I'm simply an amateur naturalist. I've always appreciated the outdoors, but was enamored with reptiles since I was young. When I had my first son, I started spending more time in natural settings with him. I didn't want him growing up in front of a tv as is main source of enrichment. It was then that I found my calling and reconnected with that feeling I had when I was younger. Being outdoors, hoping to come across a snake or even a toad, ignited a treasure-hunt mentality in me.
After finding local garter, watersnakes, and slider-type turtles, I started asking myself how in the world I could find some of those amazing species... the ones I drooled over as a child while paging through field guides. The rest, as they say, is history.
Twelve years later, I look back on some leadership roles I had assumed. I spent two years as Vice President and an additional two years as President of the Northeast Chapter of the North American Field Herping Association. I donated data to MARA - Maryland's herp atlas. I donated 1000's of data points to the powers that be in New Jersey. I served as a regional coordinator for PA's Herp Atlas (PARS) for one year before stepping down as I couldn't do the region (not my home region) justice from a distance. I still serve on PARS's verification committee and since this section seems to be self-serving, I am still currently the #1 data contributor in the state!
Herps will always be my first passion, but recently I've fallen into birding. And I fell HARD. Birds are intriguing on a whole new level; from a natural history standpoint, as well as the sheer number of species and challenge they present to me. This site will be dominated with herps and birds. That's not to say I don't appreciate everything, but at the time, these two groups keep my schedule full and my responsibilities neglected.
So why have my own website? I have forever been a believer of conservation through education, even before I really grasped the idea. I've also always been a sharer. The two fit together perfectly. I live to share my experiences with the world. I live to bring people closer to nature. I, of course, live to be in nature myself - I'm not declaring I'm a martyr. I plan on blogging multiple times per week and hope that people will read about my excursions and my thoughts. This is not going to be just a photography site. I want to bring the natural world to people's computer screens and motivate them to get out and enjoy it themselves.
Let me be blunt. This is a critical time in our history here on Earth. The world has changed many times over, but never on such a grand scale has it changed directly by the human species. We are at a turning point and the future looks bleak for a high percentage of our species. I've always felt that if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. This is my attempt as one person to make a difference and get people excited about the natural world around them. Here's the truth:
"People protect what they love." - Jacques-Yves Cousteau
If you love it, then share in the hypnosis of the natural world along with me. If you are mildly interested or anything short of that love, I hope to help spark that flame in you and create the domino effect we need to save this world. That's my mission.