The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Ok, so long story short... I was worried that this thread was being taken out of context and viewed as offensive to some members/viewers. So, I deleted all of my comments and videos from it. I've now decided to rebuild it and keep it going. I'll be re-adding the video content, along with a brief description of the thought process behind each one. I'll try to add whatever I remember of the original commentary and responses to the comments. To the people who commented, thank you very much for the support! The best is yet to come. -Porter

The original post went something like this:


Welcome to The Mattress... :sleep: the forums first ongoing thread of visual stories from the field. I'm not going to lie... this is going to be the most unentertaining thing you've ever seen. Newsweek says, "it's uneventful and tasteless!" ...Cisco and Ebert, "two thumbs down" ...New York Times, "it just lacks pizzazz..." I think we can all agree that things have slowed down quite a bit within the forum realm. Once a place that flourished with news, regulation updates, species classifications, photography posts, interesting encounters, and the list goes on... Still, there are some members who remain that would like to see the original integrity of the forum restored. This is me doing my part to provide some inspiration and entertainment to the team. Enjoy :thumb:


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

So, originally I was only uploading these to Instagram. I got some positive responses to these macro-test vids and thought, ok, maybe I should share this stuff to the forum as well. FHF has always had a great palette to create from. After making the decision to come back, that's when The Mattress idea was born. I thought ok, maybe I'll do my version of a YouTube field herping channel and see what comes of it. Which is really just a parody of a YouTube field herping channel. I knew I'd be going back to what I started in 2010... Video that included copyright-protected music, which can't be monetized on YouTube (non-profitable). I also knew I wouldn't be posting cobras, alligators, or any google attention grabbers. Mattresses have got to be the least productive AC out there. Hence the title name. So, it was me poking fun at myself more or less and a way to get out and do something artistic while enjoying the hobby ...and, to create a nice piece of counterculturalistic artwork to be proud of :mrgreen:

To kick things off, here are a few short one-minute-clip vids I made for Instagram :mrgreen:






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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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Once The Mattress was up and going... I went back to the leftover bulk of excess test footage and created the first real video that would set the pace for future vids. The song is by, A Perfect Circle. I'm not a huge fan of theirs, but I do like this song that was in my Spotify music player. It seemed to fit the setting of a wet Bay Area foggy forest floor. Also, there is a large yellow banana slug crawling across a girl's face on the album cover, that pops up when the song comes on. :lol: So, that was the only relation other than the strange and interesting dark-Disney Grimm brother magical fairytale-like sound of the music. Like an enchanted forest of elves, nymphs, mogwinical mugwumps, and kermit-face gobble bogglins hiding within the foliage...



I then set out for an early hike on Groundhogs Day with a buddy to explore and film. We didn't find much, but it was a good opportunity to try out the iPhone camera features for the first time. More or less it was just practice footage, but I decided to throw it together with some music. The song is a Kurt Cobain practice recording from his extensive collection of song ideas that never became Nirvana songs. It seemed to capture the mood of an early February and is super groovy. A lot of his stuff works well with amphibians. Probably because he's from Washington and you can hear the wet rainy habitat in the melodic note construction.



ImageIMG_0208 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0200 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0181 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageIMG_0183 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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[

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by chris_mcmartin »

Porter wrote: โ†‘
February 17th, 2020, 10:10 am
ImageIMG_0208 by The Singing Frog, on Flickr
That's a cool photo!

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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.


I'm pretty sure I said something like, "Thanks Chris" Lol ...oh, and something about how the clouds resembled the tree branches and how I tried to balance the two shapes within the photo.

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And so, the Adventure begins... The Zelda theme song has always reminded me of field herping. The whole act of searching for Mother Earth's strange and beautiful gem-like critters, is similar to the game. The ultimate goal, finding the tri-force (tri-colored snakes? Lol) And, I guess the aspect of Link doing it all for the princess, ties in to my hoping that these videos would ultimately attract a woman who enjoys the hobby. The whole vibe of the music I think captures the springtime feeling of setting out on a journey and embarking on a new adventure. This classical guitar rendition by Sungha Jung is beautifully done and fits perfectly with the footage. Found my lifer Assassin Bug that day and a RED morph Harlequin Bug. That was pretty awesome :thumb:



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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

These two are pretty self explanatory. I felt they were better off as separate short clip vids. The Itsy-bitsy Spidey music went well for obvious reasons and the gartersnake reaction was better with it's original audio. I like leaving the original audio from time to time and want to incorporate that more in the future. Sometimes the audio clip becomes a song (Of sorts) and takes on a life of it's own. Eventually, I want to be making vids that continually fluctuate between my own written music and the original audio. It brings more depth and character to the footage.
๐Ÿ•ท๐Ÿ•ธ๐Ÿ•ท



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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Kelly Mc »

Beautiful work.

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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[

Pretty sure I said, "Thank you!"

