Add Alabama to the Ranks!

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This cool little ground skink (Scincella laterals) was discovered sporting an interesting split tail.

This cool little ground skink (Scincella laterals) was discovered sporting an interesting split tail.

Up until this point, my entire portfolio has been shot handheld with the same ol’ two lenses; my 18-55 mm kit lens and a 55-250 mm zoom lens. Perhaps it was out of stubbornness that I figured “My photographs turn out just fine, why would I need more equipment?” But when I first stumbled across the Meet Your Neighbours project, I knew I had to be a part of it, and it’s such a pleasure to learn a few new techniques along the way. I bought a 100 mm F/2.8 macro lens specifically for the project, and it’s worked like a charm. After solving the amateur problem of making both of my flashes go off at the same time, I was ready to go.
After spending most of my life here, I feel honored to be able to document the biodiversity of my beloved Gulf Coast, in particular northwest Florida and southern Alabama, and Clay certainly chose the right redneck to do it. Alabama is the 5th most biodiverse state in the country (Florida isn’t far behind), and its diversity is missing from the Meet Your Neighbours repertoire. Besides, stomping through muck, catching critters, and fly-fishing have always come naturally to me. By partnering with a local environmental organization in the Bream Fishermen Association of northwest Florida, I’m able to contribute to a project that highlights native wildlife who only ask one thing of us; to be environmentally responsible neighbors.
I heard this ground skink (Scincella lateralis) rustling through some leaf litter in my backyard. I asked him politely if I could photograph him, and he obliged.
-by contributor Todd Amacker