Herp Journal: Ten Years Gone...

Thoughts by Matt Ricklefs

When Jim told me he had “the rock” ready for our 2011 posts, I realized that this year marks the 10 year anniversary for Herp Journal. I went back through the old posts and reminisced about past trips. I often use the site as a reference in time; looking for a particular species we found or event and recalling, “It was that long ago?”...

We started this site out of the realization that we have all these memories of past trips but for the most part it was just that: memories. We would find things and may take an actual photograph, but usually we just made a quick note to document locations and species. The time had come to utilize the technology at hand and put in a little more from our adventures. When we went digital (with both camera and camcorder) and online, it made it more relevant to collect data, easier to take more pictures and gave us the ability to share the encounters and experiences. Having memories with those you herp with is priceless, but having the ability to revisit these facts, pictures and stories also helps you remember other things from trips and it is a nice way to reconnect. Also, most who are visiting the site most likely are people like us that love to hear the stories of others and see what others have found. In the world of herping we get to be the “normal” ones as in the everyday world we are usually considered, well let’s face it, unusual.

So many things have changed. Most of all seeing Jim’s son Austin growing up in the posts is surreal. Many herping locations we still visit annually. We have good new locations but unfortunately some are no longer around. It’s interesting to see how we grew as field herpers as well. Adding techniques of capturing data or taking pictures, a better understanding of the locations we visit and the overall mindset we have now. We have certainly grown older, but fortunately it is very easy to regain that childlike thrill when you are out in the field. The shenanigans of fellow herpers are always fun to recount as well. We are fortunate to have documented so many memories and have met so many good people along the way.

We truly hope you enjoy our site and take away from our accounts the wonderment we experienced. We also hope you appreciate the idea of preservation, as that’s the only way to ensure future trips. I’d like to send along a huge thanks to everyone who has helped us and shared in the experiences.

For those of you that have stumbled upon this site and are not familiar with the hobby, welcome to the wonderful world of herping. For those who are seasoned herpers, we hope you enjoy our efforts and feel free to connect with us.

And, as I usually end with…to all, HAPPY HERPING!!!

2011 Trips:

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