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The Hobby:

I have a passion for breeding, keeping, and finding snakes that can only be understood by other serious herpers.  My wife and kids claim I am obsessed; I cannot argue with them.  I love all aspects of keeping and breeding snakes.  The silly thing is that I have a facility full of snakes and their many babies, yet I still go hiking or driving at night for hours to find snakes in the wild.  There are definitely multiple aspects of the herp hobby, breeding snakes (herpetoculture), finding them in wild places, and teaching anybody that will listen all I know about them.  I have a mission that includes fighting the unnatural fear of snakes (ophidiophobia) and the many misconceptions that people have about snakes.  There is no way I will ever stop loving snakes.  I am and will always be a snake lover. 

Here is a list of most of my projects:

Woma Pythons, Aspidites ramsayi

Boa Constrictors, Caulker Cay and Tarahumara Mountain Boas

Kenyan Sand Boas, Gongylophis colubrinus (albino, anerytheristic, high orange, and normal) 

Rosy Boas, Lichanura trivirgata (Many localities of Arizona, California, and Mexico) 

Western Hognoses, Heterodon nasicus nasicus (Normal and Albino)

Tarahumara Mountain Kingsnakes, Lampropeltis pyromelana knoblocki

Desert Kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getulus splendida

California Kingsnakes, Lampropeltis getulus californiae

My two favorites are rosy boas, and dwarf boa constrictors. Feel free to check out some of my snakes in my photo gallery.

About Stephen:

Hey, lets get the kids a snake, yep that is how it all got started. Stephen wanted to get our daughter a snake as a pet.  I said no immediately because I was raised to fear all snakes no matter how harmless. But after Stephen talked me into it over several days, I finally gave in, but I still had my reservations. Our first snake was a sweet female sand boa and I really thought that she would be our last, yeah right, if only I had known. I slowly came around to appreciate and dare I say love snakes myself, but if not for Stephen and his intense appreciation for the creature I would have never come to this point. 

As a family we count down until the spring, herp time! We pack up the kids during spring and summer season and go looking for what may be happening to cross the road in the desert. Stephen is like a kid in a candy store, he can not get enough herping. In fact, I recall many night trips where my kids and I were all asleep but Stephen, who didn't want to stop just yet, is scanning the road surface for serpents well past 2:00 am. He also loves to go lantern hunting to see what he can come upon, and even if he comes across something he has seen a million times like a sidewinder, he is just as enthusiastic as ever. Stephen and I have even been known to have a date night end up as a herping date night, now that is love for the snakes on his part and love for your husband on my part.

He has an appreciation that is contagious and you just can't help but be pulled into it. Stephen is obsessed; and that is not being dramatic, this man eats, breaths and sleeps reptiles. His mom told me that this obsession was nothing new; she said he would spend the entire day of his summers as a kid looking for whatever snakes he could find. He grew up in the San Bernardino Mountains of Southern California where there was no shortage of snakes, lizards and frogs to catch and observe. I love to see the excitement with which Stephen cares for his captive bred collection. He is devoted to giving them the best care, daily spending time holding his snakes and caring for them.

Shalee Richardson