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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For these two, I decided to take a different route and use my own music. I had made a new video addition prior to this, however YouTube blocked the use of the Kimbra song I chose. So, I then began throwing the idea around to create and use my own music. I had an acoustic guitar that was tuned down real low and missing a string. So, I tuned the 1st and 2nd strings superrrr low, which created that high pitched twangy rattling sound. I believe in spontaneity when recording, so there was no real practice beforehand. I picked up the guitar, ran though the basic idea one time, and sang whatever came to mind. I can only do a few takes, then it becomes stale and I have to leave it alone. So in the first video, you're basically just listening to the practice... which didn't go too well :roll: :lol: I pressed record on the iPhone video camera, sang whatever came to mind while playing, and then removed the audio clip from the video recording. I decide to keep it despite the poor performance and later did a better-crafted, more thought out version for the reprise video. Added in a couple other instruments (harmonica & jaws harp) and backing vocals. Recorded and mixed on a little Tascam pocket recorder. ๐ŸŽผ ๐ŸŽถ ๐ŸŽต

The original text went something like this: A journey into the shaky world of one-handed flip-filming... Lol ...After reviewing the footage, I tried to be more conscious of that in later efforts




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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This was a follow up version to the Kimbra video I mentioned above :lol: It was a random one-take recording of me watching the original Kimbra video with her song removed and playing along to it while performing negative analytical commentary ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I ended up removing it soon after because I thought, "these people don't want to watch this crap" Lol However, I watched it again just now and laughed my ass off... :lol: :lol: :lol: So, here it is:

๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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These additions were posted at different times just to keep things moving. The song, Three Is a Magic Number by Bob Dorough worked great with the 3 baby kingsnake flip day ๐Ÿ‘‘ They were all found right next to each other at a new spot. Each under their own cover. Only 4 flips and 3 snakes :thumb: The Croaking Raven was just some artistically good looking footage I didn't want to scrap out and I figured Mouse In a Cup was good enough for a laugh ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿคฎ







For this vid, It was springtime and the Pete Seeger song was catching my attention. Daniel Johnson's, True Love Will Find You In the End meshed well with that, and the Beastie Boys brought a nice warm free-flowing breezy weather vibe to it. Some of the lyrics could be connected to certain aspects of the hobby. "What's pleasing to the eye... I have lost my mind." I guess that sorta relates to girls I meet always telling me, "OMG you're crazy picking up those snakes!?" :lol: But, there was more of a focus on just the sound of the songs than the lyrics. It's not as self-expressive as it may seem. But, it is pretty damn difficult to find a single woman you're attracted to who likes snake ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Just sayin' Lol

The E ๐Ÿ’™ B (a symbol of love) and the Marilyn Monroe (a symbol of lust) fit in with the contrasting message of "Turn, Turn, Turn..." ...and fit for a perfect video title, symbolic of continual AC flipping. Later hearing the song pop-up on Spotify shuffle/random play mode... I knew right away, yep, that's the song for this vid footage. I really just piece these things together as they reveal themselves to me. I'm more just reporting a field experience and how I interpret it. The videos make themselves. I analyze the footage and listen to random songs on shuffle until something clicks and feels right... the theme presents itself. I prefer to let everything just fall into place rather than try to force an idea.


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by dylan1422 »

Nice to see someone getting outside and enjoying the hobby during this stormy season of life. And refreshing to see activity on the forum. There are some rad shots in this thread, and my daughter and I think the videos are fun.

These questions might sound dumb, but are you in NorCal? And are those sharp tailed snakes? I've never seen so many herps under one piece of cover. Is that common where you're located?

Appreciate the shares. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

โ˜๏ธโ˜๏ธ
๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ง
๐Ÿฆ‚๐Ÿ

Squidgrip ๐Ÿฆ‘ :thumb:





Now that's what I call hitting your target... ๐ŸŽฏ

ImageScreenshot (202) - marked by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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.

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This was my first chance to use songs by one of my favorite songwriters, Tom Waits ๐Ÿ€ I was having a pretty non-productive day exploring old and new habitat in a far away county. On the way back, I decided to stop by the blackbelly ditch. I don't like going there because it's over trafficked and it's depressing. I have one little chunk of plywood hidden that hasn't floated away, that I check from time to time. It's from the same board I flipped my lifer aberrant blackbelly and lifer speckled king under. It was on the way home and I was having such a bad day, I decided why the hell not... And there it was, bundled up wet and cold beneath what could barely cover it ๐Ÿ’ฆ Cold, Cold, Ground has been a favorite since my teen years and Cold Water has one of the most impressive guitar solos I've ever heard :mrgreen:



dylan1422 wrote: โ†‘
March 31st, 2020, 12:14 pm
Nice to see someone getting outside and enjoying the hobby during this stormy season of life. And refreshing to see activity on the forum. There are some rad shots in this thread, and my daughter and I think the videos are fun.

These questions might sound dumb, but are you in NorCal? And are those sharp tailed snakes? I've never seen so many herps under one piece of cover. Is that common where you're located?

Appreciate the shares. ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

These screenshots were in response to Dyan's comment. I can't remember all what was said in the ongoing conversation that took place as the thread progressed. So, I'm not going to attempt that. I know I appreciated his appreciation and said something like: "There's no such thing as a dumb question."

Screenshot (154).jpg
Screenshot (191).jpg

Photos and flips by, Bill Bernhardt:

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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z]

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Post by Porter »

This unfortunately was another vid hit with YouTube Copyright blocking. So, instead of The Beatles White Album classic, you're stuck with my fast-forward-baby-talking...

๐Ÿคฒ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿž ๐Ÿฆ


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Those multiple snake flips are crazy! I've flipped a few ringnecks at a time under natural cover, but never anything like that. As of very recently, I am no longer privy to any AC sites that aren't accessed by others (as of recently when my all my spots were recklessly visited :cry: ). Gotta find somewhere private to do some board lines!

