Category Archives: Episode Post

Episode 70: Panel Talk with Some Illinois Bois



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Seventy!  It’s nearly October and I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there. It’s good to be talking with you all again after a bit of a gap – I had a lot on my plate for the past few weeks.  You’re probably thinking that an old retired guy ought to have plenty of free time, and usually that is true enough.  But I recently started doing some half-time consulting work for my old department at the university, and I’ll be working there for just a few months or so.  A temporary thing, I have no desire to rekindle a career.  So thanks for your patience while I worked all of that out and got started.

As always, a big thank you to all of the show’s supporters – there are costs associated with running any entertainment channel and I am grateful to all of you for keeping this little boat afloat.  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).

Here we go with another panel discussion show!  I haven’t done one in a while, and I came up with the notion of getting a group together to talk about herping in my home state.  Jeremy Schumacher and Justin Michels return to the microphone for this, and I’m happy that Joey Cavataio agreed to join us, so we’ve got representation from the north, south, east, and west corners of the state.

Thanks Jeremy, Justin and Joey – it was fun chatting with the three of you.  And 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, dolomite prairies near you, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 69: The Guest Host – Host Guest Episode



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Nine!  And for the first time, we have a guest host, Josh Holbrook, who graciously agreed to turn things around and ask me some questions.  Since I started the podcast, I have received many requests along the lines of “I wanna hear someone interview YOU!”.  I figured I would just keep putting this off but okay, here it is!  Like most people I’m not entirely comfortable talking about myself but Josh made things easy and we rolled along for almost two hours.  This interview was conducted in June of 2022 at the Santa Cruz field station near Iquitos, Peru.

As always, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons – there are costs associated with running any entertainment channel and I am grateful to all of you for keeping this little boat afloat.  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).

Thanks again Josh, for the great interview!

And 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.

Cheers! Mike

 


Episode 68: Herp Science Sunday with Dr. Alex Krohn and Coen Hird



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Eight!  Here we are in mid-August and I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there. I’ve been working on re-siding and painting my garage all week, and it feels good to scrub the paint from my hands and strap into the podcasting chair for a bit.

Now before we get to the show notes portion of the show notes, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons, including our newest Patreon supporters, Wes Redridge, and Lawrence Erickson!  Thank you so much, Wes and Lawrence!  And as always, a big thank you to all of the show’s supporters – there are costs associated with running any entertainment channel and I am grateful to all of you for keeping this little boat afloat.  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).

Excellent photo courtesy of Ben Revell.

Episode 68 happens to be another installment of Herp Science Sunday with my pal Dr. Alex Krohn and features Coen Hird, a doctoral candidate from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. This episode came about because Alex saw a tweet from Coen about a paper that he co-authored, concerning a certain species of pobblebonk, in this case the Northern Banjo Frog, Limnodynastes terrareginae.  Love that name, pobblebonk, and there are more than one species of frogs under the pobblebonk umbrella.  So anyway, Alex pings me right away about this paper as a great candidate for Herp Science Sunday, and Coen was keen to come on the show, so here we are.  The title of the paper is:

“The role of environmental calcium in the extreme acid tolerance of northern banjo frog (Limnodynastes terraereginae) larvae”

I’ve added a link so that you can click on the title and get access. And as always, you can drop me a note and I will send you a PDF copy of the paper.

Also – the teaser at the beginning of the show is a short clip of some pobblebonks calling, and the clip comes from some recordings I purchased from a company called Wild Ambience. Long story short, I got 45 minutes of pobblebonks and cool birds and other nature sounds for about 8 bucks U.S.  So THIS is an unsolicited and yet much deserved plug from me – check out wildambience and maybe you’ll hear something you like.

Thank you Alex and Coen!  That was a fun show.  And 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.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 67: Release the Benders!



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Seven!  It’s the end of July and I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there.

As always, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.  To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can support the show for as little as three buck 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).

