We got to see one out on the knob thanks to the sharp eyes of one lady there. The first rattlesnake of any sort that I have ever seen in the wild is pictured below.
The rattlesnake was brought out of the net for pictures and better looks and then it was time to do research on it. Some of the snakes are implanted with a micro chip and this one is one of those snakes. All rattlesnakes that we saw were females and the one in these two photos is pregnant.
Besides the rattlesnakes I noticed this Yucca on the knob.The day came to an end at 6 pm and I was glad to have had such a great time and to see so many things. I got 1 reptile, 1 amphibian, 3 butterfly, and 1 plant lifers for a total of 6 new species to add to my lists. No magpies were around but I still had a great time. Broken Kettle Grasslands is an amazing place made possible by the Nature Conservancy. It is a place worth visiting and exploring at least once and the Nature Conservancy is a great place to donate!
I also noticed my lifer Variegated Fritillary up there......
as well as my lifer Little Wood Satyr.
After that we went and listened to talks for a couple hours and had lunch which was obviously not as exciting as chasing rattlesnakes. When the talks were over some of the herpetologists (reptile and amphibian researchers) came out of the hills with another rattlesnake which I got great pictures of when they let her out of the bag.
This one looks ready to strike! They sure do make a neat noise with those rattles.
The Bison were next and so we drove to the pasture where they are kept. They locked them into a small pasture for easy viewing. When we got out of the bus the herpetologists found a Plains Leopard Frog which was a lifer for me. The frog was playing hard to catch so everyone was running around in the grass trying to find it. I was waiting to hear a loud crunching or squishing noise from the grass but luckily I didn't hear it which means no one stepped on him. The hump on his back I heard is not an injury even though it looks like something is wrong with it. It is just how they look when you hold them that way.
We saw the Bison from a distance but none of the pictures I got were that great. When we were riding in there I saw White Sage plants growing, which was another lifer for me. I also was glad to hear a Blue Grosbeak. An hour or two later four people including me drove up watch the Bison go back into the large pasture with the grassland conservationist Scott (he lives at and manages the prairie there), who is husband to a naturalist I know real well. We got to see the Bison even closer this time and I got some better photos. The male below was huge!The heard was awesome and it was neat to watch the bison calves in with the adults. When we were at the pasture I saw my life Regal Fritillary! It was a beautiful butterfly indeed. Earlier when we looked for them we just went on a small path on a wagon hooked to a tractor but Scott took us cross country in his truck which gave us an advantage. The herd of Bison is pictured below.