Really, has it come to this?

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azatrox
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by azatrox » November 7th, 2011, 7:59 pm

DON"T mention ANY spots, when talking to me about Z's (and rubbers)... cause then I'll never go there.
I could take you to spots where rubbers are EVERYWHERE! If only people would clean up after themselves when "finished". :lol:

-Kris

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by hellihooks » November 7th, 2011, 8:22 pm

azatrox wrote:
DON"T mention ANY spots, when talking to me about Z's (and rubbers)... cause then I'll never go there.
I could take you to spots where rubbers are EVERYWHERE! If only people would clean up after themselves when "finished". :lol:

-Kris
Thx for the offer, but uhhhhhh, no. I could walk into my son's room for that... :roll: :lol: :lol: jim

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-EJ
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 7th, 2011, 8:35 pm

I'll refrain from posting... not really... It would seem that you indulge as much as I do... what other excuse do you have?

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Mike Rochford
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Mike Rochford » November 7th, 2011, 9:41 pm

As I said at the start of my post, I posted a habitat pic of a new rosy boa spot in a range they were previously unknown and that habitat was recognized by some boa people. My friend that told me about the spot received literally a dozen messages about me finding boas there and the word was widely spread in the boa community that I found them there when I did. That friend is a good friend and he put a lot of work into discovering boas in that range. I've been very secretive and tight-lipped in the last couple years (a skill that took me a long time to develop, unfortunately) and my secrecy has even pissed off one of my best friends for not telling him I knew lannomi were rediscovered and then for not telling him about this particular boa locale. To think that a bunch of relative strangers figured out that spot from a fairly random-looking pic when I wouldn't even tell one of my best friends is extremely frustrating. Fortunately, my friend realizes it was a dumb mistake and not intentional blabbler-mouthing, but I regret posting that pic so I'm being more careful about what I post now. Honestly, I hesitate to post anything publicly anymore. The field herpers I look up to are very secretive (for good reason) and considering the amount of help I've had from some of them I owe it to them to be equally (if not, more) secretive. And, I must thank the late great KW (no, he's not actually dead) for influencing me to keep my mouth shut after scolding me semi-publicly for sharing locales several years ago. It didn't change my habits immediately but I'm getting more and more secretive over time and I now consider myself to be pretty much leak-proof. Some stuff I'll share with people that have proven themselves over the years but there are things I keep totally to myself. There's actually a "rosy boas" facebook page where boa nerds scan facebook looking for rosy boa pictures taken by other people and then the "rosy boas" facebook page people post them on that page. I didn't know about that at the time I posted pics and I think that's why the pics went viral. I like boas but I'm not a fan of the rosy boa hysteria that surrounds them and I don't know why people would waste so much time on them when there are crotes. ;) But I did have to "like" or "friend" that dumb rosy boa page just to see what they do with my pics in the future.

Anyway, I wouldn't require anyone to be so vague in their posts but I also think there's nothing wrong with choosing to do a non-descript post. It should be an individual decision. I've come to respect people who do that more than those who don't in recent years and I admire their ability to gain happiness through their finds alone and not through replies to posts.

Mike

PS- In 2009 I posted finds from a Baja CA trip as being finds from the SW US. :) I even fooled a native Arizonan with a pic of a baja triv triv. He started asking via PM if it was from "Random Place", AZ. Of course, I had to leave some good stuff out of the post, but it was the only way I felt comfortable posting those things at that time.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by joeysgreen » November 7th, 2011, 9:51 pm

I really see both sides of the story. Clearly people have seen some good spots get mowed down by sharing them. There are many examples of sites being overpopulated by herpers, and I know of one sorry sod that shared a masassuaga site to someone he trusted and that guy later got caught smuggling said snakes across the border. The event soured him so bad he doesn't even go online anymore. It'd probably do the same to me.

For the flip side, I really do appreciate help from other herpers. Sure, I'm a little secretive about a few of my local spots, but I'll certainly do what I can to show some newbies or visitors around. Further, since there isn't a lot where I'm at, most of my herping comes with a lot of traveling. I fish around wherever looks good, but my grandest successes (25 lifers a few weeks ago!) come from the help and direction of people I"ve met here. Do I expect them to share their best spots, definately not. Do I expect some level of camaradarie? Of course, and I've never been dissapointed.

Why is there a difference between herp clubs and snail mailings? Because online forums are seen by thousands upon thousands of people. If a poor result is going to happen, the internet will make it happen in the blink of an eye.

As per what details to release in posts, I leave it up to the individual and respect their decision. I sure as hell couldn't find that same snake because it it was a sunny August day, but I"ll be happy with what was chosen to be shared. It's the same deal when meeting people face to face. Some will say hello and share the gartersnake 10 feet away, and another might shake your hand and bring you to a real cool spot a short drive down the road. I say have fun with what you get, and build from there.

Ian
Thx for the offer, but uhhhhhh, no. I could walk into my son's room for that... jim
Nasty!

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PNWHerper
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by PNWHerper » November 7th, 2011, 11:00 pm

I have heard stories from various herpers about how much increased traffic can effect an area, but only got to fully appreciate the potential impact of such traffic this fall. I went on a trip to the Columbia River Gorge area, to visit a popular herping spot. Alan St. John was assisting me in work on the Herp Tracking book by taking me to some rattlesnake hibernacula sites.

