Episode 95: Massasaugas with Dr. Mike Dreslik

Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Ninety Five!  And while we’re at it, I hope you all remain safe and healthy out there.

SMP Patrons! I want to thank a couple of new Patreoners! – Derek Gillespie and Paul Duren, thank you both so much for supporting the show!  Much appreciated!  And as always, I am grateful to all the show’s patrons who help to keep the show moving forward. And if you’re out there listening and you would like to kick in a few bucks, it’s easy to do, you simply go to the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can support the show for as little as three bucks a month – less than a fancy cup of coffee! You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

Well, if you’re a fan of the longer episodes then you are in luck – this one was a bit of a challenge, with 13 individual recordings to stitch together, and all recorded in the field to boot.  In late March I spent a long day in the field with Dr. Michael Dreslik, or Drez as folks call him, and his field team, doing field surveys for Massasaugas here in my home state of Illinois.  Mike has been studying saugas for a quarter century now, and it seemed like a good time to check in with him.

Lots of parts to this episode – there’s an interview with Mike to start off, and then we go out in the field to look for massasaugas.  I also talked briefly with everyone on Drez’s survey team, and these little vignettes are scattered throughout the episode.  I briefly touch base with Mike near the end, and then the last is a chat with Xander Perelman,  who is Mike’s PhD candidate, where we talk about some of the other interesting projects that he is working on with saugas and pygmy rattlers, as part of his PhD work.  Oh yeah and Xander provides a lot of narrative during the field recordings, doing a lot of explaining, and I thank him for that.

I want to thank Dr. Michael Dreslik for talking with me and letting me hang out and help look for those hard-to-spot massasaugas.  Let’s not forget all of the folks on the survey team – Emily Ash, Matt Parry, Joey Cannizzaro, Nick Dunham, Tony Easton, Claire Dietrich, and Xander Perelman.

Thanks for listening everyone! And as always, please keep the comments and suggestions coming, and please take time to rate the show on your podcast platform! The show email is somuchpingle@gmail.com, and there’s also a So Much Pingle group on Facebook, for discussion, comments, feedback, suggestions, herp confessions, tips for herping better, etc.