What an experience though to flip a bunch of snakes like that. Thanks for the response and the share.

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[

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Man...I couldn't agree more. It's truly disheartening when I see signs of habitat destruction likely caused by herpers. We are supposed to be a community that honors and appreciates nature. And it's honestly devastating when it happens to a fruitful location you've frequented and taken care of for years.

Definitely a more productive piece of cardboard than I've ever found! I can think of so many times I've come across a piece or pile of natural or artificial cover - that looked so promising - but I've chosen not to touch it, because doing so would likely compromise the habitat (like tearing the wet box).

But hey the way I feel when I encounter the aftermath of reckless herpers has produced something positive at least within me - it encourages me to be even more respectful of animals and habitat.

Appreciate your said respect for nature, which I believe to be genuine, and your continued activity on this forum. Always fun to interact with peeps that enjoy the passion ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

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[

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

Last year was a good kingsnake year, huh? Could've fooled me, lol. Still got a ton of learning to do.

Lol! In my experience, the hobby has been attractive to women, especially those that value education/outdoors. However, finding a woman that enjoys to go out and participate on a regular basis is a different story. I am currently blessed with one, so they do exist. Prayers for patience and success in that search ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป

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[

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Ok, so this was all filmed the day before Easter. I loved The Dukes of Hazzard when I was a kid. Hearing the theme song on Spotify reminded me of time in the field with my herping buddy. "Just some good ol' boys... never meaning no harm... been in trouble with the law since the day they were born." Herps seem to be "the dukes" of the animal world. The Beatles Come Together, is about joining forces with other field herpers and working as a T.E.A.M. The Charlie Brown theme just sounds great as an acoustic instrumental. High & Dry is when a Northern Pacific Pond Turtle ๐Ÿข is most happy and I mean, who doesn't like The Smashing Pumpkins? ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I felt these were all good Easter weekend guitar sounds and the classical guitar covers really brought out the essence of the originals.

๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฃ๐ŸŒผ



Ok, so this was one addition I was VERY concerned with possibly offending people on a deep level. This was filmed the following day, Easter Sunday. I first want to ensure anyone and everyone that it is not intended to be sacrilegious. In fact, emphasis was put towards the sacred beauty of nature and the cycle of life ๐Ÿฆ‹ I'm middle of the road when it comes to science and religion. I like to stay open minded to all beliefs without down playing the integrity or importance of any of them. I guess you could say I'm spiritual. This music was recorded by Neil Young for Jim Jarmusch's film, Dean Man. Which is what inspired the themes of rebirth and limbo. Easter Sunday is the day for commemorating the resurrection of Jesus. So, if felt like the right match for one of my favorite guitar pieces. My creative process is very similar to Jim Jarmusch and he has been an inspiration to me since seeing Down By Law in my younth. This is a great interview that goes into his creative process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcUwxcbhtdQ ...And more specifically, working with Niel Young: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU0TWE0Le7Q The art is all around you and you can sense it if you listen... you can feel it. Experience it.
I try to tap into that as much as possible, because I believe it to be a very non-egotistical & natural creative process
๐ŸŽจ

Nothing was forced other than the capture and release of the Striped gopher snake. Everything was filmed in order to how & when I found it. Limbo was the name I had chosen for the snake. I found it 3.3 miles from where I originally found it in 2014.
The ghostly flowing camera shots were to emulate a view from a butterflies eyes
๐Ÿ›




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by DylanMcDiarmid »

That's a lot of snakes ๐Ÿค“ those striped gophers are rad! Crazy you found that one so far from where you originally saw him.

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What could be a better follow up to Easter weekend than, the Eggman..? ๐Ÿฅš That's what I was thinking when I found that very Easter-looking soft pastel colored king. It was like finding a leftover Easter egg :lol: The guitar piece is by Michael Lucarelli done in the style of Hiroshi Masuda. Can't Stop by the Chili Peppers continued those thoughts of inspirational intuition explained for the Easter vids. The title, The 3rd Duckling is to bring closer attention to the third duckling for viewers. It's easy to miss and I didn't see it myself until I reviewed the footage at home. The little stinker dives down to catch up with the group, only to pop-up at the last second... bypassing them all ๐Ÿฆ† ๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†


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.

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When I noticed the -A- shape in the branches shadows, I started brainstorming it's symbolic meaning. Somehow, it must tie into this day of footage... ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿค”
The Scarlet Letter was one possibility that came to mind. That, then led my thoughts to the red letter appearing on the tattooed cheerleader uniforms in the Smells Like Teen Spirit video. Did Kurt really intend for those to be anarchy symbols or was it purposely meant as a double entendres..? With the pandemic and rioting this year, I've seen a lot of Nirvana and Cobain's lyrics being brought into perspective on their relevance to current times. Not many people, even fans of their music, know what the band was about or what they stood for. And you really have to dig deep beneath the media & unauthorized 3rd party documentary BS portrayals to find any real substance of lost truth. Then, I was reminded of seeing herper kids on Instagram grading herp experiences like report cards. A DOR rubber boa would receive an "F" grade (I received one for that very thing :lol:) and finding a zonata would receive an "A" grade. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a little friendly competition as long as there is no hatred or jealousy involved... But, I remember the thought of this disturbed me. I then saw a selfie posted of a kid standing next to a crack in a boulder with a mountain kingsnake wedged in it, too far to be removed for pics. The expression on the kid's face was in deep depression and failure. That he had finally found one, but that it was safely out of his reach. I told him, "dude, you should happy! That's awesome you found one. It will always be there as long as no one takes it or disturbs it too much. Now you know where to go to see them :thumb: " His response, "yeah, maybe..." This really bothered me. That this kid was overcome with the emotion of failure and defeat.

