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Late Summer Rookery Herping

Late summer can be a great time to observe pit vipers that are held up under rookery rocks incubating and birthing their offspring. Ryan and I made a trip on Sept. 1st to do just this.  Below is a report of our trip taken from Ryan's website ( ) followed by photos by myself.


Mike Cravens and I had a hankering to find a timber rattlesnake or two.  We headed over to a place in Montgomery County Missouri.  Almost immediately we were greeted with a very lovely find.  Mike got a hand on my first ever western slender glass lizard.  After the photo session we continued.  Not too long after that I spotted an adult copperhead in a rock crevice.  Mike came over to take a look himself and pointed out the four juvenile copperheads that also shared the crevice.  Apparently upon picture comparison, I found the same adult copperhead on May 3, 2003 under a nearby rock.   Once the photo session was over we continued.  While checking a crevice, Mike flipped a juvenile hog-nosed snake.  We took our photos and moved on.  The last find occurred just as it was getting dark.  Mike peered into a crevice and saw yet another adult copperhead.  Also present were several neonate sheds.  As Mike continued to look for more snakes, I poked around the edge of the crevice.  Moments later I scared up a neonate copperhead in the process of shedding its skin.  I called Mike over and I got my pictures.  That proved to be the last snake of the day.  It was a fantastic outing.  The totals were 7 osage copperheads and 1 eastern hog-nosed snake.  A total of 8 snakes.