Field Herpetology describes the interest that Phil Peak and I explore every waking moment that we take air into our lungs. What follows are images taken while we are in pursuit of our quarry. It is my hope that everyone will be able to enjoy the pictures contained within the following galleries.
Searching for reptiles and amphibians in nature is a truly rewarding experience that anyone with an interest in our hobby should explore. The ticks, poison ivy, briars, and feral dogs drive a lot of people off, but I encourage everyone to work through these annoyances as the rewards are great.
One of my current goals is to photograph every species of reptile and amphibian that occurs in The Commonwealth of Kentucky. This goal keeps me pretty well confined to Kentucky’s borders but on occasion I do venture into other places. In the field herpetology section of my website I will share photographs that I have taken of reptiles and amphibians in their natural environs. Most every specimen photographed will be from Kentucky but I will share photos from other places as well.
My interest in searching for herps in the wild soon led me to develop an interest in conducting research so that I could make contributions to our understanding of these animals as they occur naturally. I was fortunate enough to meet a hobbyist with similar interests right in my home town. Together, Phil Peak and I work to provide locality information to our local Fish and Wildlife Department and also conduct research on numerous reptile and amphibian species in Kentucky.
Over the years that I have been involved with reptiles and amphibians I have been able to observe my own developing interests and watch fellow hobbyists develop as well. It has been very rewarding. In my case, it seemed natural that I would desire to keep a reptile in a cage after my first exciting encounter in the wild. Soon afterwards I wanted to keep an exotic species that I had only heard about in the few books available when I was young. Once I figured out how to keep snakes alive I learned how to breed my animals in captivity. After successfully breeding numerous exotic species in captivity I ended up wanting to learn more about the species living in my own home state because they are what sparked my interests to begin with. By the time I had made it to that point I was successfully breeding many exotic snakes and selling them. It was the next logical step that I use funds generated from my exotic collection to fund native research projects in order to learn more about native reptiles and amphibians and share this information with others.
The majority of my waking moments are spent thinking about the animal pictured below. After four years of searching, Phil and I were finally able to discover a Kentucky Cave Region Pine Snake. This is the first live specimen observed in over forty years and confirms the continued existence of this population. The rewards from this discovery have made our efforts well worth-while and I urge all of you to attempt similar projects in your home States.
I hope that my field herpetology section will inspire people to pull themselves away from video games and televisions to get outdoors. I hope that it puts the economic aspects of our great hobby into proper perspective as well. Getting outdoors to search for herps is healthy in more ways than most people imagine. This genre of our great way of life that some people call a hobby leads to healthy and natural development, so don’t miss out! Enjoy the photos! Will