Friday, April 28, 2017

#142 - FIRST (last?) POST OF 2017

I hope the new year is treating you well. This blog sort of ran its course with my complete retirement from exotic animal breeding and sales. My only tie to arachnoculture is as Editor of the Journal of the British Tarantula Society. My final ties to herpetoculture ended when my last run of my Spider Shoppe began. I traded my carpet pythons and geckos and huge tarantula breeding operation in Seattle area for one last gasp of tarantula breeding when I returned to Illinois in 2013. Of course, the reason I am, now in 2017, living entirely on the road is to continue my interest in reptiles and arachnids as a naturalist, writer and photographer. 40+ years of cages is enough. I don't even like temporarily detaining creatures I find.

Just thought I'd drop a line here to tell you that my blogging does continue. I've already posted 53 times this year at my new PIKEY blog. I don't rant much. It is a travelogue to my 2017 adventures in the United States. January and March I largely in Florida. February was Kuching, Borneo and Langkawi Island, Malaysia. April has been Texas. I write this from the far west mountains around Alpine, TX. Next week I will be meeting arachnologist Brent Hendrixson, Ph.D. and three of his honor students from Mississippi's Milsaps College to chase some scorpions in the Catalinas.

Hopefully some of you have been catching the new blog, but I invite the rest of you to check it out. I thank everyone who checks out my @jacobipix Instagram feed. I have well over 100 new wildlife images captured this year posted. Last night I posted fourteen more to include scorpions, snakes and lizards from Boquillas Canyon and other areas of Big Bend National Park. I observed the psammophilous (sand-dwelling) endemic scorpion Parauroctonus boquillas and that was a highlight. The big, hairy spiders are represented by Aphonopelma moderatum from Webb County, TX and A. hentzi from Brewster County. True spiders range from Macracantha cancriformis to Argiope argentite to a beautiful Phiddipus sp. (poss. arizonensis) from Seminole Canyon. Snakes? Mojave Rattlesnake, Red Racer/Western Coachwhip and, from Borneo, Tropidolaemus waglerifrom Bako National Park, Sarawak. There's loads more and croc lovers will see American Crocodiles and gators from Everglades National Park and a Texas gator. I've been doing a lot of bird photography this year and have some treasured shots from Malaysia, Florida and Texas. A hornbill image from Langkawi and a Golden-fronted Woodpecker from Big Bend are personal favorites as are the ospreys of the everglades. Mammals, birds, reptiles, arachnids ... just check out the pix. When I get more time I will be updating my SmugMug fine photo galleries with higher resolution files that may even be purchased.

I don't feel like telling anyone to "kiss my big hairy spider" any more. I'm living the dream and off the grid. I hope you'll instead consider checking out my tales from the road in the new blog. I'll leave you with this image of me horseback on the other side of the Rio Grande in Boquillas del Carmen, México. — Cheers, MJ

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