Courting the Wild

Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians Edited

by Jamie K. Reaser

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Praise for Courting the Wild

Ever since that infa­mous episode in The Garden of Eden, we humans have des­per­ately needed to heal our rela­tion­ship with the scaly and slip­pery ones. Unfairly dis­en­fran­chised from our good­will for thou­sands of years, “herps” deserve to be loved for what they really are: fas­ci­nating, life- giving, and the only crea­tures with per­petual smiles.

—Susan Chernak McElroy, author of Animals as Teachers and Healers

Courting the Wild: Love Affairs with Reptiles and Amphibians is a must read! This riv­eting book pro­vides a unique glimpse into the fas­ci­nating world of rep­tiles, amphib­ians, and the people who love them. Finally, there is some good PR for herps, as well as proof that I’m not insane or alone in my desire to kiss a snake.

—Donald Schultz, conservationist, explorer, and filmmaker

This won­derful col­lec­tion of essays offers a glimpse into the spe­cial world of rep­tiles, and the spell they cast on those who have devoted their lives to their study. If you love nature, whether or not you’re “into” rep­tiles, you’ll find much to enjoy, and you just may come away with a new­found appre­ci­a­tion and respect for these fas­ci­nating, often beau­tiful and fre­quently mis­un­der­stood crea­tures.

—Russ Case, editor of Reptiles Magazine and ReptileChannel .com

How does it happen that ordi­nary, well bal­anced, people end up ded­i­cating their lives to snakes?  This book by Reaser and her col­leagues answers this ques­tion, not only for snakes, but for tur­tles and lizards, and frogs and toads and sala­man­ders, too. Enjoy these sto­ries.  If you are young (or young at heart), there may be an epiphany awaiting you. If “herps” have long since been your pas­sion, let these tales take you back to those early for­ma­tive days, when every­thing that has hap­pened since first began.

—Michael J.  Lannoo, Ph.D, professor at Indiana University School of Medicine and editor ofAmphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species

This is a book you can only read until sun­down, at which time you will be inspired to visit the amphib­ians and rep­tiles in your own neigh­bor­hood. The sto­ries con­tained herein will rekindle mem­o­ries of your own first con­nec­tion to nature, making you want to relive that moment and moti­vating you to help pro­tect these amazing ani­mals and their wild habi­tats.

—Shelly Grow, conservation biologist, Association of Zoos and Aquariums


Jamie K. Reaser

Jamie K. Reaser


Jamie K. Reaser has a deep fondness for the wild, intimate, and unnameable. She received a BS in Field Biology, with a minor in Studio Art, from the College of William and Mary and her doctorate in Biology from Stanford University. She has worked around the world as a biologist, international policy negotiator, environmental educator, and wilderness rites- of- passage guide. She is also a practitioner and teacher of eco- psychology, nature- based spirituality, and various approaches to expanding human consciousness, as well as a poet, writer, artist, and homesteader- in- progress. Jamie has a passion for bringing people into their hearts, inspiring the heartbeat of community, and, ultimately, empowering people to live with a heart-felt dedication to Mother Earth. Her writing explores themes at the interface of Nature and human nature. She is the editor of the Courting the Wild Series, as well as the author of Huntley Meadows: A Naturalist’s Journal in Verse, Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out, Sacred Reciprocity: Courting the Beloved in Everyday Life, Wild Life: New and Selected Poems, and Winter: Reflections by Snowlight. Jamie is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers. She makes her home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.