Robert Muller Photography | "Why do you like (snakes/spiders/bugs/lizards/???) so much anyway?"

"Why do you like (snakes/spiders/bugs/lizards/???) so much anyway?"

October 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

When I'm photographing for myself, I spend the nicer parts of the year chasing down critters that a lot of people aren't comfortable with. I love getting a closeup of a spider, I've spent happy afternoons with praying mantids and staring down snakes, and my daughter and I scream when we see snakes - not from fear, but because we're geeked and are probably going to try to pick it up. 

One of my very part involvements is with a small group in Eldorado At Santa Fe (where I live) that was trained and volunteers to help capture and relocate snakes, including dangerous ones like rattlesnakes. (Well, to be accurate, rattlesnakes are really the only dangerous reptiles around here. In northern New Mexico, if the tail's pointy you're not dealing with something poisonous.) I've gone to peoples' homes to remove young prairie rattlers as well as peaceful bullsnakes and red racers, and I love it - I love helping people, I love the chance to get close to these wild and sometimes dangerous creatures, and I love occasionally getting some nice pictures as part of the package. It's a pleasure to learn more about the world around me even if it comes in little dribs and drabs...

When I post up-close shots of spiders or other insects for friends on Facebook, I get the normal "ewww, gross" comments you'd expect, but I also get a lot of unexpected interest and even compliments from people who wouldn't otherwise spend even a single second looking at stuff like this. Sometimes I get questions, and once someone's interested enough to learn a little bit about something they're actually a little scared of, they can end up being a little more comfortable. My wife hates snakes, but she's actually gotten comfortable enough to hold (very small) ones that my daughter comes across. I get not finding a huge spider photo 'beautiful,' but I love giving people an opportunity to take a closer look from the safety of a computer screen. Nature's big, weird, and almost always beautiful in its own way. 

One lady who I visited last summer on a rattlesnake call asked me and my friend Fleming who tagged along, "Why do you like snakes so much anyway?" I'd never really thought about it before, but the answer is - I don't, not really. Yes, I like reptiles and find them fascinating, but I don't especially like them to the exclusion of anything else. Mostly I just love life. I find it all interesting: bugs, spiders, snakes, lizards, bunnies, birds, chihuahuas, alpacas, flowers, trees, butterflies, bears, whatever. Cactii. 


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