He shared about his many visits to the area, and how much things had changed. I saw both with my eyes and through the lens of his stories how much things had been changed by a significant increase in human traffic and human use. Much of that traffic is from herpers, some of whom are careless or down right callous. It is a well-known and talked about spot, and the increase in traffic occurred as the word about the wonders of that particular spot spread far and wide...

It really hit home for me in a way I had never experience before. I can appreciate the loss some of you must feel when you watched one of your favorite herping spots be trashed or abused... :cry:

On the flipside, I have also run into the other side of this story. As I continue to collect data and work on the scientific research for the Herp Tracking book, I have had many people remain incredibly tight-lipped with me regarding where to find different species. As if sharing that with some one - even a wildlife biologist and educator like myself - is going to despoil and destroy their spots and their favorite herps. Either directly or by slipping the info to others. :P

I think discretion is a good idea, but also be aware that the secrecy and fearfulness can be really overboard sometimes. Not everyone out there is a careless field herper or callous collector, nor a poacher or loose-lipped idiot who will spill the beans on sensitive sites/species and disrespect people's special herping locales.

On the lighter side of things....

I am struck by how its a bit humorous that some old field herpers are a bit like birders in reverse, instead of having mailing lists, forums and information lines that share rare finds and their exact locations so anyone who is interested can go see it... such info is fairly strictly hidden and sharing it is a major error in judgement. :lol:

Anyway, I know I am not adding much new here. Just thought I would share what came to mind...

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Aaron » November 8th, 2011, 1:29 am

Sharing information with selected parties via phone, mail, etc. as done in the past is WAY different than posting on an internet forum. What would be comparable to the internet in the past would have been to take out ads in all the herp magazines and newsletters saying where your good locations were and what the best times and herping conditions were. Nobody did that "back in the day". Even then, publishing times would mean that the season would have been well over by the time the info was in public hands.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 8th, 2011, 2:39 am

This type of thread and the "herpin' music" thread seem to come up very often...maybe there should be a sticky. 8-)

Couple of points:

- To expand upon a previous poster's message: I could go to the library and pull a book on herps and fully expect to see information on...herps. However, if for some reason I pulled a random book about a semi-related topic (say, hiking), I might be happily surprised to find a herp pic buried somewhere in the pages of that book. HOWEVER, with the Internet, I don't have to take the time to read every book on every remotely-related subject; I can simply Google "[species] pics" and come up with those unlikely cross-references which will often have much more specific information than can be found on herp-specific sites.

- Aside from the fear of sites being exploited by collectors or just "too many people," there seems to be a general feeling of "you have to EARN your herp" by doing the requisite "homework" on a species/area. I get the idea many of the people with this mindset have probably lived in the same general area for many years and thus had the time to put into countless hours of study, field research, etc. On the other hand, I haven't lived anywhere I've herped in earnest more than three years, and much of that time I wasn't able to herp due to being away on "business," for days/weeks/months at a time, often in prime herping season. Knowing I have limited time before moving away from a given area, it can be frustrating to have friends give "clues" which, while helpful to an extent, mean I spend several weekends narrowing down a search but coming up empty handed and then having to move. Conversely, I am grateful for numerous individuals on this and other sites who realize that I have very limited time (and maybe even more importantly, a terrible memory for remembering the locales!) and have been able to put me onto many lifers in a short time.

Just my opinions on why some things are the way they are.

erik loza
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by erik loza » November 8th, 2011, 7:00 am

^^^ Great summation.

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Fundad
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Fundad » November 8th, 2011, 7:19 am

- Aside from the fear of sites being exploited by collectors or just "too many people," there seems to be a general feeling of "you have to EARN your herp" by doing the requisite "homework" on a species/area. I get the idea many of the people with this mindset have probably lived in the same general area for many years and thus had the time to put into countless hours of study, field research, etc. On the other hand, I haven't lived anywhere I've herped in earnest more than three years, and much of that time I wasn't able to herp due to being away on "business," for days/weeks/months at a time, often in prime herping season. Knowing I have limited time before moving away from a given area, it can be frustrating to have friends give "clues" which, while helpful to an extent, mean I spend several weekends narrowing down a search but coming up empty handed and then having to move. Conversely, I am grateful for numerous individuals on this and other sites who realize that I have very limited time (and maybe even more importantly, a terrible memory for remembering the locales!) and have been able to put me onto many lifers in a short time.
I have done quite a bit of herping away from my main herping areas..... 10 to 40 hours of research go into many of these trips in advance, and to be quite FRANK I do really well on those trips.. Now why do I need to be told I am jerk if I choose
not to provide a red carpet ride to others? Aren't the others capable of doing the research themselves?

I have always helped "known" herpers that come from out of town.. Some of them ask for tips (BTW they always get the best answers), and some want EXACT LOCALES, those people usually get just tips (VERY Good Tips mind you).

Providing tips and a little insight in person or PM is far different than making a post that can be seen by EVERYONE in the world for many years.

Fundad

Paul White
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Paul White » November 8th, 2011, 7:28 am

I think a lot of the continual shit storm over this stems from people expecting a one size fits all solution to be required/desirable.

Telling someone what park to find C. atrox or P. sayi in or C. flaggellum ? Sure (christ, the parks all post signs warning you about rattlers, least around here). I'll do that in a public forum. It's not seceret, it isn't unknown even to non herpers locally, they're protected land...I'm not worried.

Telling someone about a population of nesting blanding's turtles or diamondback terrapins or C. horridus ? Not so much. That's one I might not reveal county on even. Let alone which park, etc.

