I was in Chicago for a conference in early May and decided to try and take another pilgrimage to visit these sand prairies along the banks of the Kankakee River in eastern Illinois and western Indiana. I had visited once before, I think back in 2005 or 2006 and was relatively unsuccessful. I hoped maybe this trip would be different.
I was driving to some of the first locations early in the morning, and just starting to enter good habitat, when I saw a serpentine shape working its way across the road.
|Western Slender Glass Lizard - Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus|
I spent most of the day searching for trash and abandoned debris to search for snakes. Despite temperatures in the mid70s, low80s and a partly cloudy sky the day remained pretty slow. Six-lined Racerunners Aspidosaurus sexlineatus viridis were scurrying about the grasses, although I didn't bother to photograph any.
Later in the morning, I finally started to have some success, flipping some ugly blue racers and milk snakes. Michigan's representatives of both species are much prettier.
|"Blue" Racer Coluber constrictor foxi|
|Bull Snake Pituophis catenifer sayi|
It was a great end to a slow day. I happily called it quits and started to head back to the windy city. Bullsnakes rock!