I put ten brown snakes through that emotional roller coaster again on Monday evening. I went with John and his girlfriend Aqila. John teaches zoology at a local high school, and he contacted me after he read the brown snake article in Reptiles Magazine. He reported that his students were proud that
In the course of emailing, I had convinced John to take a
Still, taking someone you don’t know well to one of ‘your’ spots is always high-pressure herping. What if you do all that talking and take them all that way, and you find absolutely nothing?
Luckily the brown snakes spared me that embarrassment. The first chunk of concrete I tried hid a fat female.
The second chunk hid two, one of which might have been a male.
A large board we lifted had another two snakes underneath.
From there we walked up the railroad tracks to check out the adjacent land they’ve been developing. There was none of the vegetation with which I usually associate brown snakes, and all the chunks of concrete looked like they had been recently shoved around by earth movers.
When I laid out the options to John and Aqila, ‘we can look around here a little more, or go to the cemetery,’ their eyes lit up and they voted for the cemetery.
So, we were off to the
We got lucky when I tried a small board (about 10” by 10”) under which I had found one plump female last year. I lifted it up, and we saw not one, not two, not three, but four brown snakes! That’s got to be the highest number of brown snakes per square inch I’ve found outside of the hibernacula.
Number five was hiding under an old log. This was a small one, last year’s baby, I think. Last summer I found very few of the little ones, so it was a nice way to wind up the trip.