.  We found 2 eastern garter snakes and a northern water snake.  A total of 3 snakes.
May 01, 2010

Overcast
68°

It was the weekend again, so that means Brian Willey and I were headed to another herping destination. We got there around 9:30am. We started with a couple of ring-necked snakes, flat-headed snakes, and rough earth snakes.  However, things were relatively slow. As it started to warm up though, things began to come out. We found a nice looking garter snake out basking and took some time getting pictures. We soon let it go and continued herping. One of the next rocks that was flipped had a very welcome find. It was a ringed salamander.  I always enjoy finding these guys. They are one of my favorite salamanders. After enjoying its beauty we continued on. We soon came to an area that had a really nice rock. Brian and I both made the comment that if there wasn’t milk snake under that rock then they were not out. We flipped it and breathed a sigh of relief when we saw a nice adult milk snake under it. We took pictures and continued on. We then came to another good looking area.  Brian was bending down to flip a rock when he shouted that he just saw a coachwhip pull his head back under a rock outcropping. I felt sick! I have been trying to get good pictures of a coachwhip for years and I just couldn’t find one. I finally photographed a juvenile last fall so all I needed was an adult. I really wanted to see the snake. I went over to where the snake was seen and realized the snake wasn’t in an outcropping, but was under a rock. The rock was flipable. We flipped the rock and pulled out a beautiful 4 foot coachwhip. We spent some time taking pictures of the snake even though it kept playing dead, which was real annoying. It didn’t bother me too much, because I was just stoked to have finally gotten an adult. After we were finished, we put the rock back and let the snake on his way. We very happily continued on our way. It wasn’t long after that, that I flipped up a nice milk snake under a rock. We carried on and I again flipped up another milk snake. This was milk snake number 3 and we still had most of the day to herp. Anyway, pictures were taken and we moved on. Later we flipped a large rock and got another nice gem in the form of a juvenile great plains rat snake. It reminded us a lot of a gray rat snake. We took pictures and let it on its way. We then moved on to another area. At the next spot we found an adult racer. While I was setting up my camera, I felt a hard smack against my forehead. Brian was holding the snake and he let it bite me in the head. After I broke his arm (just kidding), we let the snake go. Minutes later, Brian spotted another racer sticking its body out from under a rock. Brian then noticed a copperhead coiled underneath the same rock. We took pictures and moved on. Our next major find was a juvenile speckled kingsnake. It was our first speckled kingsnake of the year and was a great find for us. Minutes after the kingsnake was released, Brian found a second copperhead. We soon continued on. A little bit of time passed and then Brian found a large great plains rat snake. This was the last major find for over an hour. We were still finding ring-necked snakes, rough earth snakes, flat-headed snakes, and worm snakes though. While walking to the next location, Brian found milk snake number 4. We continued on and within an hour milk snake number 5 was found, followed shortly by milk snake number 6.  Milk snake number 7 was found under a rock with a massive tarantula. Seven was our personal record for milk snakes in one day. We have accomplished this a couple of times. It was almost dark at this point and we wanted to break our record. Brian was playing with a racer when I called up to him to flip the rock that our 8th milk snake was under. I was feeling heat exhausted, so I didn’t want to excerpt any more energy.  He eventually came up and flipped the rock and broke our milk record. A pretty but odd looking milk snake lied underneath making for our 8th and final milk snake of the day. That pretty much capped of the outing. The totals were 34 prairie ring-necked snakes, 10 rough earth snakes, 8 red milk snakes, 5 western worm snakes, 5 eastern yellow-bellied racers. 3 flat-headed snakes, 2 eastern garter snakes, 2 great plains rat snakes, 2 osage copperheads, 1 speckled kingsnake, and 1 eastern coachwhip.  A total of 72 snakes.



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