Getting nasty PM's because I reveal that *gasp* any given trail in Palo Duro stands a decent chance of having a diamondback or a coachwhip on it? Yeah that pisses me off too.

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-EJ
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 8th, 2011, 7:34 am

Whatever... I'll continue to post locations as I have... the anal retentive... can just fo.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by erik loza » November 8th, 2011, 7:35 am

Paul White wrote:...expecting a one size fits all solution to be required/desirable...
This is a really good point. Why does it need to be,"You must choose a side and and you are either with or against"?

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Fundad
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Fundad » November 8th, 2011, 7:42 am

Whatever... I'll continue to post locations as I have... the anal retentive... can just fo.

:lol: :lol: A little anger in that post EJ? :lol: Relax a little..

Besides you don't have any good locations.... :lol: :twisted: jk

Fundad

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-EJ
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 8th, 2011, 7:53 am

Dick Bartlet... Jeff Lemm... and quite a few others would disagree... probably not in public.

No anger here... way to mellow at the moment.
Fundad wrote:
Whatever... I'll continue to post locations as I have... the anal retentive... can just fo.

:lol: :lol: A little anger in that post EJ? :lol: Relax a little..

Besides you don't have any good locations.... :lol: :twisted: jk

Fundad

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Kent VanSooy » November 8th, 2011, 7:57 am

I liken this to the old proverb (and I paraphrase) - give a guy a fish sandwich and you feed him for a day - teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time.
The way I heard it (at MY secret locale) it goes like this...

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day"

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-EJ
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 8th, 2011, 8:04 am

I like it.
Kent VanSooy wrote:
I liken this to the old proverb (and I paraphrase) - give a guy a fish sandwich and you feed him for a day - teach him how to fish and you feed him for a life time.
The way I heard it (at MY secret locale) it goes like this...

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day"

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PNWHerper
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by PNWHerper » November 8th, 2011, 10:37 am

Couple of points:

- To expand upon a previous poster's message: I could go to the library and pull a book on herps and fully expect to see information on...herps. However, if for some reason I pulled a random book about a semi-related topic (say, hiking), I might be happily surprised to find a herp pic buried somewhere in the pages of that book. HOWEVER, with the Internet, I don't have to take the time to read every book on every remotely-related subject; I can simply Google "[species] pics" and come up with those unlikely cross-references which will often have much more specific information than can be found on herp-specific sites.

- Aside from the fear of sites being exploited by collectors or just "too many people," there seems to be a general feeling of "you have to EARN your herp" by doing the requisite "homework" on a species/area. I get the idea many of the people with this mindset have probably lived in the same general area for many years and thus had the time to put into countless hours of study, field research, etc. On the other hand, I haven't lived anywhere I've herped in earnest more than three years, and much of that time I wasn't able to herp due to being away on "business," for days/weeks/months at a time, often in prime herping season. Knowing I have limited time before moving away from a given area, it can be frustrating to have friends give "clues" which, while helpful to an extent, mean I spend several weekends narrowing down a search but coming up empty handed and then having to move. Conversely, I am grateful for numerous individuals on this and other sites who realize that I have very limited time (and maybe even more importantly, a terrible memory for remembering the locales!) and have been able to put me onto many lifers in a short time.

Just my opinions on why some things are the way they are.
Thanks Chris! Well summarized.

I definitely relate to what your saying regarding people feeling you have to EARN your herp. I can appreciate this to some extent, as I think any good naturalist worth his salt HAS TO put in his/her dirt time. I have spent a decade now studying tracking and I know that like a lot of naturalist knowledge, it comes with time and sweat put into it. I, however, also live in an area that is relatively low in herps and can only travel to more abundant herp locales (i.e. Calif, AZ, FL, etc.) during one of my few weeks of vacations from work per year.

So, I am always deeply grateful to those who go out of their way to tell me about good spots, or if they are especially generous, take me out to a productive area and show me around.
I have done quite a bit of herping away from my main herping areas..... 10 to 40 hours of research go into many of these trips in advance, and to be quite FRANK I do really well on those trips.. Now why do I need to be told I am jerk if I choose
not to provide a red carpet ride to others? Aren't the others capable of doing the research themselves?

I have always helped "known" herpers that come from out of town.. Some of them ask for tips (BTW they always get the best answers), and some want EXACT LOCALES, those people usually get just tips (VERY Good Tips mind you).

Providing tips and a little insight in person or PM is far different than making a post that can be seen by EVERYONE in the world for many years.

Fundad
I don't think your a jerk for not doing as you mention. I really respect your commitment and the work you put into this stuff. You are an inspiration to many, I think.

Also, I don't think I fall into the "known" herper category... hence, my frustration at times. People know me as a good naturalist and tracker in my area, but I don't get to herp often enough to make much of a blip on the radar. Admittedly, I am disappointed with how little field herping time I actually get... but then again, I am grateful for what I do get.

JDM
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by JDM » November 8th, 2011, 11:36 am

A few observations:

Since the early days of the internet, the alterna page has had very specific locality information about a highly prized species by collectors, the gray banded kingsnake. You can look up, by county, a list of roads where they can be collected from, habitat shots, collection records with dates, and so forth. What has been the result? There was an initial burst of activity from collectors, who had a large list of areas to collect from since the list of localities was widely published. Instead of all herping activity being concentrated on one "leaked" locale, it was widely distributed. Within several years, the prices on alterna dropped so significantly that now you only have the more hardcore alterna herpers herping those areas on a regular basis. Often times, you can travel the "popular" alterna locales during the peak times of seasonal activity and find few other herpers, if any, and many of those are not there to collect.

