Friday, October 10, 2008

Thoughts on Stalking the Plumed Serpent

This is another one I read for the What an Animal Challenge. I didn't PLAN to read this one for this challenge, but I found out about this book, which is new, and I couldn't resist furthering my snake theme that I have going. This book is a series of "adventures in herpetology" that are mainly about snakes by D. Bruce Means, who is a herpetologist at Florida State. He travels around the world in pursuit of interesting species of snakes. His stated goal in this book is to make more people appreciate snakes and other "creepy crawlies". Like many herpetologists, he things warm and fuzzy mammals get most of the conservation efforts, and, of course, he is correct. I think that he will mostly be preaching to the choir, as this book will probably be read by people like me who already love creepy crawlies, snakes, sharks, worms, bugs, and other things that make many people scream. But if he succeeds and converts a few people, then it will be well worth the effort. I enjoyed this book, which could've used a few more pictures of the creatures he was "hunting". It did have 10 pages or so of pictures, but it is hard to get an idea of the beauty of a rare snake without seeing it. Sometimes a picture is worth 1000 words as they say. One part of this book stood out to me. The author hiked a several hundred mile "trail" that John Muir hiked in the early 1800s. It was now nothing but highways and strip malls and the author was almost run over several times. It does speak volumes about the progress of mankind and how we treat our world. We are paving and building all animals into oblivion. And we are animals, too.

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