Many of you have heard my interview with Nick Burgmeier about his work with hellbenders in Indiana.  That was Episode 8, way back in season 1, and I didn’t just pull Nick’s name out of a hat for that interview.  I had the privilege of helping out with hellbender surveys as far back as 2007, with my buddies Don Becker and Greg Stephens, and little did I know that all of that preliminary work would lead to the current hellbender raise-and-release project going on in Indiana.  And to provide just a bit more detail, these are young adult hellbenders that are being released, they are raised from eggs collected in the wild in Kentucky and Ohio.  This is necessary because Indiana hellbenders are in trouble – the state has a small population of adult hellbenders and if there are any eggs being produced, they haven’t been located.   Thankfully these days there’s a lot of cooperation between various agencies in states with hellbenders, so there’s a lot of dedicated work to keep these awesome creatures in as many rivers as possible.

This show was recorded in the field and since I knew we would be spending time in the water, I didn’t use my standard field rig.  I captured everything on my Zoom HN4 recorder, which is my backup recorder these days.  I used the unit’s built-in omni-directional microphone and so I captured everything – water noises, buckets, lots of banter and yakking, and sometimes multiple conversations happening in parallel.  But I was able to record the event as it happened, and there’s a lot of running commentary from Nick and others that help to set the scene, and all of the banter – well, that’s just a lot of happy people taking part in a joyous event.

Acknowledgements:  First of all, special thanks to my friend Nick Burgmeier – Project coordinator and all-around good guy, and Marci Skelton, Nature Nick’s spouse and his number one fan. Shelby Roberts – AKA Bender Baby Mama, thanks for all of your work and for talking with me. Summer Brown, Madison Phillips and Zach Truelock were on hand to make sure everything went smoothly, and let’s not forget Thomas Coggeshall, holding down the fort back at the lab. I want to also thank Jarrett Manek for transporting us around and for the great behind the scenes tour at O’Bannon Woods. Other witnesses for this event include Don Becker, Greg Stephens, Justin Michels, Jeff and May Faircloth, John Burris and Jeremiah Jonothan.  It was great to be there with you all.

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, pet names for Hellbenders, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike

 


Episode 66: Herp Adventures in China with Kevin Messenger



Photo by Kevin Messenger.

Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Six!  It’s good to be back in the studio, and I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there.  It’s mid-summer here at SMP world headquarters and I’m back after a week off to get some work done around the house.

As always, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.  To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can support the show for as little as three buck 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).

This week it’s my great pleasure to talk with Dr. Kevin Messenger.  Kevin is a professor at Nanjing Forestry University in China.  I’ve known Kevin for a number of years and we’ve spent some time in the field, and he and his dad came down to Peru on one of our tours a few years ago.  Anyone involved with field herping for a while is familiar with Kevin’s China posts on the old Field Herp Forum.  Of course, we talk about those posts, but Kevin has more awesome cards up his sleeve, including his discovery of multiple new herp species in China, and his book on the rat snakes of China.  I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did, and here are some important links to Kevin’s work (and play):

Kevin’s post on Field Herp Forum – “A New Species of Kurixalus Treefrog!”

A link to the paper in which Kevin and his colleagues describe the new Kurixalus treefrog

Another paper we discussed where Kevin and colleagues describe a new species of Megophrys

Kevin’s list of publications on ResearchGate

Let’s not forget about Kevin’s new book, “The Asian Ratsnakes and Kin of Greater China”.  You can find the softbound copy on Amazon.com, or go to Lulu.com if you prefer a hardbound edition.  I’m a big fan of this book and I hope you enjoy it as much as i do.

One more thing – you can search Kevin’s name on YouTube and find his channel, which includes the “Baby Monkeys Playing in China” video (currently with 55m views).

Thanks for coming on the show, Kevin!  It was good to talk with you again.  And 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, frog call recording, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 65: Snakes are Long with Dr. Andrew Durso



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Five!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there.  I’m back in the booth after a couple of weeks in Peru and it’s great to talk with you all again.

As always, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.  To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can support the show for as little as three buck 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).

I also want to mention that my buddy Bryan Hughes and I were recent guests on the Arizona Wildlife Federation podcast, which is hosted by my long-time friend, Michael Cravens.  And of course Bryan has been on my show a number of times and I did an episode with Michael back in season one.  At any rate, Michael had us on to discuss field herping, as a recreational activity and as a recreational activity in Arizona, and it is Episode 12.  It was a lot of fun and thanks Michael for inviting me to participate.  If you’re living out there and you’re partaking of the tremendous natural wonderland that is Arizona, well you should be listening to the Arizona Wildlife Federation podcast.  Michael does a great job with the show and it’s off to a great start.  Check it out!