Rosy Boas were a similar story. Rosy Boa locales were and still are widely reported on the internet. There are many many locales that hunters and collectors can choose from. The results have been similar, prices significantly dropped on Rosy Boas due to the economic laws of supply and demand. Now, even at the majority of locale sites for Rosy Boas, there is little activity by herpers.

These two examples have exceptions, there are still new locales that become known and they are hit heavily for a time and then follow the same pattern for the most part. Whitewater seems to be an exception, maybe there are a few others.

Rosy Boas and Gray banded kingsnakes are wide-ranging species that are typically collected or hunted from roadways, so they differ from other species of reptiles. Their example does not necessarily mean that other species treated the same way would have the same results.

Most people would agree that Rosy Boa and Gray Banded Kingsnake populations are in fairly good condition. Rosy Boas and Gray Banded Kingsnakes can still be legally collected from many locales in the wild. They can also be bred in captivity and offspring can be legally sold (some restrictions apply). Would the results be similar with other wide ranging species? Would the results be similar to species with smaller ranges? Is it the large range that makes this possible, or the freedom to collect and propagate the species that has allowed this to work so well? Breeding reptiles in captivity causes their market prices to decline over time. This results in a decrease in people pursuing them to collect, although this would probably not solve the problems that field photographers and observers allegedly may cause to wild populations. Maybe since many crotes are not legal to commercialize in captivity it becomes more dangerous to post their locales on the internet due to collection pressures? People cannot turn to captive bred animals so they must collect from the wild?

Just a few thoughts and observations.

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » November 8th, 2011, 12:57 pm

Fundad wrote:Providing tips and a little insight in person or PM is far different than making a post that can be seen by EVERYONE in the world for many years.
Yes!

It is exactly that which I have come to learn through past experience myself. Allow me to throw in some experience from a European herper (i.c. me).

Formerly, I was pleased to share my personal trip reports online, full of specific details, with other enthusiasts over the internet. I made a nice web report about visiting remote places that are home to special (sub)species of Mediterranean lizards or endangered and localised amphibians. As such, I was hoping to provide the benign reader with a lovely story that really "takes you there". However, much to my own shame, I learned specifically that a number of poachers had abused my foolishness to exploite some of those precious sites I mentioned. Along with a loss in believe in good faith of people, I had to learn that being too open is NOT a good idea. Unfortunately, this resulted in much more "boring" reports. I don't like the fact that the world's like that, but I'd rather acknowledge it, then knowingly contribute to disaster!

On an other note, it might be interesting to note that Americans are far more concerned about these matters than anyone else, but then again they seem to have every reason to be so (= much more "evil" eyes out there).

Apart from that, I LOVE to help out reliable herpers!!! The trick is how to distinguish between those and the less reliable type...

Might sound silly to American herpers (as I'm sure many of you consider Europea herpetofauna poor and boring ;) ), but we also care about our fauna. :mrgreen:

g's,

J.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Paul White » November 8th, 2011, 1:02 pm

as I'm sure many of you consider Europea herpetofauna poor and boring
oh HELL no. Post pictures of your lacertas, testudo, natrix, etc! We love to look, trust me. I have a thing for lacertas and testudo particularly...amazing critters

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Jimmy_77 » November 8th, 2011, 1:21 pm

desertwalker wrote:Just finished reading a recent post where the author (name withheld in case someone might know who I'm talking about) not only doesn't want to give any clues as to the locales he even waited until the end of the year to post so no one would know the time of year he found his "precious" and have the success he did on his trip. I'm surprised he even put the state and country where they were found. I think this is going over the edge and we might need to do an intervention to help this individual with his OCD.
Has it really come to this? Has the herping community become so protective/paranoid that sleeping is difficult should the world know WHEN you found your "precious"? it's a snake under a rock, get over it. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors herp spot.

Kudos to the guy protecting his locales and thus the wildlife at the same place.

RobK

Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by RobK » November 8th, 2011, 2:33 pm

desertwalker wrote:it's a snake under a rock, get over it.
Therein lies the problem.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by hellihooks » November 8th, 2011, 2:38 pm

I had the pleasure of being one of Ca.'s 'host guides' for Jeroen and Stephanie, and was pleased to be able to help them record a few lifers, including both a Rosy and a Lyre... :thumb: They were people that IF they lived here... I would trust them with my 'best spots' :thumb:
Image
Look at them 'Lifer Grins', which I now enjoy seeing as much as finding a lifer myself... :D
Image

Some may say I'm too free, with giving out spots/guiding people, but I do try to do it judiciously, and there IS something that most people don't know, and don't even know 'to consider'. Which is, often, places I take people to, are slated for future development, in the given city's development plans. All the herps found there, WILL eventually lose their homes, and MIGHT be considered 'salvage animals' already... :( So... I give out spots like that, so people can get lifers, entries, and hell... even take something home, should they choose to, as it is only a matter of time until those areas will be houses and paved streets anyway. So... I'm not quite as naive as some folks think I am... and I would humbly suggest that others start considering this 'hidden factor' as well, when considering 'where to go'... :)

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by chris_mcmartin » November 8th, 2011, 7:17 pm

