Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Herping Weekend in the Red Hills

     The spring field trip of the Kansas Herpetological Society was centered this year at Clark State Fishing Lake in Clark County. This area is in the western portion of the Red Hills. While red dirt is seen in areas south of the lake, the country in this more northern part of the county is among the most attractive landscapes in the state. And this was a very fitting place for dozens of herpers to go looking for amphibians and reptiles. The weather was less than desirable for trying to find cold-blooded animals but these herpers were up to the challenge. On a wet and cold first night, many toads, frogs and salamanders were enjoying the rains. For the rest of the weekend, the herpetologists looked under the ample number of rocks in the area and found many interesting critters--snakes of all sizes, scorpions, giant desert centipedes and lizards. These are the best of times for so many young and old alike who enjoy discovering natural Kansas. Many thanks to Travis Taggart and the Kansas Herpetological Society for making arrangements and sponsoring this event.

Clark State Fishing Lake and the area around it is
among the most picturesque in Kansas-a true gem!

Dozens of herpers, including many youth,
 enjoy the day's "catch." Most all the specimens
were released after sufficient study and
entertainment was had by all.

The Eastern Collared Lizard was one of the
most common inhabitants hiding under rocks.

A North American Racer
(formerly Blue Racer) was a
first catch for the weekend.
Western Tiger Salamanders were a hit!
Kids gather around a Great Plains
Rat Snake to get good pics.

The rat snake demonstrated
good climbing ability even in
the cold weather.

Girls don't like snakes?
Are you kiddin me?!

A big part of the allure of the Clark
State Fishing Lake area is the beautiful
country including the charming wildflowers.

A beautiful sunset at the lake capped off
a fun-filled and educational Saturday for
the 2016 spring field trip.


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