The time had come for our annual trip to Southern Illinois. This year we decided to spend two days in Illinois, and two
in Missouri. Present in our group was my dad, Keith Albert, my brother, Tim, and a friend of ours, Adam Nadler. Bob Young
usually accompanies us on our spring venture as well, but he and his wife were unable to make it this year.
As we approached
our first destination, temperatures were still in the mid 50s, leaving us with some doubts about what we might find. Our first
stop was the bluffs in Monroe County, Illinois. This area holds some rare species in Illinois. It is the only place in the
state where the Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum flagellum) can be found. It’s also one of the only areas
in Illinois where Great Plains Rat Snakes (Elaphe emoryi) reside. These two, along with a wealth of other species make
this a great area to be.
We didn’t find any of these rarities, instead, Keith found the very common Northern
With the cool temperatures that was all we could rustle up, and we were off to the next spot.
|The Redbud was blooming
Well, the herping turned out to be pretty good on this day. As we peered into the rocks, I spotted the first two Timber
Rattlesnakes coiled tightly in a crevice. As we positioned ourselves to look at the snakes better, we must have startled
them, and they went deeper into the rock.