Fundad wrote:I have done quite a bit of herping away from my main herping areas..... 10 to 40 hours of research go into many of these trips in advance, and to be quite FRANK I do really well on those trips.. Now why do I need to be told I am jerk if I choose
not to provide a red carpet ride to others? Aren't the others capable of doing the research themselves?
Fundad, the last sentence of my post practically had your name in it (the one about gratitude for the assistance of local herpers). I am thinking about the one instance where I had relatively short notice (as usual) to head out your way and you pointed me in the direction of some decent spots--probably not your prime locations, I'm sure, but I did find lifers and you also accompanied me on the next day's outing; I still remember and appreciate that. :thumb:

Here's another way to look at it--we tend to value what we work for/earn more than things that are given to us. I and probably many others on here get frustrated when we spend hours/days/weeks researching, field herping, etc. for a target species and come up empty-handed. Then we see a picture posted on a random web site, or from a friend, who says, "I pulled over to change a flat tire and I saw this neat-looking snake crawl across the road." :x :cry:

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Paul White » November 8th, 2011, 7:31 pm

I had a friend do nearly that with a sonoran ground snake...lol I think I shocked her and taught her new words with my reaction because at the time I hadn't found one. And DAAAAMN hers was a nice one.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Fundad » November 8th, 2011, 9:21 pm

"I pulled over to change a flat tire and I saw this neat-looking snake crawl across the road." :x :cry:
I ll tell you a story..

This person kept PMing me for Cal King spots in SD he could take his daughter to find a striped king at... He persisted for a year, being really nice.. At first I declined with little info given, mainly because there was so little left down there and I didn't know him. He shared he went down there and couldn't find anything, so I gave in and sent him to a little board spot I have been going to for 20 years, and one I didn't care to much about.. Well they roll up and his daughter appox 12 yrs old or so walks down and checks a refrigerator door (first item they turned)and finds a Rosy Boa in kingsnake habitat... I have hunted this area in SD for 30+ years now and have yet to see a boa in this area, let alone in kingsnake habitat.. :lol: :x :x :x :x :shock: :lol: :thumb:
DOH!!! Its better to be lucky than experienced.. :lol: :crazyeyes:

Fundad

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Fundad » November 8th, 2011, 9:43 pm

A few observations:

Since the early days of the internet, the alterna page has had very specific locality information about a highly prized species by collectors, the gray banded kingsnake. You can look up, by county, a list of roads where they can be collected from, habitat shots, collection records with dates, and so forth. What has been the result? There was an initial burst of activity from collectors, who had a large list of areas to collect from since the list of localities was widely published. Instead of all herping activity being concentrated on one "leaked" locale, it was widely distributed. Within several years, the prices on alterna dropped so significantly that now you only have the more hardcore alterna herpers herping those areas on a regular basis. Often times, you can travel the "popular" alterna locales during the peak times of seasonal activity and find few other herpers, if any, and many of those are not there to collect.

Rosy Boas were a similar story. Rosy Boa locales were and still are widely reported on the internet. There are many many locales that hunters and collectors can choose from. The results have been similar, prices significantly dropped on Rosy Boas due to the economic laws of supply and demand. Now, even at the majority of locale sites for Rosy Boas, there is little activity by herpers.

These two examples have exceptions, there are still new locales that become known and they are hit heavily for a time and then follow the same pattern for the most part. Whitewater seems to be an exception, maybe there are a few others.

Rosy Boas and Gray banded kingsnakes are wide-ranging species that are typically collected or hunted from roadways, so they differ from other species of reptiles. Their example does not necessarily mean that other species treated the same way would have the same results.

Most people would agree that Rosy Boa and Gray Banded Kingsnake populations are in fairly good condition. Rosy Boas and Gray Banded Kingsnakes can still be legally collected from many locales in the wild. They can also be bred in captivity and offspring can be legally sold (some restrictions apply). Would the results be similar with other wide ranging species? Would the results be similar to species with smaller ranges? Is it the large range that makes this possible, or the freedom to collect and propagate the species that has allowed this to work so well? Breeding reptiles in captivity causes their market prices to decline over time. This results in a decrease in people pursuing them to collect, although this would probably not solve the problems that field photographers and observers allegedly may cause to wild populations. Maybe since many crotes are not legal to commercialize in captivity it becomes more dangerous to post their locales on the internet due to collection pressures? People cannot turn to captive bred animals so they must collect from the wild?

Just a few thoughts and observations.
Hey JD,

Well Alterna are night driven and not field collected, which as Paul pointed out, makes a difference.. It does take a little research to find that info BTW.. To say that the most popular roads down there are not overcrowded at times is also not true.

I hear stories every year where sums of money are offered on the spot for some Alterna to this very day. In the field.

Alterna and boas can NOT be over-collected (habitat is way to extensive and hard to get to) as a whole, but to say say some localized populations can not be would be in error...

Many of us, myself included, are all in favor of captive breeding for many of the reasons you stated above. Yet this is not directly related to the post at hand.
Now, even at the majority of locale sites for Rosy Boas, there is little activity by herpers.
Not sure where your getting your information from? The most mondane and well known coastal boa spot has 2 to 8 herpers turning rocks every week there.. If you post a picture of a boa from spot A, there will be a lot of herpers At spot A the following week. :shock: :o :crazyeyes:



Which is all fine and dandy unless spot A was enjoyed by you alone or just a handful of others for 5 or 10 years, before someone let the cat out of the bag.. DOH!! :lol: :x :shock: :?

