February 2015 Featured Herper
This month we take a look at a young herper from Newnan, Georgia. There are many reasons Noah is a good candidate for the Featured Herper Highlight. Noah, although young, has shown that hard work, focused study, and determination can lead to positive results. Noah has already established himself as a positive influence among the herping community. Noah is a 17-year-old Herper who like many of us, has been herping since he was old enough to walk. He feels that the last 3 years he has really come to know what he is doing. He got into the photography side of things around the 3 year mark as well.
Noah has done most of his herping in his home state of Georgia. In 2015, He was able to visit Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Tennessee. When asked about his favorite place to Herp, Noah replies “Oooh, that’s a tough one”. He goes on to speak of the gorgeous habitat, awesome snakes, and his familiarity with the central Georgia Sandhills.
If Noah could go anywhere in the world to herp, he says he would likely go to Mexico/Central America or Australia. Mexico and Central America have amazing species all around so Noah wouldn’t be picky about where to go specifically. Noah would love to find some Australian elapids!
When asked about his most memorable find so far since becoming a herper, he says he can vividly remember most of his first finds of each species. He says that his most memorable species would be the Eastern Hognose. According to Noah, he really didn’t know what he was doing back then but he took the initiative to research them and put in the miles of hiking to finally find one stretched out. Noah feels his best find to date would likely be discovering a population of Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnakes in his home county. He found a road killed one back in 2013. This find lead Noah to set a goal in 2014 to find a live one. He was able to find 3 live specimen!
“There was a lot of luck involved in that ordeal, but I worked really hard for those snakes and was able to share those encounters with close friends as well.”
I did ask Noah about what herp he felt he understood the most about. I couldn’t help but respect and appreciate the response he gave me. I couldn’t do it justice without a direct quote from Noah.
“Every herp is a mystery still. Seemingly perfect conditions and habitat can line up and I’ll still strike out from time to time. To pick one I have really researched and learned the most about through experience, I’d have to say either hognose snakes or one of several species of salamander. But I’m young and in the big picture still inexperienced, so I guess I should also say that I have much to learn about them, and all herps really.”
I couldn’t help but sense a true humbleness about his response. Noah obviously knows his herps, understands their habits and their habitat, and knows where to find them yet, he claims to be inexperienced and really wanting and needing to know more. For those of you who plan to pick up this hobby, are just getting started in this hobby, are a veteran of this hobby, or even those who have turned this hobby into a career, there is a lot that can be said about Noah’s response to my question. He responded like a true scientist. This is one reason, among many, for Mr. Fields to be the February Featured Herper.
When asked about his goals, Noah also responds like a true herper. LOL! I should have just copy and pasted a list of herps found in North America. He has a list that includes; Pine snakes, Mud Salamanders, Tiger Salamanders, Rainbow snakes, more Lampropeltis and of course Hognoses and Pygmies. Sounds like a plan to me! I wish Noah the best of luck and I hope he finds every thing on his list!
Noah will be a senior in high school next year. He has plenty of time to figure out what he plans to do after school. He will start applying to colleges where he will be studying to become some form of field biologist. I have all ideas he will be a good one.
Noah is a member of the Orianne Society. Noah gives this organization credit for helping him establish connections and learn about field studies first hand while doing great conservation work for vulnerable species. If you would like to know more about the Orianne Society and their mission, Noah and I both would like to urge you to visit them on their website at www.OrianneSociety.org
For more from Noah Fields, visit his Instagram @noah_fields or visit his Facebook. Noah is also a member of the “HerpersGuide; Herping 2015!” team. You can watch Noah and the rest of us share our Herping Adventures by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.
HerpersGuide.com will be selecting one person each month in the year 2015 to feature on our site. If you know someone you think should be featured please let us know. Email Phillip at plaxton@HerpersGuide.com with a means of contact and the reason you think they should be featured.