August 28, 2015

Super Secret Side Project // First Look

I fell short on my promise of sharing this last month, and I didn't want August to go by without giving you a peek at the Super Secret Side Project that I had mentioned I was working on.  So here it is!
For anyone who isn't familiar with the term Herping, it's the act of seeking out reptile and amphibians.  I love all animals, but reptiles and amphibians are my absolute favorite.  I've been fascinated by them since early childhood.  Now that I'm geared up with a camera, I combine the two interests and seek out reptiles and amphibians to photograph (although this year has been the worst year for me so far as that goes).

The Girl's Guide to Herping is going to basically be a resource for women and girls interested in learning more about the hobby.  Earlier this year I was doing a bit of research and came across more than a few herping websites and began to browse through them.  Most of them (but not all), were primarily written by men, featured men in the posts, and seemed to be marketed to men in general.  I will admit that this hobby is dominated by dudes, but there are tons of girls out there who love it as well, and I immediately wanted to make something for them.  Here's a peek at what the site looks like right now as I'm putting it together:

As it's still a work in progress, and I don't plan on launching until February, there will be a few changes here and there and a lot more added in.  The Species Library has proven to be the largest section to tackle.  I'll be listing all North American species, with links to a photo and resource on each one.  While doing my research, that was the one problem I kept running into.  The herping sites I checked out either didn't have a species library, or it was incomplete.  I wanted to find something that had EVERYTHING listed, and the only thing I found for that was a published list from the Society of the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.  Once I get the Species Library set up, it's going to be pretty amazing :)

The guide will also feature "chapters" that will go over different aspects of herping such as safety, gear, tips, when and where to find certain types of animals, etc.  I'm still working on coming up with chapters so if you have any ideas let me know!

The shop section will have a variety of items including buttons and magnets that I press myself, fun printables, and a link to a Society6 shop that I'm planning in conjunction with this.

The blog is going to be a lot of fun too!  I'm planning on having tons of guest posts from other women and girls who want to share their photos and experiences.  I want it to be a fun, inviting, and engaging place for females in this hobby.

I'll periodically share my progress on the project, and I'm really excited to finally let you all in on what the secret side project is all about :)

Let me know if you have any ideas that you'd like to have included in the site if it's something you're interested in!    

August 26, 2015

Out Of My Comfort Zone // A New Adventure

As part of my new "do more" attitude (read about it HERE if you missed it), I'm gearing up to do something that I've been wanting to do for years, but have always been to shy/nervous/afraid to step out of my comfort zone and do it.  Roller Derby!!!

I've found a league in my area and they're starting their new level 1 Fresh Meat training program around the end of September.  Practice will be 2 hours long every Sunday for 12 weeks, and then I can move on to Level 2 training if I pass the test.  Even though doing something like this is wayyyy out of my comfort zone (strangers and team sports-OMG), I'm really excited to start this!  I've already invested in a new pair of derby skates, and I'm saving for all of the other equipment that I have to have before practice starts.

If you're unfamiliar with Roller Derby, here's a quick primer on the sport:

And here's a short documentary if you're interested in seeing some real derby action:

I know I've said it already...but I'm SO EXCITED about this!  I'll be posting updates here and there as I get my gear kit put together.  Once I start the Fresh Meat program I'll give weekly updates on my experiences, progress, and how it's going :)

August 24, 2015

At The Park // Black and White

For the first time in nearly a month-I took out my camera and made a trip to the park.  I think this may possibly have been the longest time I've gone without my camera for quite some time.  It felt so great to get out and explore with my camera...even though it was 100 degrees, ants were literally everywhere I stepped, and I left the park covered in sweat and dirt.  An abundance of ants = an abundance of Ant Lions (or doodle bugs as they're often called).  I love that they're little ant traps look like craters on the moon :)

So glad to be falling back into my photography routine.  Have a great week!

August 17, 2015

Time To Reflect

After what seems like an eternity of being away from Lady Serpentine, I'm happy to announce that I'm back!  These past few weeks have been a much needed time for me to reflect on life-the things I want to do as well as the things that I don't.  I took a step back from everything (I didn't even touch my camera this whole time) and just let myself have time to do nothing but think about things.  I feel like I was letting myself sink into a funk, but I'm beginning to feel much better :)

One thing that I came out of this "funk" with, is the want and need to DO more.  Over the past few years, I think I've let living get away from me.  There have been too many instances where I've thought about doing something, only to tell myself that I'll "start tomorrow" but I never actually do it.  I was flipping through my photo archives recently and came across some photo from when I used to be a beekeeper.

I used to work a job that allowed me to read...a LOT.  I was constantly checking out books from the library, and I remember checking out Beekeeping For Dummies and immediately deciding that I was going to take up beekeeping as a hobby.  I got online and ordered my bees as soon as I had the money, and was so excited when my buzzing package arrived in the mail.  The photos on the left side of the collage were from the day I installed them into their hive.  I was incredibly nervous, but I remembered everything I had studied about installing the bees, and I successfully got through it without any stings.  I ended up moving a couple of years later, and my beekeeping days came to an end.  Seeing those photos as I flipped through my archives made me consider the fact that I really miss it.  It's been such a long time since I spontaneously decided to take up a new hobby.  I miss that about myself too.

I've talked to my mom about setting up a couple of hives on her property since I can't have them where I live, and I can't wait to start beekeeping again.  It's going to be expensive to get back into since I no longer have any of my equipment.  I'm currently saving for a down payment on a new car, so I'll have to wait a bit before I pursue it, but I'm determined to get that part of my life back.

To keep myself accountable, I may start a new feature on hobbies I'd like to take up...sort of like a wishlist post of things I'll need to start and why I want to do it.  What do you think?    

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