Fundad

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by hellihooks » November 9th, 2011, 7:30 am

Yup... seems the hardest thing for a herper to keep... is a secret... :roll: :( jim

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by JDM » November 9th, 2011, 7:36 am

Not sure where your getting your information from? The most mondane and well known coastal boa spot has 2 to 8 herpers turning rocks every week there.. If you post a picture of a boa from spot A, there will be a lot of herpers At spot A the following week.
Not sure what you are getting at. I am getting my information by going to dozens of Rosy Boa and alterna locales, finding plenty rosies and alterna in the field, and rarely coming across herpers. :crazyeyes:

The fact of the matter is that it appears to me that fewer people are herping these areas now than 15 years ago and they are published locales all over the internet. As I mentioned in my original post, there are exceptions. I keep my locales to myself, personally, but wanted to simply make that observation.

I do agree with you, though, that when new locales are posted on the internet, that they are heavily hit for a time. New locales are also hit heavily when spread by word of mouth. Keeping locales off of the internet is probably a good idea despite my observations above, but probably not the end of the world for most wide-ranging species.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Correcamino » November 9th, 2011, 8:43 am

Maybe some places ease up and get a break for a bit, until word gets out something was found again. I remember a few years ago when Brendan and I met up with the CA Nafa chapter at a well known locality. A couple of boas were found, nothing special, just run of the mill Riverside type boas. The locality was no secret as far as the postings (we just left it to the discretion of the people from CA.), we didn't think it was any big deal, kinda like saying a couple of Sonoran Gopersnakes were found at Hillside, yet a week later the place had been absolutely trashed, boards thrown everywhere, huge boulders ripped out of the ground and rolled down the hill. Who would have guessed?

I have to agree with discretion. True, it is very unlikely that anybody is gonna wipe out a population, but if you enjoy returning to any one place to see certain animals and enjoy the habitat as undisturbed as possible, I certainly would refrain from giving locality and time of year. A good example was a certain willardi locality in southern Az. It was fairly well known, yet for a while at least everyone seemed to have at least some respect for it (granted, there were a lot of snakes posed on a certain rock, probbay the most photographed rock in herp forums) Up until the summer of 2008, there were several rookeries at the spot that one could photo male/female pairs and babies with parents. It was by far the best place in Az. to be able to observe and photo these behaviors. In 2009, the inevitable finally happened, some bozo/bozos flipped all the rookery rocks along with many other rocks. Now the opportunity to see/photo parents and babies is long gone. The rookeries are no longer in use. I was particularily bummed as I had mediocre pics of females and babies taken from a distance with the old point and shoot, but I finally got a DSLR with a decent lense and was really looking forward to getting some GOOD pics, but I was a year too late. Sure, we still find willardi there, and one can still take the old boring snake on a rock pics, but the really cool opportunities are history.

CC

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Aaron » November 9th, 2011, 8:58 am

The price drops on alterna and rosies has to do with captive breeding, IMHO. I started hunting alterna in 1996. IMHO there was a decrease in hunters from then until the early 2000's. Since then the number of hunters has been on the rise again, IMHO. The main reason alterna localities are not as closely guarded as some other species is because of two reasons, 1) they can only be roadcruised so there is no rock damage to worry about. 2) In order to sell cb babies, which are produced in abundance, one pretty much has to reveal the locality or else people won't buy them. I think #2 also applies to rosy boas. I think that currently the alterna and rosy market is on an upswing. The mexicana market(thayeri, greeri & mex mex) is also on an upswing after having been down for about 5 to 10 years and those species are not collected at all for the pet trade. The ball python craze as well as herp related TV shows are the main cause, IMHO. As people get out of ball pythons they filter in to other segments of the hobby and the TV shows are helping popularize field herping.

New localities of alterna and rosies are still pretty closely guarded secrets and for the most part only get revealed as the "insider" market for cb offspring dries up and breeders have to turn to the general public in order to sell their excess offspring. IMHO this reduces collection pressure somewhat.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by JDM » November 9th, 2011, 9:26 am

@CC: What can be done about the habitat destroyers? I wish I knew.
That really sucks about your willardi spot. If the rocks can still perform their previous function, though, and stupid herpers, or possibly just stupid hikers, don't keep pressuring the spot, my guess is that it will be used again in the future, probably by different individuals than the ones that fled, though (but still sad to see the former occupants no longer there). If the rock structure was damaged, that is a different story.


@Aaron: I agree that captive breeding reduces collecting pressures. Yes, there are usually ups and downs in the market. Making it illegal to herp from roadways in Texas has likely contributed to this. I agree that road herping/collecting is much more sustainable than herping/collecting on foot. The alterna page is what I used to gain much of my information in the 90's about alterna. There weren't any for sale on that page, it was just information given by enthusiasts for other enthusiasts. Rosy and alterna culture are unique, though.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by hellihooks » November 9th, 2011, 9:39 am

Some 12 or 15 years ago, a local husband/wife breeding team, who sold offspring at their Feedstore, decided to get out of the herp-breeding business. They had for sale several nice big racks of breeder morph corns, 3 or 4 localities of rosys, and various alterna localities... all for $1,200. I had the $ but passed...DOH! Where's the 'Kick yourself' Icon... :roll: jim

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by jonathan » November 9th, 2011, 10:19 am

Ha - off topic, but eric loza actually managed to post an exact locale that I've looked for zonata in. And it's not like I've looked for zonata in a lot of places. I found the spot on my own (hiked it before I herped it), but didn't find a zonata there. Now the whole world knows. :crazyeyes:


On a more relevant note, I see no need to complain about other people's behavior if it's not hurting anyone. If someone doesn't want to share too much locality info online, or they want to wait until later until they post, that's their own business. I think a thread like this is more likely to drive people off the forum than to get them to post more anyway.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by jonathan » November 9th, 2011, 10:21 am

erik loza wrote:Here is a Zonata with GPS coordinates, from some guy's geocaching blog...
http://www.geolocation.ws/v/I/563421230 ... ngsnake/en
That's craziness, but I've flipped a few rocks in that exact location looking for zonata. I mean, exact same GPS coordinates. I just happened to go hiking there and it just looked like the right habitat, so I flipped a little but didn't find anything. I'm definitely going to try again next year now!

