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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tell Hicks Herpetologist extrordinary.

                                                                                                    Lace Monitor
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We had an excellent talk and presentation on Thursday on the fascinating subject of research and  field studies for the identification of rattlesnakes. Tell Hicks was the speaker who has a life time spent studying these beautiful creatures and painting them in oils. The Lace Monitor above shows the range of Tell's work..

Although Tell started his interest in snakes when he was a teenager in England he soon left home and started travelling round the world trying to learn all he could about his chosen subject. He started finding snakes in the most isolated places much of the time in the USA. Without any formal art training he was soon producing a range of fine and very detailed oil paintings of the numerous sub species of Rattlesnake.His paintings have been awarded professional recognition in recent years and are much in demand.

In an hours talk he could only touch on the subject but nevertheless the trials and tribulations of herping were very amusingly brought to life. He brought with him prints from his extensive range of work normally undertaken on commission together with caps and tee shirts all sporting his designs. It became clear that observing and studying wildlife is the same the world over and requires a lot of patience and field knowledge. Tell's work  has taken him to the dramatic Grand Canyon as well as our local  Quantocks in Somerset
He has a web site where you can see much more of his work.  Click here

Included on his home page is a well known US citizen who wished to acquire a tattoo based on Tells work. In the talk I had to clarify that the gentleman was not in fact Tell himself despite a slight resemblance.
He did end his presentation with a slide showing a beautiful English Adder which he agreed was as striking as any overseas rattlesnake.

Tell has given many talks to us in the Wildlife Trust in Somerset and elsewhere in the UK and spends a fair time in the USA so we were very pleased to get the chance to meet with him again.

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