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Two Timbers and two Copperheads under the same rock

Wanting to see if the luck we’ve been having would hold out, Ryan and I decided to do some more herping yesterday.  Ryan hadn’t found an Osage for the year so I suggested we hit my Timber/Osage road in Washington County.  The plan was to do some road cruising that evening but first we wanted to check out some rock outcroppings and small glades I had found earlier in the spring.

 

I met Ryan, his dad, and little brother at a nearby gas station and we were soon off.  We found the rocks and glades where I had left them in the spring.  After about thirty minutes of rock flipping and not finding anything I came across a large rock situated on the edge of a small glade.  I notice an old shed lying in pieces at the bottom of the rock so I reached down and picked it up.  I showed Ryan and we decide it’s either a Timber or Osage shed.  I pointed down to show him where I had found it and simultaneously Ryan and his little brother yelled RATTLESNAKE!  And then, ANOTHER ONE!  Lying not one inch from where I had picked up the shed was a large Timber partially hidden by the rock with another coiled only a few inches from it.  Very excited and a little freaked out from almost touching one of them I set up my photo equipment before trying to pull the snakes out.  We decided the best way to go about getting the snakes out was for each of us to hook a separate snake at the same time, not to lose one while dealing with the other.  We managed to remove both snakes without much trouble.  Both snakes were gravid females.  One did very little rattling and continually tried to crawl away.  The other coiled tightly and buzzed away making the perfect photographic specimen.  After a lengthy photo session we decided to put them back under their rock but Ryan wanted to check under the rock first to make sure we didn’t miss one.  The next thing I knew Ryan yelled COPPERHEAD!  And then TWO OF THEM!  We couldn’t believe are luck, resting about a foot farther back under the rock were two Osage Copperheads, one obviously gravid.  While I kept tabs on the Rattlesnakes, Ryan managed to pull both Copperheads from the rock.  We returned the Timbers to their rock and proceeded photographing the Copperheads. 

 

The rest of the evening was spent road cruising without any luck.  Not finding anything on the road didn’t bother us at all.  Ryan had gotten his Osage for the year and I had gotten some much needed Timber photos.

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