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  Field Notes From
The Fragile World of Frogs

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From Author

Virginia Morell

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From Photographer

George Grall

In most cases these accounts are edited versions of a spoken interview. They have not been researched and may differ from the printed article.

Photographs by Stephen Richards (top) and Jesús López

image: Earth
In a Frog’s World

Field Notes From Photographer
George Grall
I’m a big-time snake hunter, and since I was a kid I dreamed about going to New Guinea to catch a green tree python. I missed out on the chance to catch one myself when I was in Papua, but I made up for it when I got carpet pythons, scrub pythons, and a couple of white-lipped snakes in Queensland, Australia.
The challenge in snake catching is that you have to be quick enough to apprehend one without being bitten. Some snakes are terribly poisonous. If you slip up, you could be dead. I get a thrill out of being able to capture something that can kill me. It’s a challenge. That’s why the Crocodile Hunter does it, and that’s why I do it.
I was out frogging one night in Panama when I walked straight into a low corrugated-metal roof and almost sliced off the end of my nose. I was looking down and walking too close to the cabin. My assistant, Jesús López, had to be my nurse and clean my nose up. It looked bad at first, and it left a scar. I had a perfect nose before that. I was staying in a lodge in the middle of a Peruvian cloud forest. When I got to my room, there was this big blob crawling on the outside of the door. It looked like something out of Star Trek. When I got a closer look, I realized it was a giant land snail. I thought that was so cool, so I picked it off and got it to come out. Its shell was about the size of a baseball, but outside the shell it flattened out to 10 or 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters). When I finally got it to stay out, I picked it up, draped it on my face, and let it continue its slow trek across my head (photo above).

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