12 months of herping in Iowa

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Don Becker
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12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by Don Becker » February 20th, 2012, 10:50 am

I found a brown snake out basking, and was excited that I had found herps, not just in 12 consecutive months, but 12 consecutive months in Iowa! Not only that, but 12 months in my home county! When I got home to verify my records, I realized I had actually found brown snakes last February, so the ones I found in January completed my cycle. Either way, lets review the cycle in Iowa (finds from outside my home county will be included).

February 2011 started my 12 month cycle with just a brown snake.
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March 2011 got the year going with some uncommon species for Iowa.
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April 2011 turned up a few more spring regulars
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May 2011 was a very active time for me
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June 2011 had some excellent Iowa finds
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July 2011 included a couple county records (not just for HERP), and something that is always a treat to see
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August 2011 was spent in the local rivers mostly
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September 2011 included more aquatic herps and the first milk snake ever found in a park that I have frequented for the last 10 years.
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October 2011 started slowing things down. I still can't guess where this painted was coming from or going to.
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November 2011 started my streak of brown snakes. Not just at my favorite wall, but one crossing the parking lot too
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December 2011 turned up some painted turtles trapped in a man hole, as well as my normal brown snakes (can you find his head?)
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January 2012 was just brown snakes, but officially completed my 12 month cycle.
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And just because I thought it completed my 12 month cycle, here is my February brown from today
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https://www.psychoticnature.com/blog/8- ... ng_in_iowa
http://www.iowaherps.com

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Todd Pierson
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by Todd Pierson » February 20th, 2012, 10:45 pm

Don, you're the man. I dig the Pituophis!

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salamanderhunter
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by salamanderhunter » February 21st, 2012, 7:00 am

Thanks for posting. I've gotten paints out in the middle of bfe as well. I think they wander almost as much as snappers.

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brick911
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by brick911 » February 21st, 2012, 8:58 am

Decent finds Don, but nothing beats those browns!

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Fundad
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by Fundad » February 21st, 2012, 10:59 am

Nice work on the year around Don.. :thumb:

I enjoyed your Iowa tour.. :beer:


Love that little Milksnake :D

Fundad

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BillMcGighan
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by BillMcGighan » February 21st, 2012, 1:38 pm

Very good stuff.
What is the story on the well (circular concrete with you in it?) and turtles?

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justinm
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by justinm » February 21st, 2012, 2:40 pm

Looks like the Blandings are cheap now. I only have one pic from way too far away. Looks like I need to get back over there. Good on you for getting this done, it's quite the accomplishment.

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Don Becker
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by Don Becker » February 21st, 2012, 2:43 pm

BillMcGighan wrote:Very good stuff.
What is the story on the well (circular concrete with you in it?) and turtles?
It is an old man hole. I have seen frogs using it in the past, but they are able to jump out. I have never seen turtles in it in the past. We had a warm day in December, and we were going to check a den site to see if snakes were out basking. On the way out we walked past the man hole, and I was telling my bro-in-law about the frogs that use it. We were looking at it, and I saw a shell under the ice. We pulled four out that day, and saw a firth that we couldn't reach. The near by pond was frozen over, so I we put them back in the water for the moment. I went back the next day and the pond was opened so I pulled the turtles out and put them into the pond. I ended up pulling out 6 turtles that day. I went back the next day to double check again, and found a 7th. I have never seen turtles in the man hole before this time. The man hole is not active, and does not connect to anything, so I assume they were wondering around and fell in.

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Don Becker
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by Don Becker » February 21st, 2012, 2:44 pm

justinm wrote:Looks like the Blandings are cheap now. I only have one pic from way too far away. Looks like I need to get back over there. Good on you for getting this done, it's quite the accomplishment.
They started popping up out of no where. For the longest time, if we managed to see one a year, we were doing good, then one spring we went out and saw six adults basking at one time, and they have been a pretty common site ever since.

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salamanderhunter
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Re: 12 months of herping in Iowa

Post by salamanderhunter » February 21st, 2012, 3:30 pm

They started popping up out of no where. For the longest time, if we managed to see one a year, we were doing good, then one spring we went out and saw six adults basking at one time, and they have been a pretty common site ever since.
I saw that same phenomenon with paints. For several years there was only one adult. Then one year...boom....5 or 6 adults. I wonder if there is some weather variable that occurs in occasional years that spurs dispersal?

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