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Archive for September, 2007

Mississippi

September 20th, 2007

Big shout out to my new friends in Tupelo. Last weekend was the Tri-State Sportsman’s Bonanza at the enormous Furniture Market there. I explained to local hunters and anglers that it is natural, when they find themselves in the field with a trusted weapon in their hands and a snake in front of them, to be significantly tempted to introduce projectile A into reptile B. Hopefully, most of them understood the logic behind leaving the ecosystem intact to support future game, and giving said reptile a break. If you have some of the food chain, you have all of the food chain – blasting holes in that always has unintended consequences. Mississippi is where all this began for me, having found my first snake in my great-grandmother’s back yard in Jackson when I was seven. Over the years I’ve made many trips there, and coincidentally there was a family reunion going on in Vicksburg during the same weekend. Mom saw Elvis sing with a band from Tupelo High at a sock hop she went to at her alma mater, Jackson High. He was a Junior at the time. I’ve been honored to return 5 times in the last seven years to the Market Street Festival in nearby Columbus, MS. Love that town. Actually, in Mississippi they tend to abbreviate it Miss on road signs, often with no period at the end. One very official looking sign you might encounter says Miss State Trooper, which sounds like a beauty pageant I do not want to see.

Museum of Nature and Science

September 11th, 2007

Finished doing ReptileFest at The Museum of Nature and Science yesterday. Love that audience. We were packed for all three shows Saturday and both shows Sunday. Kudos to the museum staff and volunteers who handled the crowd beautifully and got me out (450 lb display cage and all) in record time. A big thanks to everyone who came out. I was especially honored by a visit from friend and mentor Jim Dunlap, Curator of the Outdoor Learning Center in Plano on Saturday, and on Sunday by another friend – the outrageously talented Executive Chef of The French Room at The Adolphus, Jason Weaver and his two sons. Every dish his kitchen has ever produced for me has been a religious experience. He actually let me experience that kitchen firsthand recently. On a busy Saturday night, I was actually allowed to participate. I mostly helped out with prep for the Pantry Chef, but I helped Chef Weaver with the amuse (it was to die for) helped the Sous Chef cut up a huge halibut and some red snapper (my knife skills were almost up to the task – it’s apparently easier to fillet one side than the other) and helped make vegetable tarts and a dessert item whose name I can’t remember. It was utterly awesome. The staff of that restaurant are absolutely amazing. If you’ve never eaten there, splurge on yourself sometime and check it out. Tell ‘em the Snakeman sent you.

ReptileFest

September 6th, 2007

September 5, 2007
Well, thanks to my friend Eric in Hurst I now have two bullsnakes, and this one’s downright huge compared to the wild caught specimen I have been using for years in my show. They called him Lee, so I think I’ll call him General Lee. He’s a moose. Almost seven feet, as big around as my wrist, and solid muscle. Unlike his hissingly snooty counterpart, he’s a sweetheart too. Wouldn’t want to get between him and his next rat though. Meanwhile, Capone (the big Black and White Tegu from Argentina that we adopted in Mobile AL while we were there for the Gulf Coast Exploreum) is asleep under the bed. It’s winter in Argentina right now, and he thinks he’s hibernating. From time to time I’ll haul him out of his hiding place and put him in the yard, where he’ll roam a little and take some water and sometimes a bit of food, but all those fat reserves in his cheeks are there to get him through a long period of reduced metabolism so he doesn’t really have to eat. ReptileFest is coming up this weekend (at the Museum of Nature and Science in Fair Park, across I30 from downtown Dallas) and I’m spending today getting animals fed and deciding which ones will be display animals for the event, in addition to the usual cast for the performances. Outside the old Science Place auditorium, where I’ll be performing, is where my booth is set up between (and during) the shows, which will be at 11, 1 and 3 on Saturday; 1 and 3 on Sunday. Eric also gave me this outrageous display cage with a faux stone fascia and a statue of a huge gecko on top. If we can muscle it up the stairs it’ll be there too. Guess who the sponsor of the event is? Geico! Hope to see everyone there! http://natureandscience.org/calendar/upcoming_events.asp