Throughout the last ten years, I've unwantedly made myself the unpopular advocate for insisting tri-colored kingsnakes, are no more special than any other species. If you're familiar with me or my posts, you know a comment of that nature will surface from time to time. I think most people probably assume I'm jealous :lol: But, that's not the case ๐Ÿคจ ๐Ÿ‘‰ I don't like the hierarchy assumed to herpers who have found a tri-force๐Ÿ”บover herpers who haven't.
I have a story:


Someone wanted to see thamnophis gigas. So, I took him to a spot where I had commonly seen and photographed them in-situ over the years. There was a full grown adult that would emerge from a hole in the levee to bask under the same bunch of weeds for two consecutive years. Gigan I named her (assuming the sex). We arrived at the spot a little early that morning and needed to kill some time. This person had driven all the way from the bay area and then suggested we search some habitat they picked out over the internet. I think he said he read they were found there or in range... I humored him and we drove out there. After spending the day searching and not finding anything, I explained, "it doesn't mean that it isn't possible to find one here. It's just easier where I find them because the access to them is better."
We get taco bell and drive back to my spot. I had already pointed out to him that morning, the bunch-a-grass where she basks. I told him to walk over to it to see if she was there doing some evening basking. I knew she would be there and wanted him to be the one who found his lifer. He did, stood and examined the area at his feet, then returned and said she's not there. I couldn't believe it... There was no way she wasn't there. So, I walked over to check for myself and there she was intertwined within the bunch of grass. The person with me was an avid mountain kingsnake herper. Very successful! One of the best in the hobby, no question. He later took me to a secret spot of his that he had found himself, to return the favor for his gigas lifer. This would be my lifer, multifasciata. Exactly like the guy who took me out to find my lifer zonata, he rushed up the hill ahead of me to flip all the stuff that had produced in the past. I followed slowly behind and flipped what was left of what he hadn't already flipped. I found my lifer that day under/within something he said, "he had never thought to check there."
Now, this doesn't mean he isn't a good field herper! ...and I'm not saying that I'm better than him. I probably have a more in-tune sense of eyesight and maybe a little more time spent figuring things out in my childhood. He is skilled and definitely has more scientific book knowledge than myself. The point here is, just because a person finds a brightly-colored snake that is hard to find due to over-collecting & habitat destruction that resulted from lustfully targeting it, doesn't necessarily mean that person should be ranked higher than anyone who finds a snake better camouflaged in the grass
.

Also, they shouldn't be jealously hated for finiding one...
๐Ÿ”บ



This was footage left on a video camera's memory card from Sierra de Mayo 2018 ๐Ÿ“น I found for the 2nd time, this same lilac ensatina the day of the "A" video. In the same place I had found it the first time. So, I thought I would add this footage of the original find, along with some other cool 2018 stuff that was also on the card.


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.

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I'm not going to write too much about this one because I feel that Rhyno's comment say's it all. I do want to say that I regret leaving the volume level so low. The greatest part is that opening scene, walking up the the trail with the marimba stomping along. Turn it up! ๐ŸŽผ ๐ŸŽถโ˜๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿป If there are any musicians out there interested in instruments on Tom Waits albums, this is for you: https://www.tomwaitsfan.com/tom%20waits ... ments.html The buffalo treehoppers were a high point for me :thumb: Can't believe I found a tan aberrant... not exactly sure how common that is, if it's common at all. Awhile back, I authored a FHF post with some blue fitchi DORs and stated how I was on the hunt for a blue valley gartersnake. Brain Hubbs and Chad Lane chimed in to assure me that the blue color on the DORs was a color change that happened after death. They are both right! Finding the snake in this vid however reminded me of my search and was surprising to say the least.


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.

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Hmmm, what to say about this one... Well, it starts off with a face in the clouds that was pretty cool looking. I was going for rubber boa and zonata and found something way cooler (far more rare) than the both of them. Love that beautiful guitar piece, Lenny by SRV. Didn't find much but it was a fun day. Despite how exhausted I was. These weekend herping vids got pretty brutal. I'd go to work Friday around 6:30 pm. Then off Saturday mourning around 7 - 8:30 am. Go home, grab my gear, and then head straight up to the Sierras (or whatever other habitat I had planned). Lots of energy drinks and OWL energy chocolates โšก๏ธ๐Ÿฆ‰๐Ÿซ Tender Situation, was in reference to the newt breeding grounds drying up and the fragileness of the silkworm. Also, after getting attacked by a few members over pulling a rattlesnake from a den site for photos... I wasn't too thrilled over the idea of filming rattlesnakes this year. I felt it might stir up some drama. So, I basically just vouchered the fence find. It was getting dark anyway and I was too mentally drained after being awake for 24 hours. Not to mention the physical aspect. I have to do it that way because I need to reset my sleeping schedule for Monday. If I don't sleep all day Sunday, then I won't be able to get the sleep I need for a Monday night shift. Also, wearing shorts and needing to truck through thorn bushes. Talk about tender ๐Ÿ˜ฌ



Rare mountainous gas station treasures...

