Field Herping 2012
Well, 2011 was not a good year for herping due to the extreme heat and drought we experienced. 2012 is off to a good start.
The year started off to a good start with me find a western
diamondback rattlesnake den back in February. This den
was well hidden and not easy to get too, but was well worth
the trouble.
This is a second location by the main den which also
showed signs of snake activity. Lots of good places for
them to escape the winter weather, although we really
didn't have much of a winter this year!
Speckled king snake found under a rock a few feet from
the racer pictured to the left. Both racers and king snakes
will not hesitate to eat another snake.
April 6, 2012 Yellow bellied racer found in southern
Oklahoma and possibly the largest I have seen at about 4
feet in length. These are very common in the DFW area as
well.
April 14, 2012 I went out herping a few of my regular spots
in Dallas county with three other guys who I had not herped
with before. The day started out with a lined snake.
We ended up having a great day, finding 19 snakes of 8
different species, as well as several tarantulas. Here is a
Texas rat snake found outside an old barn.
And no herping trip in Texas can be complete without
rattlesnakes. Here is one of three western
diamondbacks we found that day. Two of them were
found within a hundred feet of each other.
While trying to get ahold of an eastern coachwhip, I
actually stepped on this three foot western diamondback.
Amazingly, I didn't get bit, which helps to show that
rattlesnakes do not deserve their horrible reputation.
April 22, 2012 A western diamondback rattler that I got
lucky with and spotted on the move in a shaded wooded
area bordering a large field.
This one was just under four feet long and full of attitude,
unlike the ones we found last weekend. We photographed
it on a dirt road and then returned it to the shade.
April 24, 2012 I did a little herping around Fort Worth, but
didn't really turn up much other than a few rat snakes,
such as this Great Plains rat snake (aka Emory's rat
snake).
Pile-o-possums! I flipped a family of Virginia opossums
under a pile of boards that produced a large possum
almost exactly two years ago. There were 8 or 9 babies
with mama. A few scattered but returned within minutes.
April 25, 2012 I did some road cruising on my top secret
road south of Fort Worth. The first snake I found was this
nice looking Texas rat snake, who didn't seem to
appreciate the fact that I had just saved his (or her) life
from getting run over!
I also found three western massasauga rattlesnakes.
The area is basically open prairies with cattle and a lot
of gas drilling, which is taking its toll on their habitat. Not
to mention that the locals don't realize how lucky they are
to have these little guys around!
We also saw this four foot speckled king snake, another
snake which I am fond of. We also saw several Great
Plains rat snakes.
April 26, 2012 Went back to the same place as last
night. The evening started off with this nice looking bull
snake, a snake that I always enjoy seeing.
April 27, 2012 I met up with a friend today who brought
me to a pond where he said we could find a snake I had
never seen before, the Graham's crayfish snake. He
didn't disappoint!
We then headed up north to Oklahoma so I could show
my buddy a snake he had never seen, a western pygmy
rattler, and this time, I didn't disappoint! Unfortunately,
this tiny viper would not sit still for a photo.
April 29, 2012 I went back out to one of my usual
locations and only about ten minutes after finding a 4 1/2
western diamondback, I found this adult Texas coral
snake under a board.
I was amazed to find it since we were having a slow day
herping. I guess this snake thought that if it hid its head
and couldn't see me, that I wouldn't be able to see it. An
amazing find!
September 22, 2012 A newborn timber rattler found
crossing the road at dusk in southern Oklahoma.
October 13, 2012 A juvenile eastern coachwhip found
under a rock in southern Oklahoma on a rainy day.