The very first edition of House of Herps was hosted last December, right here at the home site. This first year has enjoyed steady participation, with 52 contributors sharing their pictures, experiences and knowledge about this diverse group of animals. It has been a fun and rewarding experience to help bring it all together, and we look forward to another year of HoH!
This 1st Anniversary Edition of HoH is punctuated with a brand new look for the home site, and two new badges:
This badge was made with the help of Ted MacRae’s photo of a beautiful Timber Rattler (Crotalus horridus). Ted blogs at Beetles in the Bush, and is the creator of An Inordinate Fondness (AIF), a carnival dedicated to Beetles.
This badge is a mini version of the new header, featuring an American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).
The makeover of the home site is well and good, but the real gifts for this edition are the submissions from our contributors. Thanks to everyone!
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Andrea Jaszlics of Worm Salad kicks things off with some interesting facts about the life history a Red Spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), in her post titled “I got better…“. She totally wins the clever award for her references to Monty Python’s Holy Grail.
BEDEMIR: What makes you think she is a witch?
VILLAGER #3: Well, she turned me into a newt.
BEDEMIR: A newt?
VILLAGER #3: I got better.1
Next up is my buddy Ted C. MacRae of Beetles in the Bush, who brings us eye-to-eye with a Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis), in his post, “Eye of the Turtle.” Ted’s prose wowed the crowd – he’s had a ton of comments and a nice discussion. Head on over to join in!
David A. Steen of Living Alongside Wildlife has been delighting HoH followers this season, with stories and pictures straight from the Florida forest where he works. Of the three posts David submitted, one is a veritable carnival in its own right. “Rattlesnakes: Finding Their Poise and Dignity” is a collection of posts from David’s associates, geared toward educating the public about rattlesnakes, and helping to garner the respect they deserve. David’s second contribution is a post that discusses the basking habit of turtles, and his third relays a story about a Texas Ratsnake, a decorative holiday wreath, and surprised homeowner.
Always entertaining, Lynda Sharpe of Mainly Mongoose has a unique story about her wake-up call to clean her house, called “Hopping into housework.” Lynda’s post is a fun read, and an introduction to a really cool frog species. (“foam nest?” – who knew?)
After a long and involuntary absence, it is with great happiness that I present the next submission from HoH co-founder, Jason Hogle of xenogere. Jason laments the La Nina winter, but points out the upside, in “Warmer and drier.”
Making her HoH debut is zoologirl from Zoologirl’s Blog in the Southern Fried Scientist Network. Zoologirl shares some exciting news about captive breeding success with several amphibian species. Visit Zoologirl’s Blog to learn more about “New Hope for the La Loma Tree Frog.”
Finally, we have my very own story from Birder’s Lounge, of seeing American Alligators (Alligator mississipiensis) in the wild. The airboat ride was a blast, and the gators posed so well that they grabbed the HoH home site header for 2011. Read about them in “Yep, Alligators Live Here.”
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The next edition of HoH will be hosted by Joy at The Little House in the Not-So-Big Woods. Be sure to send your submissions by January 15th, all the more precious as we head full-on into Winter in North America.
- Reference site, http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mphg/mphg.htm, Scene 5 ↩
Welcome to House of Herps #8, July, 2010!
Our host for this edition had a last minute change to her schedule, so the challenge of presenting this month’s contributions in a new and interesting manner has come my way. Having very recently spent a week playing with my 9yr-old niece (who visits every summer), my thoughts gradually turned to our visit to the planetarium.
During the planetarium show, I was reminded of how many constellations have been named for animals, and herps – real and imagined – are well represented among them. To wit:
- Chamaeleon, The Chameleon
- Cetus, The Sea Monster
- Draco, The Dragon
- Hydra, The Water Serpent
- Hydrus, The Water Snake
- Lacerta, The Lizard
- Ophiucus, The Serpent Holder
- Serpens, The Serpent
The Dragon stuck in my mind, as I considered how many constellations must have taken a great deal of imagination to be envisioned in the first place. So many of them, when only viewing the connect-the-dots version in the nighttime sky, only really come to life when their full-fleshed images are overlaid. This is the best part of the show at the planetarium, as evidenced by the hushed whispers after each overlaid drawing made sense out of the simulated starry sky.
It didn’t take me long to envision a reverse constellation, viewed from the heavens rather than the Earth, where each “star” represents a herpetological experience from each of our contributors.
And thus, Nogard, the reverse herpetological constellation was born.
Each of our 7 contributors is a star in this far-out edition of House of Herps. I hope you’ll enjoy the show!
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1. Elizabeth of Yips and Howls was enjoying the cuteness of birds and their young, when she looked up to see a robust Bull Snake wrapped around a tree limb. Join Elizabeth as she relates her initial reaction to the snake and the ecological realities that she soon realized.
2. Ted MacRae of Beetles in the Bush has taken to catching venomous snakes with his bug net. You think I’m kidding? I know you’ll enjoy reading about Ted’s successful tiger beetle field trip, that also “netted” him a young Timber rattler.
3. Bernard of Philly Herping spends a day in the Delaware River, where he swims with the dolphins turtles. Lots of turtles, and a variety of species. If this isn’t enticing enough, add in the fact that Bernard has a new, underwater camera and uses the word, “oodles,” in a sentence!
4. Joan of Anybody Seen My Focus? had the great good fortune to encounter a confused Southern Leopard Frog, who, instead of hopping away from her, hopped right toward her, landing at her feet. The super-cool thing about the frog is that it still had quite a long tail, evidence of its transformation from a tadpole.
7. As a birder living in Panama, Jan Axel (Jan Axel’s Blog) enjoys watching the abundant avian species – but not to the exclusion of all others. On a recent birding trip, Jan and his wife encountered many fantastic and colorful herps. You’ll want to see his collection of photos, including the brilliantly colored Poison Dart Frog!
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The next edition of House of Herps will be hosted by Andrea Jaszlics of Worm Salad, in August 2010. Please send your submissions for HoH #9 to:
submissions [at] houseofherps [dot] com
by August 15th.
Dragon illustration from The Dragon Archives.
Earth image from Google Earth
I do like that Sam-I-Am.
Find herps galore, that’s what he can.
That’s why I like that Sam-I-Am.
Do you like amphibians?
I really like amphibians.
But where are they, Sam-I-Am?
Where are the amphibians?
Say! I like all those amphibians.
I do! I like them, Sam-I-Am.
I would like them in the rain.
I would like them on a train.
I would like them here and there.
I would like them anywhere.
But what of snakes, Sam-I-Am?
Are they just like amphibians?
Easy to find and easy to see?
From on the ground or in a tree?
You could find snakes in a boat.
You could find snakes with a goat.
And in the dark. And in a tree.
They’re easy to find, don’t you see?
Lizards, too, Sam-I-Am?
Just like the amphibians?
Just like all those snakes you found?
Lizards, too, on tree or ground?
But easy to find and fun to see.
Lizards are great, don’t we agree?
Oh, I agree, Sam-I-Am.
You really are the herping man.
Now one last quest I ask of you.
Can you find a gator too?
Neither hide nor hair did I see.
When looking for one for you and me.
Walked in the water.
Walked through the trees.
But finding a gator depends on who sees.
Too bad about that, Sam-I-Am.
But I really liked the amphibians.
And I liked the snakes.
And lizards, too.
Herping is better when I’m with you.
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The next edition of House of Herps will be hosted by Arati at Trees, Plants and More. Send your submissions to submissions [at] houseofherps [dot] com no later than July 15 if you want to participate.