ImageUntitled by The Singing Frog, on Flickr

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by rhyno »

Porter wrote: โ†‘
May 3rd, 2020, 8:42 pm
oh hell yes. Great videography, cool subjects, and a FANTASTIC song

Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Porter,
I see you must be slowing down some noting a Rubber Boa escaped out of its skin before you could retain it. They are so quick. Hah!

Your experience at trusting individuals and then later finding some of your sites disturbed undoubtedly has been experienced by many other herpers including myself here in Oregon. But my study sites for the Rubber Boa have been discovered my strangers as well and some by commercial collectors.

I got about half way through this tread you started and besides the unbelievable fast boa you missed, I found of interest your comments about Contia tenuis as being spot on. John Stevenson once took me to a vacan lot of about 3 hectare acres in Wheatland, Calif. and in about an hour, I believe I counted over 100 Sharp-tails we encountered under discarded trash.

I happen to be in the midst of trying to prepare a couple of drafts on the species here in Oregon, one dealing with reproduction and the other with aspects of life history gleaned from initial and recapture data. If I lived in your regions of Calif., I believe I would have undertaking a similar study of the species as until the Canadians began studies of the species in B.C. in 1996, there was but one full length paper on C. tenuis, that being Cook (1960) in Calif.

Thanks for your regional Calif. thread.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

rhyno wrote: โ†‘
June 9th, 2020, 5:26 am
oh hell yes. Great videography, cool subjects, and a FANTASTIC song
This comment was awesome! ๐Ÿป
Richard F. Hoyer wrote: โ†‘
June 11th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Porter,
I see you must be slowing down some noting a Rubber Boa escaped out of its skin before you could retain it. They are so quick. Hah!

Your experience at trusting individuals and then later finding some of your sites disturbed undoubtedly has been experienced by many other herpers including myself here in Oregon. But my study sites for the Rubber Boa have been discovered my strangers as well and some by commercial collectors.

I got about half way through this tread you started and besides the unbelievable fast boa you missed, I found of interest your comments about Contia tenuis as being spot on. John Stevenson once took me to a vacan lot of about 3 hectare acres in Wheatland, Calif. and in about an hour, I believe I counted over 100 Sharp-tails we encountered under discarded trash.

I happen to be in the midst of trying to prepare a couple of drafts on the species here in Oregon, one dealing with reproduction and the other with aspects of life history gleaned from initial and recapture data. If I lived in your regions of Calif., I believe I would have undertaking a similar study of the species as until the Canadians began studies of the species in B.C. in 1996, there was but one full length paper on C. tenuis, that being Cook (1960) in Calif.

Thanks for your regional Calif. thread.

Richard F. Hoyer (Corvallis, Oregon)
This was an awesome comment from Mr. Hoyer and I wish I wouldn't had deleted my 2 responses with everything. There's no way I can go back and re-write it. I'm pretty sure I wrote nearly double to him in return. But, I will add a few aspects I do remember that were highlights for myself:

In response to, "I see you must be slowing down some noting a Rubber Boa escaped out of its skin before you could retain it. They are so quick. Hah!" - I wrote:
"I believe that was the skin of his teeth...๐Ÿค” " Lol !! ..which is a spin off of the phrase by the skin of his teeth used to describe a situation where someone barely manages to escape. I will probably remember that exchange of witty banter for the rest of my life. :beer: We then discussed contia locale and rare Roseville basking behavior.

Richard F. Hoyer
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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Richard F. Hoyer »

Porter,
Not certain what you consider as ideal temperatures and weather conditions for making searches at this time of year in your area.

Here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, by this time in June, it is normally in the 70s and low 80s and mostly sunny and dry. If I get out in the morning before it gets too warm under cover objects, I sometimes can have success encountering boas and sharp-tails. But with those temperature and sunny conditions, by about 11 AM and thereafter, it is not very common to find either species. Garter snakes, Racers and Gopher Snake will still be found but boas and sharp-tails normally have gone under ground when it get too warm under surface cover.

Today, I took my two beagles to one of my boa sites so they could get in some โ€˜sniffingโ€™ time and exercise. It had rained lightly this morning, totally over cast and right at 60 degrees when I arrived at about 1:30. Encountered 3 boas, one racer, one gopher snake, two RSGS and three NWGS. all within 10 โ€“ 15 minutes and searching beneath 11 of the 12 tins at that site west of Philomath, Oregon.

Brad Alexander of Kernville and myself on consecutive days, each found one sharp-tail at the Trail of 100 Giants in southern Tulare County. I believe that forest stand of giant Sequoias and other tree species is at about 6400 ft. I believe the literature has their upper elevation at round 7000 ft.

I do not believe I have ever encountered a sharp-tail exposed on the surface. I know they do traverse on the surface as I have found two DOR Sharp-tails. And one specimen initially captured and tagged on the west side of the road at my former study site was recaptured later that year or the next year over on the east side of the road. So it had to traverse across the road, likely at night.

Seems to me, you mentioned the point about observing species on the surface in a prior post. Do you recall doing so? Such an observation is worth
documenting with respect to behavior traits.

Last, on occasions, I have turned mattresses as well. Like your video shows, I sometimes have encountered nests of baby voles. Great snake food.

Richard FH

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Richard F. Hoyer wrote: โ†‘
June 12th, 2020, 9:27 pm
Porter,
Not certain what you consider as ideal temperatures and weather conditions for making searches at this time of year in your area.

