Photo: @melissalesh | First things first: sorry for the long silence. It’s been more than a month since I last shared a story on here. But I have a good reason: I’ve been at home and enjoying time with friends and family. If it weren’t for the support I receive from them - and from @eddiebauer - there is no way I’d be able to do what I do. Good, quality Time at home for me is key to restarting and seeing the world with New eyes. Today feels like the start of fall here in Virginia; woke up to a cool, crisp 65 degrees so I took the time to explore some trails along the James river here in Richmond...and to test out these iconic flannels from @eddiebauer which I’m sporting in this picture . It is Worth mentioning I also couldn’t do what I do without all of you, because there would be no one to share stories with and engage in global efforts to protect wild places. #liveyouradventure#whyihike@eddiebauer
Photo: @mohsinkazmitakespictures | I can’t remember the last time I shared a photo of myself. But since I’m running out of snake pictures I thought I would share this image as it gives me a chance to share with everyone how many people it takes to make the photos you see here and on @natgeo. I love this image, for sure, but what you don’t see is that @mohsinkazmitakespictures and @paulrosolie were walking in front of me through this swamp. Why you ask? Well I’ve had some bad reactions to bees and ants in the past and they both offered to go first in the event we stumbled upon either. Inevitably, we did and @mohsinkazmitakespictures got stung in the face like 5 or 6 Times. On another occasion @paulrosolie got attacked by ants, stung on his legs and abdomen. And Paul and a Mohsin are the two I can copy on Instagram: there are countless local people who know the forest , and whom without none of these images would be possible, truly, they make what I do a reality. At the end of the day all I really do is click the shutter at the right time. Many of you write to ask me what settings I use and what cameras I use and I guess what I’m trying to say is none of that matters. Focus instead on surrounding yourself with good people who give a damn and pictures will follow. @eddiebauer#liveyouradventure#truth#photography#amazon#rainforest#swamps#peru#scalesandskin#snakesofinstagram#anaconda
One of the great wonders of the world is the curiosity of kids. I wish so much I could remember what my mind felt like back then, when I was 6, 8, 10, even 12. The closest I can come is sharing what I love and know with others. In this case, it was extra special because my neighbors granddaughter had never met a wild snake before. Imagine what she is thinking in this moment. Even better imagine what she will now do as an adult when she inevitably encounters a snake: stop , give it distance , and marvel at the wonder of our natural world. She was in love with the snake! 🐍 My home state of Virginia @visitvirginia Never disappoints with wildlife _______________________________________________________A FINAL THANKS to all of you for putting up with the us humbugging you about the print sale. I’m excited to say it did well, which means @paulrosolie and I can continue an ENTIRE year of work with snakes. More important is knowing there are thousands who, like us, love and respect snakes. And equally exciting there are thousands more of you who are now beginning to see snakes differently! Wow, what a privilege this experiment has been. We are signing and shipping prints today tomorrow and Wednesday. AND because of many last minute requests the SALE IS OPEN FOR THE REMAINDER OF TODAY via link in bio. After that only larger limited edition prints will be available.
FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT: OUR PRINT SALE ENDS IN 6 HOURS. FOLLOW LINK IN MY PROFILE TO GET YOURS. LAST CHANCE. THANKS FOR TOLERATING US 🙏 __________________________________________________
Photo @tbfrost | Words by poet, friend, and snake charmer @paulrosolie __________________________________________________ Snakes posses a hypnotic and enchanting power in our minds and a singular place in human mythology; from the Garden of Eden, to the Rod of Asclepius, to the great creators of Amazonian Rivers. There is perhaps no other creature that inspires such universal fear and awe - or is so widely misunderstood. Advances in our understanding of animal intelligence continue to pour in – but are usually focused on animals to which we can easily relate – whales, cats, canines, and primates. This series seeks to explore a more mysterious corner of the ontological debate - moments of mutual trust between scales and skin, snakes and humans. In short: Though it is easy to forget from the climate controlled perch of a tall building - we are the children of ecosystems. Amidst the braided matrix of life that we at once worship and destroy are species that we depend on in ways that we are only just beginning grasp. While so much remains mysterious, this much we know is true: that a time when we are losing so much, the future of so many species are quite literally in our hands.
Given the chance this 9 foot female anaconda would have grown well past 15 feet long. Unfortunately, the swamp she called home was largely filled in with sand and soil so homes could be built. The people who moved into these homes brought chickens and goats and pigs and dogs. Her swamp home turned into a un-healthy non-functioning ecosystem and forced her to look for food elsewhere, which is why she came into the village and attempted to eat a chicken. She was killed before she got the chicken, her head split open three times by a machete (see second Photo). I understand people need to protect their livestock, for it is their livelihood, their food. I know the loss of a goat for example can be a major set back. But there has to be a better way. That is why @paulrosolie and I will be working over the next year to set up a pilot system where we reimburse locals who lose livestock to anacondas. They must prove the snake was UNHARMED and in many cases Peruvians who have worked with @paulrosolie for a decade will be on call to catch and relocate the snake away from humans. It might not work, but we have to try. By Purchasing a print from us you will help us continue this photo series and set up this pilot program to save anaconda lives. Think for a second about how many baby anacondas this snake would have produced had she not been killed. She was killed while we were eating dinner 10 minutes away. We could have helped. PRINT SALE ENDS TOMORROW NIGHT, LINK IN MY BIO TO PICK UP YOUR PRINT. As much gratitude as I have to give I’m sending to all of you.
