Friday, October 25, 2013

My First Herping Entry

Greetings and salutations readers! This is my herping blog. For those unaware, "herping" is looking for/photographing/catching/observing reptiles and amphibians. For those who are still clueless as to what any of the words mean: Google. I've been wanting to start this blog for a while now. I was inspired to do so by a fellow Philadelphia herper whose blog I happened across earlier this year. Since then, I've been out a number of times in various locations throughout the area, and have been consciously attempting to document my finds. The key word is "attempting". I've also compiled a few pictures and stories for "throwback" posts from past finds, especially since the winter is coming up. All pictures are taken with my crappy Samsung Conquer's 5 megapixel camera (since it's always readily available) unless stated otherwise, so I apologize for the quality of some of the shots in advance. I think that it adds to the authenticity of my findings, since I'm not setting up a camera or trying to get the perfect shot. It's mainly me trying to hold on to the critter long enough to get the least blurry photo possible. I also may curse/use inappropriate language. If you find this offensive, fuck you. Just kidding. But seriously, don't read anything else then.

me herping in Ocean City, Maryland

That was the introduction to the blog. Now for me: I've always loved animals. I've been "herping" as long as I could walk and pick up stuff. It started with bugs, but as I got a little older, my interest "evolved" from insects to amphibians, and I've been overly fascinated ever since. I was that kid who repeatedly checked out the same "Field Guide to Reptiles & Amphibians" books from the school library every time I went in there. I was in the bushes or lifting up rocks while my family was walking from Splash Mountain to the Haunted Mansion in Disney World. Standing around outside at house parties, I was the one to pick up the creature who wandered into the driveway lights sending people running, then started to explain science stuff to them about said creature. So basically, I'm a weirdo. I've had countless pets over the years, from exotic to conventional (a.k.a. normal). I'm also a hunter, which believe it or not, allows me to "kill" two birds with one stone (get it!? A hunting pun!) even while on a hunt. I basically love nature, and the woods, and peace and quiet. Flipping rocks near a creek on a mountain in the spring looking for salamanders just puts me in a good place. So this blog is a place for me to share (for those other weirdos or adoring fans whom are actually interested in this shit, too) some of those experiences that have made me smile, even just a little.

I'll do my best with identifications and scientific names. Feel free to correct me if you see an actual error. I have no ego. At all. Ever....but if you correct me and I'm right, I'll find you and punch you in the throat.

This blog will also showcase my poor attempts at comedy. So, laugh. LAUGH.

I figured I'd start my first blog entry with some credentials other than me saying "I herp a lot." I've also never called it "herping" until very recently. It was always just "catching frogs" or "looking for newts" or "Hey! I caught this water snake! I wonder if it's poisonous. Stick out your hand..." After reading the aforementioned blog from the first paragraph, I figured it was how big boys referred to catching small animals with a butterfly net and rain boots. I've found some pretty cool species, and seem to have decent luck with it (especially recently). I don't really have a "life/bucket list" or whatever for species I'd like to find, but any time I come across something I've never encountered before, it's special and exciting to me. I also have a tendency to look for stuff no matter where I am. If I was pulled over on the side of the road waiting for AAA to tow my car, I'd be lifting old tires or wooden boards until they got there. Then I'd ask them to wait one more minute while I check this last log.

Eastern Musk Turtle while fishing outside Philadelphia. He was very happy to be tricked into biting a worm on the line, then handled for photography

Attached below are some random pictures taken of random critters throughout the years...randomly. They basically don't have a cool enough story to go along with them (or that I just found them whilst doing something else and not technically "herping"). 

a juvenile Garter snake from a flipped board in the Poconos. This was on a path near my grandfather's cabin while on a whitewater rafting trip

Fowler's Toad on a mini-golf course in Ocean City, Maryland, seconds before she pee'd in my hand.

So, that's all for now. Thanks for reading my first entry. I have plenty more where this came from! Until then, um...yup...

I need a catchphrase.

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