Here in the Willamette Valley of western Oregon, by this time in June, it is normally in the 70s and low 80s and mostly sunny and dry. If I get out in the morning before it gets too warm under cover objects, I sometimes can have success encountering boas and sharp-tails. But with those temperature and sunny conditions, by about 11 AM and thereafter, it is not very common to find either species. Garter snakes, Racers and Gopher Snake will still be found but boas and sharp-tails normally have gone under ground when it get too warm under surface cover.

Today, I took my two beagles to one of my boa sites so they could get in some โ€˜sniffingโ€™ time and exercise. It had rained lightly this morning, totally over cast and right at 60 degrees when I arrived at about 1:30. Encountered 3 boas, one racer, one gopher snake, two RSGS and three NWGS. all within 10 โ€“ 15 minutes and searching beneath 11 of the 12 tins at that site west of Philomath, Oregon.

Brad Alexander of Kernville and myself on consecutive days, each found one sharp-tail at the Trail of 100 Giants in southern Tulare County. I believe that forest stand of giant Sequoias and other tree species is at about 6400 ft. I believe the literature has their upper elevation at round 7000 ft.

I do not believe I have ever encountered a sharp-tail exposed on the surface. I know they do traverse on the surface as I have found two DOR Sharp-tails. And one specimen initially captured and tagged on the west side of the road at my former study site was recaptured later that year or the next year over on the east side of the road. So it had to traverse across the road, likely at night.

Seems to me, you mentioned the point about observing species on the surface in a prior post. Do you recall doing so? Such an observation is worth
documenting with respect to behavior traits.

Last, on occasions, I have turned mattresses as well. Like your video shows, I sometimes have encountered nests of baby voles. Great snake food.

Richard FH
The highlights for this one were: "Brad Alexander found a rad salamander." Which is in reference to a Sierra Nevada Ensatina population he found on the Kern Plateau, long before I found mine in El Dorado county http://www.californiaherps.com/salamand ... adalex.jpg This was actually when we discussed the evening basking contia. I will document that when I get the chance. It hard to get out to the right place at the right time with my work schedule. I'm on it tho..

I aslo remember posting a screenshot of a 2017 boa vid from my channel, that Hoyer had schooled my on... not sure how that came about, but I figured I'll post the vid here for this go around:



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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Originally, there was more snake footage. My phone either started recording over stuff to save space or I deleted the wrong clips on accident. I re-flipped the brooding kingsnake pair and also flipped a nice-sized female fitchi. This live Bowie performance was an incredible find and became the video's title. It fit well with the psychedelic patterning of the spea and cloud footage. The lyrics, "I realized the monster was me," reminded me of something Ian had said to a snake he found in Florida. Also, a humorous poke at past accusations and an ironic insight to the way reptiles are viewed by the common folk. Nothing much to explain except I like how the fly looks like he's rubbing his hands together, plotting out his next meal, after the scene of me smelling the repugnant snake musk :lol: Those scenes were filmed consecutively in that order.


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

.

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Good morning folks, today weโ€™ve got a special guest here with us on The Mattressโ€ฆ A fresh new artist has emerged from the muddy depths of the Delta. With what quite possibly could be field herpings his first rap song. So, without further ado, may I introduce to youโ€ฆ Shit Sneky!

๐ŸŽค๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ



Lyrics:

Hi kids do you like Lateralus? Wanna see one slip past you so fast you get whipflash and paralysis?
Wanna copy me and climb a tree after a coachwhip, then go slip, upside down to the ground and end up with a broke hip?
The rains been late, salamander migrations delayed, but I canโ€™t figure out why my snake hook ainโ€™t bent straight
Memorized scientific names till I mesmerized my mind, forgot to buy a fishing license, and realized I committied a crime
I log in ta Instagram an see a snake face posted by Cucamongus... itโ€™s humongous... Iโ€™m like damn, look how big the tongue is
I go on the field Herp forum just ta bore em with a sequel, to my first video, that couldnโ€™t connect with the people

Chorus ~

I decided to drive down to Irvine, one time, to check a boardline, I found online, while I was trying to find, one of mine
I think itโ€™s official, Iโ€™m losing my mind, Ivan and Brian are you sure that itโ€™s not your turn to drive?
Saw a coastal patchnose chasin' a whiptail, till it bailed, I got so close I swear I could smell it's rostral scale
Bored_unless_herping wants to search places theyโ€™re lurking, with his friend, but for Jeff Lemm finding a Patchnose is a sure thing
This southern LA day heat is giving me sweaty feet, like Jon Snow I wanna retreat, back to the north to find a night king(snake)
How in cryin out loud did I just miss spring, Iโ€™m gonna grab a groundhog, pup smack his butt raw, till Bill Murray starts shouting
Here I go on another outing, shit got so redundant, I funded a $100 in gas, just to see a new county

Chorus ~

Turned on the tube to view a little NKF herping, with tornadoes swirling, and plastic centipedes, when they sit to eat, at Cow dogs early
Lou Boyerโ€™s more like Tom Sawyer in Singapore, barefooted in flip-flops, king cobras to sea snakes on the shore
Met a girl in a Senada, she said she saw a zonata, Crossing the road, after I climbed Sierra Madre all day and saw nada
I said where's the road, tomorrow letโ€™s go if you Wanna, she said no, drove over my toe, said, โ€œoh by the way my name was Donnaโ€
A Religious organization burned a caduceus on my lawn, while I was gone, So I prayed to God not to turn them back into frogs
So then attended a sermon, sure enough it was Kermit, he called me a vermin, said make like a crab and go live like a hermit
Saw a gopher snake take a beating like it was dangerous, Left in a decapitated bloody mess, because they thought it was venomous
So How many more harmless people can we be blessed with, who have a death wish, to destroy whatโ€™s left of what theyโ€™re scared and annoyed with