My guest this week is Dr. Andrew Durso, he is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology at Florida Gulf Coast University, and it’s been my privilege to know him for more than a decade and we’ve worked on a few projects together and I hope that continues.  Andrew describes himself as an ecologist but as you’ll hear from our conversation, he’s involved in other projects outside the focus of ecology, so I will just call him a scientist with a capital S.  Andrew is also the author of the fantastic Life is Short, but Snakes are Long blog, which we cover as well.  We also discuss one scientific paper in particular, “Harnessing the Power of a Global Network of Citizen Herpetologists by Improving Citizen Science Databases“, which can be downloaded from Dr. Durso’s list of publications.

Thanks so much for coming on the show Andrew!  It was great to chat with you and I look forward to our next meeting.

And 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, blind snake capture techniques, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 64: A European Odyssey Examined



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Four!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there as we roll into June. First up I want to give a shoutout to the Minnesota Herpetological Society for inviting me to speak at their first in-person meeting since pre-Covid.  I made a rocket run up to Minneapolis St. Paul on Friday and back on Saturday, and I talked about The Field Herping Guide, the Pingleton/Holbrook collaboration project, and also, this show and how it got started.  It’s a great herp society and they once again made me feel welcome, so thanks again to all the folks in the MHS.

As always, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.   To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

HERPETOLOGY SUMMER CAMP!  Coming up this summer! Through their Compass Summer Experience program, Montreat College is hosting their annual Herpetology Summer Camp for high school students, from June 19th thru the 24th, with an option for an additional week thru July 1st.  The camp is hosted by Professor Josh Holbrook, and students will experience amphibians and reptiles through a blend of classroom and field sessions.  For more information and to register, see the Herpetology Summer Experience page.

This week’s show is a discussion of a recent field herping trip to Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia.  I set up a microphone in our AirBNB suite at the end of the trip, in order to get everyone’s impressions of the trip.  Special thanks to John Burris, Matt Cage, Bryan Hughes, Pat Kain, Chris MacDonald, Jeff Martineau, Erik McCormick, Anniek Tump, Gerrit Verspui, and Tim Warfel.

And 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, herping tips for the Acropolis, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike

 


Episode 63: Herp Science Sunday with Drs. Alex Krohn and Drew Davis



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Three!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there as we feature yet another Herp Science Sunday episode, which features aquatic turtles and drones – yay science!

As always, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.   To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

HERPETOLOGY SUMMER CAMP!  Coming up this summer! Through their Compass Summer Experience program, Montreat College is hosting their annual Herpetology Summer Camp for high school students, from June 19th thru the 24th, with an option for an additional week thru July 1st.  The camp is hosted by Professor Josh Holbrook, and students will experience amphibians and reptiles through a blend of classroom and field sessions.  For more information and to register, see the Herpetology Summer Experience page.

This Herp Science Sunday is a three-person conversation between me, Dr. Alex Krohn, and Dr. Drew Davis, a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.  Drew describes the details of a drone survey project along the Rio Grande drainage in south Texas, which looked for presence and numbers of the Rio Grande Cooter (Pseudemys gorzugi).  The results are published in a PLOS ONE research article entitled:

A drone-based survey for large, basking freshwater turtle species

and the authors are Amy P. Bogolin, Drew R. Davis, Richard J. Kline, and Abdullah F. Rahman. You can download the paper as a PDF from the link above, or you can contact me and I will email you a copy.

I enjoyed our conversation and was amazed at all of the logistical and bureaucratic hurdles that needed to be cleared to do this survey.  Dr. Davis is also the chief editor for the SSAR publication Herpetological Review, which we also discuss for a bit.  I should also mention that Drew is also researching the distribution and ecology of the threatened Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis) in south Texas.  Did I mention he’s very busy?

Thank you Drew for coming on the show, and thanks as always to Alex, who makes Herp Science Sunday possible. And 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, drone acrobatics exercises, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike

 


Episode 62: Origin Stories V with Tom, Greg, and Nick



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty Two!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there as we roll into Season Three!

