House of Herps #12 – The Apocryphal Edition

Part 1.
This is the twelfth edition of House of Herps, so that means I have the honour of presenting the last post for the first year of this blog carnival.  In the scheme of things, a year is not much, but I thought this would  be a good time to present a little known but ancient antecedent to House of Herps.

What follows is the first publication of select verses from the Munchhausen¹ papyrus, a 2000 year-old document now known as The Book of Serpent. Like the related document, The Gospel of Judas, it is one of many church-rejected apocryphal books that ran parallel with, and some times counter to, the canonical books established at the Synod of Hippo in 393 CE. The Book of Serpent was considered particularly heretical due to the sect that formed around it in 325 CE.

(N.B.If ancient history

House of Herps #10: The Frog Prince

Come sit beside me, I’ll tell you a tale
Of loving and longing and terrible betrayal;
A story quite sad, but wonderful, too.
Here, have a seat; come and listen, won’t you?

Our story begins with a maiden so fair,
With sparkling eyes, and long flowing hair.
Her heart glowed as pure as the light of a star,
And men came to court her from near and afar.

She saw many suitors, but none she desired,
And as the years passed she grew ever tired.
Was there really no man for whom she could fall?
She couldn’t believe there was no one at all.

The thought made her sad, so one sunny day
She paused at a well that she passed on her way.
She extracted a coin and she tossed it inside.
“I just want true love, nothing more!” so she cried.

Of course, nothing happened, it was just …

House of Herps #9: Back to School Edition!

Welcome to the ninth House of Herps blog carnival, August 2010!

August is more than halfway over, and September is just around the corner … which means that, in the United States, at least, it’s back to school season. Every store smells of office supplies and new backpacks (fifty percent off – this week only!), teachers are busy putting together last-minute touches to their courses and students, from kindergartners to college students, are trying to find every way they can to make summer last for just one more week …

And, of course, the House of Herps blog carnival has gotten into the spirit of things – our contributors this month have come together with a great selection of eleven short classes, all focused on the amazing diversity of reptile and amphibian life. So, I invite you to sit down with your packed lunch and a freshly-sharpened number two pencil, …

House of Herps #5: Slime Poetry

Slam Poetry is a fairly recent artistic phenomemon, where composers (“slammers”) recite passionate and emotionally-charged poetry in a competitive arena; it’s usually a raucous and stirring event.   I propose that, given the range of intense emotion our scaley and slippery friends can invoke, it is high time the Slime Poetry movement took centre stage.  For centuries writers have captured those fleeting moments of fear, awe, sadness and, of course, beauty we herp-happy folk appreciate so much.  In this installment of House of Herps #5: Slime Poetry, we explore the passion of herpers through the posts of our contributors and the kindred hearts of poets.

I suggest you stand to recite the verses, and be sure to speak loudly.

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We start with Kay’s encounter with a “narrow fellow in the grass” at Arroyo Colorado River Blog.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel …

House of Herps #2

Welcome to the 2nd issue of House of Herps, the monthly blog carnival devoted exclusively to reptiles and amphibians.  The brainchild of Amber Coakley, (Birder’s Lounge), and Jason Hogle (xenogere), this new blog carnival had an auspicious start with the inaugural issue and its 21 contributions – an impressive level of participation for a new carnival.  This month the carnival moves off-site, and I am honored to serve as the first off-site host.  The enthusiasm continues with issue #2, for which I received 22 submissions from 18 contributors.  Ever the taxonomist, I present them to you below grouped by traditional classification¹.

¹ It should be noted that modern classification has “evolved” substantially from this traditional classification due to the advent of DNA molecular analyses. For example, lizards are a paraphyletic grouping, and even the class Reptilia has been subsumed within a broader class containing dinosaurs …