At work, I need things to keep my mind awake while night driving. I'm not a huge fan of rap/hip hop, but there is a small selection of some oldschool stuff I like and keep in the rotation on Spotify. I actually spent some time writing rap songs in my 20โ€™s. Every now and then, I do it just to goof around. So, I started working on some field herping material one night while driving. Just to stay awake ๐Ÿฅฑ :crazyeyes: My little brother talked me into listening to the new Eminem album. Then, It dawned on me...๐Ÿค” The Mattress thread is similar to the Slim Shady song ๐Ÿคก So, I started throwing a parody together for The Mattress. I video-posted the first ideas for it on Instagram. All the girls liked it... Lol So, then I thought ok... maybe I'll do a whole song. My main focus was to just come up with relatable & metaphoric material about the hobby. If you're familiar with the Eminem song, you'll notice the similarities. I'm actually just rhyming to his rhymes in the beginning. I then posted a request on Instagram, asking followers to tell me what they want me to rap about. So, that was another source. I needed to include some name-drops to keep it like the Eminem song. So, I chose Noah's NKF Herping and Lou's LouB747 because I probably watch them the most. Not attacking them or anyone else at all, I think that's obvious... it compliments their channels and character. Bored_unless_herping asked me to rap something about how he and his friend want to find patchnose, but they live too far away from the good habitat where people find them. I've never searched for patchnose and knew nothing about them. So, I asked Nick Hess to give me some details about the species. He provided, "rostral scales... that they eat Whiptail lizards...and that Jeff Lemm finds too many of them." So, that became part of the song. It was all meant in good fun and shouldn't be taken serious. It's all about the wordplay. Subject matter was secondary.

The recording process for this was kind of screwy. In order to get the high pitched Eminem voice, I had to Slow the beat/Rhythm down in iMovie, then rap the verses in slow motion, then speed both tracks back up to normal. Thatโ€™s probably the most difficult thing of ever recorded lol Talk about a mind f*ck ๐Ÿคฏ

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

The actual metaphorical schematic blueprint for an intellectually integral depth of internal enriching enlightenment, infused within each Mattress video induction:

9ECA1B3B-FF26-47B4-AC15-51D76F3965F9.jpeg
9ECA1B3B-FF26-47B4-AC15-51D76F3965F9.jpeg (39.03 KiB) Viewed 929 times

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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

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This is another great example of how things just sorta fall into place and the video makes itself. The hidden & abandoned homemade parking lot sk8 park sparked the iPhone skateboarding footage. I was heading back up the mountain to find the boa that got away. The blunted tail of the rattlesnake warning sign seemed to foreshadow the danger of that. Along with accurately symbolizing the stigma imposed on non-venomous serpents. The spectacular treefrog jumping footage was awesomely brought to my peripheral attention. None of that was manipulated or planned out. He was out just hoping around. So, I followed him. The psychedelic 70's fashion look of the bottae and bluebelly scales footage, influenced Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man. The maturing fawn's curiosity couldn't have been more perfectly centered and balanced between those two boulders. A perfect portrayal on natural instinct. My only part in conveying a harmonic message from the universe :thumb:

๐ŸŒŽ ๐ŸŒ ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ”ญ ๐Ÿ‘ฝ


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Ok, so these are gonna take some extensive explaining... :lol:

Firstly, let me start by saying... THE 2ND VIDEO NOW HAS THE 1ST SONG STILL INCLUDED :crazyeyes: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: I did a song-test-upload to YouTube, to see if I could use a Metallica song for something I have planned (and hopefully will finish in time) for a 2020 EOY post. I wasn't expecting it to pass YouTube's copyright blocking, But IT DID!! Surprising, considering Metallica's lawsuit against Napster. So, a few weeks later the thought came to me to re-upload the 2nd vid for this desert trip. Maybe something had changed in YouTube copywrite laws or Chris Isaak (and/or his record label) had a change of heart (or Covid-19 influenced financial situation)...? After seeing it unblocked and playable, I felt new hope for The Mattress and less fear of being misinterpreted. Positive thoughts and feelings. Sometimes that's all it takes :D

This two-part desert trip induction was unlike most of the previous video additions. I had plenty of time to plan for the trip and started selecting songs in advance. Originally, I had planned on a May. I've visited the same area in different months. By no surprise, May was most productive. Other months are better for certain species & methods (like flipping vs. road cruising). I unfortunately had to reschedule TWICE to help out at work and ended up going the weekend of Father's Day. Which ended up having a horrible start and nearly ruined the whole trip. I worked worked Friday 6:30pm to Saturday 10am-ish, due to a 4 hour Covid-related delay in production. After work, I went straight home to shower, pack up my gear, and barely made the rent-a-car reservation before they closed at 12pm (got there 11:58am). I then got a flat tire in Bridgeport (no spare) and spent 2 hours on hold waiting to talk to someone from roadside service. I decided to try option 2 (press #2 if you want to check the status of your roadside service driver) and finally got through to someone. However, they couldn't find me in their system because they had entered my phone number in wrong. By the time all was said and done, all the tire shops were closed and no service drivers were available until the following day (fathers day). So, I paid $100 of gas money for a motel that had a cement brick for a mattress and ended up sleeping in the rent-a-car ๐Ÿงฑ ๐Ÿ’ธ