First of all, I want to thank all of the patrons of the show – we would not be kicking off a third season without you and I appreciate your support.   To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

It is great to be back in the studio again after what seemed like a long time away.  If you’re on social media, chances are you already know I spent 21 days in Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia.  And about two hours in Italy.  But mostly Greece, which was amazing and I and I can’t wait to return there.  It was a big herping trip and my group did quite well over there, finding more than fifty species, and some of them iconic European herps. I have been reading about these species for the past half century, so it was pretty special to see some of them, like marginated tortoises, and four-lined rat snakes and green lacertas, along with European pond turtles, vipers and Aesculapian snakes.

But it’s good to be back home and I thank you all for your patience while I was away. A few final bits of housekeeping – as I mentioned earlier, I’ve got an AMA slash origin stories show featuring yours truly coming up this summer (and it’s the summer of 2022).  AMA means Ask Me Anything, so if you’ve got some questions for me, QUESTIONS THAT CAN BE READ ON A CLEAN-RATED SHOW, send ‘em in to somuchpingle at gmail dot com.  I’ve got some responses already and thank you folks for those.

HERPETOLOGY SUMMER CAMP!  Coming up this summer! Through their Compass Summer Experience program, Montreat College is hosting their annual Herpetology Summer Camp for high school students, from June 19th thru the 24th, with an option for an additional week thru July 1st.  The camp is hosted by Professor Josh Holbrook, and students will experience amphibians and reptiles through a blend of classroom and field sessions.  For more information and to register, see the Herpetology Summer Experience page.

For this show, we’re reaching back to some recordings I made in Peru last January.  We have Origin Stories from Tom Williams, Greg Stephens, and Nick Burgmeier. Tom is from the UK and I hadn’t met him in person before Peru, he’s a world traveler and a real ball of fire and I enjoyed spending some time in the field with him.  Greg and Nick are old friends of mine, and so I interviewed them together, as they are buddies with a lot of shared experiences.  As I’ve said before it’s a lot of fun when my friends come to Peru for the first time and I get to be there when their minds are blown, and I especially enjoyed having these two come down to the hot and sweaty rain forest.

Thanks Tom, Greg and Nick for coming on the show and sharing your experiences! And 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, getting mambas out of trees, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike


Episode 61: ARC and the Tangled Bank with JJ Apodaca



Hello everyone and welcome to Episode Sixty One!  I hope all of you remain safe and healthy out there as we slooooowly move into spring here in the northern hemisphere.  April has been more like March – cold and blustery, and I am quite ready to get on with spring.

Now before we get to the show notes portion of the show notes, I want to take a minute to thank all of the show’s patrons, including our newest Patreon supporter, Jason Folt. Thank you, Jason!  Alert listeners will remember Drs. Folt and Brandehoff from Episode 59.  And thanks as always to all of the folks who help keep the show going and to reach fifty-plus episodes!. To others in the listening audience, if you like the show, please consider supporting it via the So Much Pingle Patreon page. You can also support the show via one-time contributions via PayPal or Venmo (please contact me via email to somuchpingle@gmail.com).

Also, thanks to the folks who have responded to my request for weird/unusual/spooky stories from the field, and I still need a few more so if you’re sitting on something like that, please get in touch.  I recently had a nice chat with Rob Kreutzer, the one and only Smetlogik, about some crazy / creepy happenings.

I also want to give a shout-out to Patrick, Ian, and Spencer Connolly, winners of a recent trivia contest on Smetlogik’s YouTube channel, and listeners of this show.  Congrats guys!

Our guest for this episode is Dr. Joseph Apodaca, or JJ as he is commonly called.  He wears two very large hats – JJ is the founder and lead scientist of Tangled Bank Conservation, and he is also the Executive Director of the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy, or ARC.  That is a lot of work right there and I’m not sure when he sleeps, but I knew I wanted to talk with him about both Tangled Bank and ARC and we touch on some other interesting topics as well.  One of the things we touched on is salamander genomes, and JJ pointed me to an article about them in Scientific American – very interesting read and I hope you all enjoy. And thanks once again for coming on the show, JJ – it was so much fun!

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, snakes on an inclined plane, guesses as to the size of your own genome, tips for herping better, etc.

Cheers! Mike