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Submissions are due by the 15th of the month.

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You can also send submissions to: submissions [at] houseofherps [dot] com

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Hello. AJ here. Busy-as-a-bee Amber asked me if I’d fill in for she and Jason on this month’s introduction duty. After she grudgingly handed over a pile of cash, I agreed.

Mirth Cay’s presentation of the 14th edition of the House of Herps carnival is now up at her Humble Abode Encompassed by an Actually-Rather-Insignificant Cluster of Trees blog. As the submissions are apparently grouped by type of hallucination – auditory, tactile, olfactory, visual, and gustatory – I’m assuming they have something to do with the range of narcotic effects induced by licking the secretions from the various subjects’ bodies. Additionally, the…what? Oh.

Joy K., on her Little House in the Not-So-Big Woods blog, has presented House of Herps #14 with a theme involving the five senses. Basing her categorization on the dominant sensation elicited by the photos and descriptions, Joy introduces each submission with a vivid fluency capable of transporting every reader to a similar state of experience.

(By the way, next month’s edition will be hosted by Philly Herping.)

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.”

Joan Knapp from Anybody Seen My Focus? shares an observation about an anole that hitched a ride on her windshield…while driving, in “Stowaway.”

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.

  1. Reference site,, Scene 5

This month’s HoH edition is hosted by Adrian Thysse of A Natural Evolution. Adrian has worked doubly hard as host by offering not one, but two versions of this month’s submissions. Well done, Adrian! When I skimmed the first of these two presentations, I quickly realized that the perfect person to dive in and come out with the perfect intro was…in the other room. Some of you may remember AJ, of AIF #2 fame, who penned that presentation at Birder’s Lounge. I invited her to do us all the honor of introducing Adrian’s dual edition, and she knocked it out of the park. Without further delay, I give you AJ’s intro to HoH #12:

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What in the…House of Herps ??? After finally convincing me that she and Jason weren’t running some sort of online support group for Valtrex users, Amber asked if I would mind writing this month’s intro for the twelfth edition of the aforementioned blog carnival.

This month, ultra-prolific blogger/photographer Adrian Thysse volunteered to host the event. Upon beginning the reading, one may jump to the conclusion they’re about to delve into a Da Vinci Code-like experience. Well, let me just say: nope, you’re not. Oh, sure, there are some commonalities – alternative biblical stories, the potential to tick off the Pope, etc. – but ultimately, one distinct difference will dominate the comparison: unlike Dan Brown, Adrian is a talented writer.

I strongly suggest you READ Adrian’s post. If you skim, or merely glance over the key words, you’ll miss out on an extremely clever piece of work and, possibly – if you’re an avid reader of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (and, really, who isn’t?) – be given the impression that frogs, snakes, lizards, and salamanders are engaging in a pathological attention-seeking behavior in which they intentionally hurt themselves.

Adrian has written two versions:

Choose Version A if you’re a heathen.

Choose Version B if you’re hoping to be allowed into heaven.

Whatever version you select, I guarantee you’ll enjoy all of the entertaining herpetological offerings.

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AJ, thank you for this irreverent and intellectual intro – a perfect match for Adrian’s dual edition of HoH #12.

HoH #13 will return to the House of Herps home site, and will be hosted by Amber Coakley (me!) I have planned to host this edition since HoH #1, to take a look back on the first year of this celebration of amphibian and reptile life. I have some neat plans for #13, so be sure to send in your posts.

Your blog or website, if you have one.