Why I Do What I Do

Tonight I gave two back-to-back programs on snakes for groups of young Boy Scouts.  I pulled out three of our snakes, a hognose snake, a Mexican milk snake, and the star of the show, Walter, our five-foot-long pine snake.  I finished each program by letting anyone who wanted to put Walter, who is extremely docile and laid-back, around their necks.  The second time around, a man whose son insisted that Dad had to hold the snake too looked up from the snake coiled comfortably around his shoulders and said to me, “You know, I never liked or had any interest in snakes before, but you’ve really changed my opinion of them.  This is great.”

The last couple days at work have been very stressful, and I’m working both days this weekend as well.  So it was nice to hear, just when I needed to hear it most, that yes, me doing what I do has made a difference to someone.

7 thoughts on “Why I Do What I Do”

  1. Days like that are the best! A few days ago I was reading thank you letters from some 2nd graders that came to the insect outreach program I work for. Three were by kids who admitted to being scared of insects before they came to the workshop, but said they weren’t scared anymore. Melts my heart every time – and makes me certain that I’m doing the right thing. Glad to know herp people have the same experiences! Snakes and insects probably invoke about the same level of horror/disgust in people after all.

  2. I expect even if he already liked snakes, it would have been a special moment for him. Not many people get the opportunity to let such a creature wind round their necks?

    I’ve included Rebecca in the Woods in a list of ‘related blogs’ on Loose and Leafy –


    (there’s a tab under the header)

    and am wondering if you would like an emblem / logo / identifying picture put beside it.


    1. Thanks, Lucy! I need to update my blogroll as well, I’ve discovered several new favorites recently (although mine is already getting ridiculously long – I’m a sucker for nature blogs of all sorts). Hm, as for a logo, the picture that pops up as my avatar or gravatar or whatever is an old photo of me that I’m hoping to update soon. You could use that or as far as I’m concerned you could grab any of the photos on this blog that strike your fancy (perhaps something tree-ish, considering the blog’s title).

      Since I handle snakes on a regular basis (and had held snakes at various nature centers and public programs and whatnot even before I started working in environmental education), I often forget that there are many adults who’ve managed to go their entire lives without so much as touching one!

  3. I tried to use your header but that didn’t work so I’ve used one of the Grandfather Tree photos instead. Hope that is ok. Whether people click on the tree or on your name – both link through to here.

    The reason I re-did my list of blogs was that it had become too big and unwieldy. No doubt it will re-grow but I’m going to try to be disciplined and stick to ones which might be relevant to the people who read Loose and Leafy rather than all the ones I happen to like! If you would like the picture associated with your name changed (either now or in the future) just let me know.


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