Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

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BillMcGighan
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Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by BillMcGighan » January 30th, 2015, 7:53 pm

Theme 8 - Dealing with the public, either an encounter, a lecture to a group of non-herpers, LE encounters, etc. The common thread here being a herper in an interaction with non-herper. This can be a good one for an interesting story about an encounter, as well as a pic.

General guidelines:
. One post per day.
. No more than 3 pics per post.
. Pics can be of great or poor quality, as long as they communicate the theme.
. Pics can be from any time in your library.
. If you like, paint a picture with any interesting short story that includes the theme and enhances your pics.


Later this week, we need to chat and see if you folks want to continue themes a little longer, or not, and, if we continue this winter, decide on the next few themes.

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Noah M
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Noah M » January 31st, 2015, 6:54 am

So I was nearing the end of my cruising loop when I spotted this turtle on the road. I pulled over and picked it up, and noticed a large SUV speeding towards my car. If the SUV were to hit my car, my wife inside would for sure be injured, and it might launch forward over me, so I started frantically waving my hands in the air, still holding on to my turtle. I wanted my wife to either hit the flashers or the driver of the SUV to see me and not plow into the back of my car. It stopped just short of my car. I think they had planned it all along. They then crept up to me - the maniac waving a turtle around. Once the occupants of the SUV realized that I was holding a turtle and was only going to take some pictures, they wished a good night and drove on.


Alachua County Chicken Turtle with Sheriff's SUV in background
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Barry R
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Barry R » January 31st, 2015, 11:31 am

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Image016 by Paleosuchus, on Flickr

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Image105_0664 by Paleosuchus, on Flickr
Josh H. talks to a group at a NAFHA outreach at Desoto SP, AL.

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Rich in Reptiles » February 1st, 2015, 1:27 pm

Oh boy! What a great topic! I love sharing my passion with people!

I'll start at the very beginning- this is me with my first pet reptile, a green iguana named August. This was a show-and-tell day at the local kids park and i just had to tell everyone about my iguana. I think i was about 5 or 6 in this photo.
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Every year i take some of my lizards to nursing homes for "Pet Day" with the 4-H club here in my county. A lot of the elderly people love holding and petting my super tame crested geckos, but others are more wary and prefer me to just keep them on my hand!
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Talking about my crested geckos to the folks at the nursing home on "Pet Day".
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-Bethany

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Noah M
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Noah M » February 1st, 2015, 5:29 pm

Every year i take some of my lizards to nursing homes for "Pet Day" with the 4-H club here in my county.
This is awesome.

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Calfirecap
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Calfirecap » February 2nd, 2015, 6:02 am

Rich in Reptiles wrote: Every year i take some of my lizards to nursing homes for "Pet Day" with the 4-H club here in my county.
-Bethany
:thumb: :thumb:
Way to go Bethany!
I love how the lady with the cane that matches her dress got all dolled up for the event.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by BillMcGighan » February 2nd, 2015, 2:50 pm

Barry, I thought Mike, Tamara, and Josh did an excellent job with that audience that night.

Beth... Way to go. Each time you do such a thing, you do more good for everyone than you know.



Some lectures/discussions with folks with deep rooted fears can be a challenge and your happy if you make a little headway, but, nothing is more fun than winning over the trust of a bunch of goofy, preteen boys!



Image

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Rich in Reptiles » February 2nd, 2015, 3:13 pm

Calfirecap wrote:
Rich in Reptiles wrote: Every year i take some of my lizards to nursing homes for "Pet Day" with the 4-H club here in my county.
-Bethany
:thumb: :thumb:
Way to go Bethany!
I love how the lady with the cane that matches her dress got all dolled up for the event.
She is very fashionable!! In the past i've gone with my sisters to paint the ladies' nails and let me tell you she was very particular with how i painted hers LOL! But that's another story for another time...

Thank you, Bill!! It's something i really enjoy doing!!

Anyway- on to more photos
This is at the 4-H Herpetology class that i teach each spring to the youth in my county. Showing them Slue-Foot Sue my legless lizard :D
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Showing them Gladiator, my rough-scaled plated lizard
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One of my favorite photos- this was the first year that i taught the herpetology class (2013). I snatched the camera just in time to capture this sweet moment!
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PrimitiveTim
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by PrimitiveTim » February 2nd, 2015, 8:11 pm

This one time I broke into the snake room at Auburn and showed my aunt and her friends an indigo snake... that was like 6 years ago though.
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Then this other time I found a nose-horned viper and caught it and brought it up the hill to show my parents, their friends, and a few of my friends. That was like 7 years ago.
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Dang... I need to do some more show and tell. Usually I show off herps when I'm in the field and I find something and someone is nearby then I force them to listen to me tell them how cool whatever it is I've found is.

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Noah M
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Noah M » February 3rd, 2015, 10:07 am

Usually I show off herps when I'm in the field and I find something and someone is nearby then I force them to listen to me tell them how cool whatever it is I've found is.
Good to know I'm not the only one who does this!!! I am too busy taking pictures of the creature instead of me doing an impromptu lecture about said animal.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by BillMcGighan » February 4th, 2015, 6:19 am

Like many here, any chance of convincing folks not to chop snakes in half with a shovel, was an early venture.
I started lecturing with schools and grew it to a wide variety of outdoor groups, formal and add hoc.

Senior in High School, 1965


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Over the years I've had about a dozen press stories, and not one was 100% accurate, but the only person who really knew was me; best to let it go!




1980

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1989


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Darkhorse
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Darkhorse » February 4th, 2015, 2:01 pm

Great pics Bill!

Chris

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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » February 4th, 2015, 3:05 pm

I gotta echo Chris. Wonderful news clippings, Bill!