โฐ I was up first thing in the morning (after about an hour of sporadic sleep) and was told they had no drivers available because of the holiday. So, I hung up with that guy and called right back to talk to someone else. She talked to her manager and set up a 3rd party towing from Lake Tahoeโณ I herped while I waited and there wasn't even a sign of lizard droppings. I then got towed all the way back to a shop in the Lake Tahoe area, that was authorized to fix the flat. However, it was after 12pm on fathers day and there was no one to approve authorization to replace the tire. So, I called roadside service.... reminded them that I mean business (politely)... and put them on the phone with the shop. After some calls back and forth, with me middle-manning hands-on negotiations, a promise to pay was arranged and I paid $8 for the tire on a company discount.

After waiting for all the motorhomes to be fixed and a little Subway & watermelon juice, I was finally on the road again to Bridgepoint and further ๐ŸŒต I reached the Great Basin and was 15 minutes away from my first destination... When, I realized in frustration... I'm on empty and probably won't make it back to the last gas station :crazyeyes: So, I turned around and headed back towards Lake Tahoe. I was so exhausted though, from sleep deprivation, I was losing my mind and had entered an alternate paralleled dimension. After fueling up, I drove back to the first rendezvous and found my lifer Buzz-tailed Basin :thumb: Then, it was off to the desert for a couple hours of road cruising or whatever caught my attention.


I hope that explains the avocado in the first vid ๐Ÿฅ‘ They're a good source of brain food and I was deliriously pushing myself to make the best of an already badly timed trip (too damn hot). Hence, the "going down in a blaze of glory." ๐ŸŒž Nirvana's, Big Long Now had metaphorical references to less than desirable hot temps, filmed subjects, and the pandemic. "It's not cold enough... instantly grow (in regards to an insect's short-lived lifespan)... I am blind (blinding sun)... can we show our faces now." ๐Ÿ˜ท The guitar sounds perfectly portrayed the winding down state of mind and dreary vibe of desert deprivation. Originally, there should have been more herping footage and less comedic board-em. I just didn't see much and had to formulate a new game plan.


For the 2nd vid, I had chosen Chris Isaac's, Wicked Game because the slide guitar sounds reminded me of the desert and a sidewinder's slither. A perfect depiction of the smooth flowing motion. Wild Horses, was of course to fit the wild mustang footage and abandoned ghost home๐ŸŽ Fade Into You, matched the desert vibe of Wicked Game and brought a solemn portrayal of lonesome desert roads and reflective memoirs after nightfall. Beck's cheesy child-like kazoo jam accurately captured the team-up footage between badger & young coyote. Almost as if it were straight from the heart and soul of that little pup. Displayed in gestures and body movements. My dad asked me, "why did you make it sad like your heart is broke..!? No one wants to see that shit.." Lol It isn't about me or any one ex-girlfriend. I will admit that part of the reason I field herp is due to the lack of romance in my current life. Sometimes, I do reflect on past relationships while road cruising... but I've had over 50 ex-girlfriends and haven't gone through a break-up since 2012. The heart-shaped-wire art projecting the cast shadow of the heart ๐Ÿ’˜ onto the rock, is just something interesting I came across while checking an area where I've found panamint rattlesnake in the past. It was artistic and fit the song selection I had already chosen more than a month prior. So, it was obvious to me that it should be part of the film. Like I've said, these videos make themselves and come together like puzzle pieces. I'm just an artist reporting and recognizing a theme that presents itself to me. It was never intended to have such a strong message of, "lost love." Like the stinkbug... I included that because the trip kinda, "stunk." :lol: I like to include stuff like that because it makes for good storytelling and weaves together a interconnecting complete story of poetic symbolism.
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ




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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

The Croaking Frog has nothing to do with The Mattress. It was a project I started that became too overwhelming to finish. I was only able to completed chapter 1 in 2017... the rest is written but had to be put on the shelf for now.The original title was The Singing Frog and I posted it here on FHF first under a separate username, "The singing frog." The idea behind that was to do something similar to what I'm now doing with The Mattress... uploading each chapter to the same thread as I finished them (Chapter 2 - Enlightened Dewdrop... Chapter 3 - El Garia & the Skinks... Chapter 4 - The Color of Jade... Chapter 5 - Snake in the Grass... Chapter 6 - Bee's Knees... ect..) . I changed the title for obvious reasons. I liked the play on words and closer relation to the story's character. I removed it from YouTube due to it being attacked by several Facebook field herpers. My dad recently asked me to upload it to YouTube so my aunt could see it. So, I decided to add it here as well.
โ˜๏ธ
๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ง
๐Ÿ’ง๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ’ง
๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ง๐ŸŽถ
๐Ÿ’ง๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ’ง
๐ŸŽถ๐Ÿ’ง๐Ÿ’ง
๐Ÿ’ง๐ŸŽต๐Ÿ’ง
...๐Ÿธ


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Porter »

Metaphoric view on societyโ€ฆ Metamorphic change in reality


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Re: The Mattress - An ongoing thread of stories from the field

Post by Kelly Mc »

Yay!!

Great films, great character and love for subject.

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