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Brendan » November 9th, 2011, 11:20 am

My answer to the question "has it really come to this"? is NO, it's always been this way. I don't think posts with very little text content and almost all photo content are something new to this or any herp forum. Each person has different motivation for how much or how little information they include in a post. Sometimes it's a matter of time. Adding 200 plus photos to a thread is very time consuming in itself. Then to add twice that amount of time to add a few more lines of text explaining the background on each animal makes it nearly impossible to do unless your jobless or sit at a computer all day with nothing else to do.

I personally don't read very much text anyway when it comes to posts. The photos usually say it all for me. Once in a while a good story is fun to read but posts without photos rarely capture my attention.

The thing I find most interesting is the guys/gals who post "year end summaries" and don't include locality data are usually the one's who end up seeing the most stuff both from a quantity and quality perspective. To bitch about it because there is no data included seems almost childish. In the end I think those who have the most free time to sit on herp forums and complain should maybe get off the couch or desk chair and find a few herps themselves. The numbers (photos) speak volumes for web herpers VS real field herpers.

So far I have yet to read one comment which makes sense in supporting the complaints about lack of locality info. On the other had I have read a boatload of comments from lots of great herpers which supports posting without locality info. My personal motivation in keeping field data private is partly for the animals sake, partly for the habitat sake and mostly just for my own selfish desire to keep as many good spots to myself for years to come. For some snakes like most colubrids this doesn't apply for me. I'm usually more than happy to tell people in private exactly where to go to find a green rat snake or a mountain kingsnake. On the other hand for crotes other than giving out a road to drive for certain species I am far less free with info. This is common practice for fishing, birding and any other hobby/sport where one's time in the field becomes more valuable with experience. Pay your dues and reap the rewards, don't rely on handouts for everything. None of us got where we are totally without some help along the way but know when helping others is also hurting us in the long run.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 9th, 2011, 11:35 am

Field Herp forum. Give that a little thought. Does it really make any sense to share pretty pictures? We all come here to find information. Many of us find it through personal contact through the forum. I blows my mind that this 'debate' is even taking place on this forum. To you arrogant anal retentive mfs... go somewere else. I always thought that a club or a social gathering was a place to share... swap... information.

This comes back to the 'good ol boy' mentality.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by JDM » November 9th, 2011, 12:09 pm

@Brendan: I assume some of your comments are addressed in part to me? :|

I take offense when people criticize someone for posting a photo of a common animal in a common locale or runs people off of the forums for asking for help in finding a particular species. I see that reaction constantly on internet forums. I am not saying that you do that, but in general I seem to negatively react when I see how people treat others on the forums. Just seems to me like people were much friendlier before the internet. :(

I see no value in judging herpers based on the numbers of photographs they produce. The herper who takes no photos or only goes out herping once a year has just as much of a right to voice their opinion as you or I.

I don't care if people don't post locality information. I don't really know why anyone would be upset about that. You are right, it does take alot of time to post all of the photos that you do and I appreciate seeing them. They are always excellent and you have made me more interested in crotes than I ever thought possible! :thumb:

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by erik loza » November 9th, 2011, 12:17 pm

-EJ wrote:Field Herp forum. Give that a little thought...
I had pretty much that same thought: If there is little or no info shared in regards to the "field" aspect of all this, then what you really have is just a photography or a "trophy" picture forum. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those but there are already plenty of forums like that in existence.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Mike Rochford » November 9th, 2011, 12:28 pm

Hey guys,

Just want to apologize. In the future my posts will include gps coords with every pic. Sorry for being arrogant.

Mike

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by TNWJackson » November 9th, 2011, 12:43 pm

Mike Rochford wrote:Hey guys,

Just want to apologize. In the future my posts will include gps coords with every pic. Sorry for being arrogant.

Mike
:lol:

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Ridge Walker » November 9th, 2011, 12:48 pm

From the sticky at the very top of the forums entitled: Terms of Usage (applies to all FHF forums).....

"No locale SPECIFICS. Anyone who feels this is not being adhered to, please contact FHF for review. We may not always agree with you, so keep that in mind when lodging a complaint about a topic. SPECIFICS is the key word in our assessment of locality discussions."

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by erik loza » November 9th, 2011, 12:50 pm

Mike Rochford wrote:Hey guys,

Just want to apologize. In the future my posts will include gps coords with every pic. Sorry for being arrogant.

Mike
Gonna' go out on a limb and say that nobody (at least not in FHF) is asking for GPS coordinates and, in fact, most of us agree that we shouldn't do something like that. I was just citing an example that other communities use.

Speaking only for myself, the part that bothers me is seeing a picture, for example, of a California Kingsnake and asking "Nice snake. Whereabouts was that seen?", and getting a reply to the effect of "California, duh?", as if I was an idiot for even presuming to ask. I'm using that as an example because that is pretty much a verbatim quote of a response I received from a member here, when asking that question in a thread a while back. It was a harmless question and to be honest, I have probably caught more kingsnakes than the person who gave that response but to the point of a couple of others who are active in this thread, what does that say to the kid whose biggest thrill in life is the thought of catching a snake? You basically shot them down before you even knew what they were about.