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Noah M
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Noah M » February 4th, 2015, 8:36 pm

Near as I can tell Bill you stopped aging around 1985.

Fabulous news clippings. Did you approach them, or did they approach you?

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by BillMcGighan » February 5th, 2015, 8:20 am

Thanks, folks, I was lucky to find those clippings in a shoe box.
Fabulous news clippings. Did you approach them, or did they approach you?
All the news stories, except one, were because I was speaking with formal groups that liked to have the press coverage.
The exception was when my roomate and I were leaving college, after our first year, to hitch-hike (it was safe and effective back then) to Yucatan, MX. A reporter caught us on the roadside leaving town.

Near as I can tell Bill you stopped aging around 1985.
:lol: :lol: :lol: It's cause of all the formalin I dealt with; just preserved... :lol: :lol:

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Rich in Reptiles » February 5th, 2015, 6:06 pm

Lots of great captured moments, Tim and Bill!!!

Field herping day with my herpetology class 2014
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Teaching them how to best use a field guide to identify a salamander that one of the kids found
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And this is my little buddy that lives in my neighborhood. He has tagged along with me a few times on my field outings. He's pretty goofy as evidenced in the picture :lol:
Image

-Bethany

Barry R
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Barry R » February 7th, 2015, 10:09 am

good stuff y'all :)

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Berkeley Boone » February 11th, 2015, 5:11 am

Great photos, Bill! And nice work with the 4H groups, Bethany!
PrimitiveTim wrote:This one time I broke into the snake room at Auburn and showed my aunt and her friends an indigo snake... that was like 6 years ago though.

Then this other time I found a nose-horned viper and caught it and brought it up the hill to show my parents, their friends, and a few of my friends. That was like 7 years ago.
Whatever, Tim. Weren't those last spring? :lol:

Here are some of my contributions:

On our annual spring trip in 2011, we had several good interactions with the public. As we drove through the Okefenokee NWR, we spotted a ribbon snake crossing the road. We stopped to get out and photograph it, and this family drove up behind us. They stopped, wondering what we were doing. Brad (in blue shirt) is explaining to them what the snake was doing on the road (it had just rained, it had eaten something, and it was crossing to find a spot to thermoregulate). They were remarkably appreciative for us taking the time to do that, and said that they never would have seen something like that because they weren't paying attention. They told us how excited they were and that they would keep an eye out for more cool things like that as they drove:
Image41photoop by bwboone, on Flickr

On that same spring trip, we passed by some property that looked too good to drive on. We stopped and the landowner was in his driveway, working on his lawnmower. We asked if we could look around for some snakes. He looked at us like we were out of our minds, but said sure. We had not even walked into the woodline at the edge of his yard when Matt found a big female eastern hognose on the crawl. We grabbed some photos, and looked around for a little longer then took it back to the man to show him our intentions were true.
When we got back to his garage this time, his daughter was outside playing as well. We showed them the hognose, and it began it's dying rouse. The two of them were fascinated by it, particularly the girl. She touched it and observed it up close. The dad declined, but listened and watched intently. We talked with them for nearly 15 minutes about snakes, and hognoses in particular. The man ended up inviting us to come back and look around again whenever we were in the area.
Image37playindead by bwboone, on Flickr

More to come. I'll have to dig up some of these others!
--Berkeley

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by BillMcGighan » February 11th, 2015, 6:19 pm

She touched it and observed it up close. The dad declined, but listened and watched intently. We talked with them for nearly 15 minutes about snakes, and hognoses in particular. The man ended up inviting us to come back and look around again whenever we were in the area.
That's just perfect.

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Theme 8 - Dealing with the public

Post by Berkeley Boone » February 12th, 2015, 1:15 pm

Thanks, Bill!

On another of our spring trips, we found a tumble-down barn next to a small pond, and lots of stuff on the ground. There were some folks in a small boat out on the water fishing and some kids playing on the bank, so we pulled over and asked if they were the landowners and if they would mind if we could look around for some snakes. They said fine, take whatever you find. So we parked the car, and proceeded to look. Three tin flips later, we had uncovered a monster rat snake, a beast of a banded water snake, and a big ol' canebrake. Understandably, we began hollering and scrambling to get it before it disappeared. We wrangled it out of the brush and tin onto the levee of the pond. The people asked what we found, and we told them a rattlesnake. They all came running over, so we had to corral the kids real quick and get them to hold their dogs. They were so interested in what we were doing, and it was a rather placid group of snakes, so we let them come close to see.
We let them touch the rat snake and the water snake, and then we let them see the rattlesnake a little closer. The entire group was fascinated by it, and hopefully this picture shows how intrigued they were (at least the kids).
Imagecrohoratrkids by bwboone, on Flickr

The rat and the water were released back under the piles where we found them. The adults asked us to take the rattlesnake with us, since the kids and the dogs were around, and they were obviously interested in it. We obliged, but only took it around the bend in the road and released it less than 75 yards away. It was a great teaching moment in general, and one that I hope those people never forget.

Like many of you all on this very thread, I do a lot of presentations and exhibits on my own time. My wife often takes pictures of me doing them so that I can submit the photos with my end of the year permit report (I am permitted through the state to own and exhibit native species). That helps to show the legitimacy of my programs and my efforts, and I am sure it makes their paperwork a little more interesting (rather than just sheet after sheet of program hours and locations....). There are ALWAYS interesting people/stories/situations that happen at these public programs and exhibits. But I enjoy them nonetheless. These are some pictures from past exhibits I have done:
ImageDSC05325 by bwboone, on Flickr

(EDIT: Fixed the orientation!)

Imagepanola by bwboone, on Flickr

--Berkeley

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