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Posted by Mouser on April 20, 2003 at 19:05:57:
It was a beautiful 60-65 degree day here on the prairie/ozark transitional area of Missouri, Newton county to be exact. It turned out to be a wonderful day to look for herps. My wife and I visited 3 different locations. The first location was a run down old house in the middle of 100+ acres of pasture land. There was a lot of old tin and wood on the ground and I was sure I would find something there. After an hour and a half of looking, I did. I turned over a piece of tin and found a nice 20" +/- yellow-bellied racer. He was not pleased and being held and my wife was not pleased when he struck at my face. He never did land a bite on me, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The next piece of tin was the hiding spot for an eastern garter snake which had a nice yellow/orange dorsal stripe.
The second place we visited was a civil war cemetery where a broad-head skink eludes us for 15 minutes in a brush pile. I could not get a definitive id on him, but I am almost sure it was a broad-head.
The third spot was a hill top barn that was rundown. It was surrounded by scrub trees (osage orange and others) and offered a lot of fallen tin and some rocks to look under. The first piece of tin I turned was home to 2 prairie ringnecks and 2 five-lined skinks (one mature and one immature). I proceeded around the area and saw another 12 prairie ringnecks of all sizes with one piece of tin hiding the vast majority of those with 8. This is the second time I have observed areas where prairie ringnecks were present in great numbers, or at least what I consider great numbers. ;-)