My first fall living in Carbondale. I knew the move from northern Illinois would bring me much closer to much better
herping, and I would get the chance to see the fall snake migration at Snake Road, which I have never experienced before.
I have visited the road many times in the spring, but several of the less common species had eluded me thus far. I made it
my goal to see three species this fall. Those being The Bird Voiced Tree Frog, the Western Mud Snake, and the Mississippi
Green Watersnake. All of the other more “popular” creatures, with a majority of herpers anyway, I had already
seen multiple times at the road and elsewhere. Things such as the Timber Rattlesnake, Western Cottonmouth, “Shawnee”
Kingsnake, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, I like finding any snake or frog or whatever, but the three I
had set aside were my top priority. All of these said species are fairly hard to come by in Illinois, even in the right habitat.
The Mississippi Green Watersnake is listed as threatened, and Pine Hills is believed to be the only remaining place where
one can find them in the state. The Mud Snake is believed to be more abundant, but due to its secretive habits it is rarely
seen. And the Bird Voiced Tree Frog is also listed as threatened, its main peril being drainage of wetland. All these species
are restricted to the extreme southern counties of Illinois. I hoped to see all three, they had eluded me before, and I didn’t
want that to be the case any longer.