This picture was made today. The snake is a northern water snake, and is commonly mistaken for the venomous cottonmouth or water moccasin. Because of this it is killed by humans on a regular basis. This stunning creature was, like most snakes, not happy about being caught. All it wanted to do was get away. We have the video to prove it had no interest in harming us. When @paulrosolie first picked it up It did try to bite him 4 Times...and then, as you probably know by now from our previous posts, it calmed within seconds and rested its head on the thumb of @paulrosolie, as you see here. Seems his thumb is quite the snake pillow. Anyways, For those of you who would prefer a print of a North American snake, one many of you have probably grown up with, I’ve just added this to the print sale. Only 3 days left. We are so very close to our goal. LINK in my BIO to purchase this as a signed 8x10 print on 11x14 archival paper.
There is nothing new or special about this photograph. It is the eye of a caiman, a species of crocodilian. Many photographers have this exact picture . Nonetheless I am sharing because I hope all of you will take time to get lost in the beauty, the lines, the intricacy. I also hope you take a second and think about the fact not so long all crocodilians were thought to be stupid and now we know that alligators for example have been documented using tools. In my mind the greatest frontier in exploration is that of the animal mind: what do they know that we don’t? AND THIS IMAGE HAS JUST BEEN ADDED FOR SALE AS A 8x10 SIGNED FINE ART PRINT. ORDER A COPY VIA THE LINK IN MY BIO. Only four more days of me bothering you about this , then it is back to regular programming, I promise. 🙏🙏🐍
This is what happens to most snakes when they encounter humans: they have their heads chopped off with shovels or hoes or in this case a machete. Growing up in Virginia I vividly remember neighbors cutting the heads off every snake they saw . In almost every case the insensitive idiots thought the snake was a copperhead (not that a copperhead deserves that fate either) but usually it was a rough brown water snake , which looks slightly similar, though not venomous, as harmless as your wheel chair bound grandmother. Sometimes they even killed a black rat snake or black racer, which is just silly because if people took the time to educate themselves they’d know black rat snakes eat copperheads. This culture of killing snakes doesn’t just exist in the United States, believe me, it is healthy and alive almost everywhere I’ve been, including Peru, where people typically kill any snake they see. In some cases, with anacondas anyways, they keep the dried heads in their homes as good luck charms. The dried head you see in the hands of @paulrosolie is one such head, taken with the belief it would bring good luck. Well, let me tell you, the guy who killed this snake and took the head has had no change in luck. This is the mission @paulrosolie and I are on: to deconstruct the myth snakes are evils and one by one convince people snakes are better off alive, for all involved. Moving forward , Paul and I will be personally reimbursing locals around Puerto Maldonado, Peru who lose a chicken or goat or whatever to anaconda. BUT, we won’t reimburse unless they have proof the anaconda wasn’t harmed and was allowed to go on its way, belly full. In cases where it makes sense the snakes will be relocated by locals we work with. YOUR SUPPORT of our print sale will not only help us continue our photography work and this series, it will help us do the above. 4 days left. Our goal is to sell 20 more prints, help us make that happen, if you can. FOLLOW LINK IN MY PROFILE TO SEE PRINTS. All my best wishes to each of you.
Anxious snake: “Hey, whatsssss going on out there?” Curious snake: “Not much, just a really annoying one-time flasssssh sale of photographic printssssss to help these two silly tree creaturessss continue taking picturesssss of snakessssss.” Anxious snake: “Oh yeah, Issss one of those sssstrange tree like creatures holding me in his handsss right now?” “He keepsssss asking me to possssse in hissss handsssss? Sssssstrange.” FIVE DAYS LEFT to get a signed 8x10 print on 11x14 fine art archival paper. Follow the link in my profile to check them out.
I learned something new today that I’d like to share with you. Many people have written to say they have a phobia of snakes, that even an image of a snake can cause them severe distress in the form of anxiety , panic, rapid heart rate, etc. Turns out there may be an explanation: some researchers have a theory that primate brains (that’s us) evolved in some of the ways they did (large visual Center , for example) because of our ancestors relationships with snakes. I won’t go into the details but know that the bottom line is your reaction is very likely a hard wired instinct. Watching other primates, like chimpanzees , scientists have observed them have similar shit fits when encountering a snake. They totally lose it! Now what I’m curious to know is why do some of us not have such a reaction? AND A FRIENDLY REMINDER, you have FIVE DAYS to PURCHASE a signed 8x10 print on 11x14 archival paper for $100. After this sale ends, prints this size will only be available for $200. Please consider helping us fund future work to deconstruct the myth that snakes are evil so the senseless slaughter of them can come to an end. All the gratitude in the world to each of you. #snakesofinstagram#snakes#snek#swampsnake#scalesandskin#amazon#peru#rainforest#reptilesofinstagram#colubrid#colubrids#colubridsofinstagram