I don't think anyone here is advocating giving up sensitive spots but on the other hand, why pass up an opportunity to give some constructive guidance that will both encourage them as well as maintain your privacy? You CAN do both but I feel like many see it as a "one or the other" kind of deal.

Just my 2-cents, FWIW.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » November 9th, 2011, 1:10 pm

Mike Rochford wrote:Hey guys,

Just want to apologize. In the future my posts will include gps coords with every pic. Sorry for being arrogant.

Mike
That will be very helpful. Thanks for getting on board and apology accepted.

EDIT
I'm not very good with a GPS so could you also add some maps?
Thanks

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Daryl Eby » November 9th, 2011, 1:21 pm

Really, has it come to this?
EJ wrote:We all have our little... and not so little pet quirks... mine is rude anal retentive control freaks on the internet
EJ wrote:A topic for the anal retentive
EJ wrote:If there is an error... the anal retentive will pay attention
EJ wrote:I get a giggle out of putting it to another anal retentive individual
EJ wrote:That's the problem with anal retentive individuals
EJ wrote:my appologies to the anal retentive
EJ wrote:The anal retentive have spoken
EJ wrote:I was going to spell it Canebreak but figured I'd double check with the anal retentive first
EJ wrote:I was wondering which anal retentive would pick up on it
EJ wrote:It's fun reading the judgemental... aka... anal retentive... posts
EJ wrote:I'm sure the anal retentive will correct the spelling
EJ wrote:the anal retentive... can just fo
EJ wrote:To you arrogant anal retentive mfs... go somewere else
You seem stuck on that phrase. Having a hard time letting it go? :roll:

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Brandon La Forest » November 9th, 2011, 1:31 pm

You couldn't pay for this kind of entertainment! Keep up the great work folks!

-Brandon-

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by Brendan » November 9th, 2011, 1:35 pm

JD of course my post was NOT directed at you. I honestly didn't even read all of your follow ups in this thread so I don't know if you were one who agreed that posts were worthless without locale info. I didn't think you were and even if that was the case I didn't intend to single you out. I think we both share many common lines of thought and I always enjoy reading your posts no matter how common the subject matter.
I agree that it's sad when people get run off because they post something which other consider common or boring. The forums are a tough place for those with thin skin. With all the "characters" we have on here I can see why some can't take it. I've been around for far too long to be bothered by a few tools who fell off the snap on truck. LOL I also agree that the number of animals posted or seen in a year does not make someone a better herper than a guy who only gets out a few days a year. The comment was directed at those who bitch and cry about no locales but never post a damn thing of any interest. (Your far from being included in that)

Mike that's the spirit you elitist prick! ;)

As Ridge walker posted it's in the forum by laws that specifics are more than frowned upon so for those that need a venue for "help, I can't figure it out myself" I am sure a new board can be started.

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by JDM » November 9th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Daryl Eby wrote:Really, has it come to this?
EJ wrote:We all have our little... and not so little pet quirks... mine is rude anal retentive control freaks on the internet
EJ wrote:A topic for the anal retentive
EJ wrote:If there is an error... the anal retentive will pay attention
EJ wrote:I get a giggle out of putting it to another anal retentive individual
EJ wrote:That's the problem with anal retentive individuals
EJ wrote:my appologies to the anal retentive
EJ wrote:The anal retentive have spoken
EJ wrote:I was going to spell it Canebreak but figured I'd double check with the anal retentive first
EJ wrote:I was wondering which anal retentive would pick up on it
EJ wrote:It's fun reading the judgemental... aka... anal retentive... posts
EJ wrote:I'm sure the anal retentive will correct the spelling
EJ wrote:the anal retentive... can just fo
EJ wrote:To you arrogant anal retentive mfs... go somewere else
You seem stuck on that phrase. Having a hard time letting it go? :roll:

:lol:

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Re: Really, has it come to this?

Post by -EJ » November 9th, 2011, 3:19 pm

ummm... not really. There does seem to be an elitist mentality among some members of this forum.

Wait... I misunderstood... you are correct in that I can't let it go... I'm sure you'll see it again from this address.

It's interesting that you took the time to take it out of all those posts... what group do you fall into??????

I also didn't realize how many posts you had to go through to get that info... case in point.
Daryl Eby wrote:Really, has it come to this?
EJ wrote:We all have our little... and not so little pet quirks... mine is rude anal retentive control freaks on the internet
EJ wrote:A topic for the anal retentive
EJ wrote:If there is an error... the anal retentive will pay attention
EJ wrote:I get a giggle out of putting it to another anal retentive individual
EJ wrote:That's the problem with anal retentive individuals
EJ wrote:my appologies to the anal retentive
EJ wrote:The anal retentive have spoken
EJ wrote:I was going to spell it Canebreak but figured I'd double check with the anal retentive first
EJ wrote:I was wondering which anal retentive would pick up on it
EJ wrote:It's fun reading the judgemental... aka... anal retentive... posts
EJ wrote:I'm sure the anal retentive will correct the spelling
EJ wrote:the anal retentive... can just fo
EJ wrote:To you arrogant anal retentive mfs... go somewere else
You seem stuck on that phrase. Having a hard time letting it go? :roll:

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