The 2008 Love Christmas "Newsletter"

You made it!  We hoped you'd find clicking the link to our annual Christmas newsletter more convenient than tying your email up with a long download of huge picture files.

2008 seemed to fly right by, but it was a fun year as we managed to have many small trips.  Often they were linked to attending herp shows as vendors to combine the vacation portion into a tax-deductable business trip.  Sorry if it seems a bit boring because our lives still revolve around reptiles.  At least the pics are all from 2008 so you can enjoy how old, gray-haired, and fat we're getting.  Actually, we've both worked on eating healthier since last year and are lighter than at the beginning of the year.  Hopefully it shows a little from the first to last pics.  We plan on trying 'raw' diets in January '09 and will continue the effort to lighten up some.

The pics below are in more-or-less chronological order, with captions below each one.


January 2008 - Kathy and Bill at friends' son's birthday party.  Merrick (the curly-haired, blonde son of friends Chris & Nicole Lechowicz) was three years old here as Bill plays with one of his new toys and Kathy yaks on her cell.  He's one of our 'pseudograndkids'!


Bill photographing a rattlesnake in his studio when a visiting friend, Jerry Gingerich of Iowa, came by for a couple days for a photo shoot in the spring.


Kathy with Wispy, our 17-year-old Persian cat on her desk.  Wispy sleeps away most days now -- until the telephone rings!


March 2008: Bill and a group of friends and acquaintances from the region enjoying an afternoon of herping near Clewiston, Florida.


Our resident pond alligator went walk-a-bout this spring and hasn't been seen since, but there are still critters lurking about out there.  This yellow rat snake is exactly as I found it (and almost stepped on it) on the way out to feed the pond turtles one morning.


Bill helped on a river turtle project in southern Alabama.  Netting baby map turtles was the main job at the front of the motorboat.  Sometimes he was able to just grab them off their basking logs (see inset).


August 2008:  Kathy had lots of company (= 'help') during the National Reptile Breeders Expo in Daytona Beach, Florida in August.  L - R: Gino Sassani, Kathy, Chuck Ptitzel, Connie Hurley, and Ellen Sassani.


Bill with an adult canebrake rattlesnake found near the old building behind him in southern Georgia.


Kathy admiring a gorgeous panther chameleon found in Southwest Florida.  Someone caught it walking across a road and donated it to the Calusa Herp. Society.


Bill and friends found this big female Barbour's map turtle that had just laid her eggs in the turn-around at the end of a dirt road where it met the Apalachicola River in the Florida Panhandle.  We moved the eggs about 20 feet away where we thought they'd be safe.  Ha! - was that ever a miscalculation!  If you're curious, click this link (below) for the full account of that trip, with the bittersweet ending to the saga at the very bottom.  CLUE:  The inset shows the only survivor and a sibling that failed to hatch.


October 2009:  During late summer, we moved our baby snake-raising operation into the house - the 'carport room' to be exact.  The cat in the window is 'Monster', formerly Dasha's cat, but he sleeps with Kathy every night and is more ours. 


Bill is viewing a baby veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) sleeping on a blade of grass at night.  These African lizards now live in southwestern Florida in at least three distinct populations.  Bill is monitoring one group to learn more about their habits, follow their growth, etc.  The inset is what an adult male of the species looks like.


In October, we took a 2-week trip to Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois en route to a herp show in Chicago.  It started in Minneapolis where the Minnesota Herpetological Society invited Kathy to be the guest speaker on her best subject -- corn snakes.  She gave a flawless one-hour PowerPoint talk -- her first ever using that media method.  The inset shows her signing copies of her corn snake book at an area pet shop the next day.  We also visited friends and relatives along the way, and only delved from our diets the times that the ubiquitous Culver's Custard shops sucked us temporarily off course.


Bill found the adult copperhead he's holding inside the old carpet folds at his feet.  This was just north of Savannah, Georgia on a trip to a show in South Carolina in October.  Looking for and photographing wild herps is still Bill's favorite pasttime.


In November, one of Kathy's Amazon tree boas gave birth to 9 babies (see inset).  That's the mother of the babies trying to 'kiss' Kathy.  Don't worry - it missed!



Bill's mug adorned the Dec. 2008 issue of REPTILIA Magazine from Europe.  He has a new side business (from home) as a general photographer for the Southwest Florida area, with a new website to promote it...... .


Kathy & Bill at a friend's wedding in November 2008.


Dec. 21, 2008 --- the family gathering for Christmas at our house.  From left to right: Bill "Uncle Will" Love, Kathy "Aunt Kathy" Love, Mia Libbey, Bill "Uncle Bill" Libbey, Leonard Libbey, Joshua Libbey, Jason Libbey and shy dog Ruby below.

Happy Holidays !