Field Trips

One of my favorite pastimes is finding, observing, photographing, and sometimes capturing reptiles in their natural habitat.  This nonstandard hobby is known as "herping," which is a derivation of the  Greek root word herpetos, which means "to creep," and refers to reptiles and amphibians (though my focus is the reptilian aspect).  It's similar to birding, except the target species are different.

I've been known to forgo sleep and even food to get to those "hot spots" to find my target species.  In this picture, I'm stalking my quarry by crawling on my belly through a boulder-strewn field which, I found out later, was also full of buffalo chips!  The lengths to which I go to bring you, Gentle Reader, interesting web content!  My quarry was the Eastern Collared Lizard, which you can read about on my Oklahoma page.


Although I've been catching reptiles for as long as I can remember, it wasn't until I started bringing a video camera along on my forays that I started documenting my finds. I have "captured" on video and photographic  (and now digital) film all sorts of animals.  

When I was younger, I felt compelled to capture every lizard I came across to keep as a pet. These days, I'm more content to just capture them on film. I enjoy watching the animals as they go about their day-to-day activities in their natural environment. 

The bullsnake in the picture at right is one such beast.  I'm sure this snake would fetch a nice price in the pet trade (and many wild-caught reptiles are available through such channels), but I figured it was better off eating field mice where I found it.  However, I'm not opposed to people capturing and keeping reptiles for their own enjoyment (or for furthering captive breeding programs).

Chris with Bullsnake
Now, I bring my cameras along whenever I take a trip so I can see what sort of critters the local area has to offer.  If you can find an area posted with signs like the one at right, you know you're in a good location!

To learn more about this hobby, please click on the topics I've provided via the links below.  The "My Trips" section is HUGE, and growing larger all the time, as I add species accounts organized by state/country.

Texas Rest Area Sign

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