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It has been wonderful to see increasing positive interest in snakes in the last half century. Much of this is due to the foundation set by earlier field herpetologists, including Roger Conant, Raymond Ditmars, Albert and Anna Wright, Henry Fitch, Howard Gloyd, Hobart Smith, Lawrence Klauber, Sherman Minton, Karl Kauffeld, Carl Gans, Coleman Goin, D. Humphrey Storer, Harold Babcock, Emmett Reid Dunn, J. A. Allen, and many others. Current field herpetologists, who have also contributed greatly to our collective knowledge of snakes, are numerous and many are officers, past and present, of the above named professional Herpetological Societies. Foremost among them are Harry Greene, F. Harvey Pough, Kurt Schwenk, Al Savitsky, Rulon Clark, William S. Brown, Steve Beaupre, José Rosada, Howard Reinert, and Rick Shine. These, and hundreds of other biologists have produced a myriad of both research papers and students who continue to broaden our understanding of snakes and other wildlife.

A lot of people, both local and distant, have been especially helpful to me learn about wild snakes over the years. Including several people just named, I also thank the late Bill Tompkins, Dave Stickle, T.J. Andrews, Wendell Dodge, Alvah Sanborn, Jim Whitbeck, and Dave Klingener. Many extant field biologists, students, conservationists, and naturalists have also been helpful in many ways; they include Dick Bartlett, Bob Zappalorti, Dick Petersen, Skip Lazell, Matt Goode, Bob Hansen, John Sealy, Kim Andrews, Willy Bemis, Earl Possardt, Marty Martin, Randy Stechert, Al Breisch, Rick Lafontaine, Jesse Jaycox, John Green, Al Richmond, John Corey, Sandy Oldershaw, Jésus Rivas, Chuck Smith, Dan Keyler, Barney Oldfield, Bill Byrne, Don (Desert Rat) Reid, Anne Stengle, Ed Neid, Robie Hubley, Jim Cavanagh, Andrew Magee, Chuck Annicelli, and others.

For this particular project, I’m indebted to Kim Seward who took the time to edit pages of drivel and pointed out more errors than I care to think about. I took her advice most of the time, but the final errors, omissions, and gaffs are entirely my own. Additional editing was suffered by Mike Hitchcock and much appreciated by me. He also collected the winter snake temperatures. Tony Gola also provided excellent comments, and further thanks to Bill Brown, Steve Tilley, Al Breisch, Matt Kelly, Thom Smith, and Rene Wendell for their suggestions on early drafts. Final drafts were improved thanks to comments by George Pisani and Doug Fraser. Geographic data for Western Massachusetts were provided by Lauren Gaherty and Mark Maloy of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (here). Thanks to Bruce Winn and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) for Web site space and help with publishing.

  © Tom Tyning 2013