In Search of Hawkeye Horridus


"Man, I'd love to come up to Iowa and see those someday" I was talking about the beautiful golden yellow Timber Rattlesnakes that Jim and Matt had posted to their Herp Journal pages.  Those snakes looked completely different from the brown, black and silvery-gray horridus I could find in my home state of Illinois.

Every time I met up with these guys I would say the same thing, and finally the opportunity arose in mid-May of 2007. Jim, Matt and Jeff were planning a four-day herpfest across various parts of Iowa, and I was coming up to join them for the last two days. I packed up my camping gear, since we were planning on an overnight stay on Sunday night.

Early Saturday evening I headed north and east to Center Point Iowa, and I pulled into Jim's driveway around 1030 PM. Everyone was still up - Jim's wife Laura and Austin, their son, and Jeff was there as well. We sat around for a bit and had a beer and everyone filled me in on the results of the previous two days. Four rattlesnakes had been found, along with multiple milk snakes, fox snakes and other herps. Of particular interest was the Eastern Hognose found under a sheet of tin - rarely are these snakes found under cover.

We hit the hay around midnight, planning to get up early and head for the northeastern corner of the state...



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