The Calusa Herpetological Society
Of Southwest Florida

Thursday, July 7, 2005  - 7:00 pm

CHS Annual Animal & Photo Contest  

 These 2 contests are open to all members of the Calusa Herp. Society to show off your best herp pets & herp-oriented photography.  There is no charge to enter, and prizes will be awarded to the winners in each of the main categories in each contest.   In addition, “Best of Show” will be chosen among pets and photos. 

                    PET  CONTEST  RULES                                           PHOTO  CONTEST  RULES

Bring your live herp pets in tonight for this special ‘double feature’ meeting.  There is a limit of three pets per person. PLEASE bring a container for your pet so it can be on display in something that everyone can admire it in.  You may take it / them out for handling, of course, but you must bring something to put it / them in for those times when you need a break.  Your name should be on a label on each cage.

  The following 4 pet herp categories will be open for judging:



  The entire audience present will vote for the best pet in each of the 4 categories.  Some of the criteria that everyone should strongly consider in choosing the best herp is:

HEALTH – the animal should be in the peak of health, without scars, runny nose, cloudy eyes, full tail, not too fat, etc.

COLOR  &  PATTERN – how attractive that particular animal is compared to others of its species that you’ve seen.

  TAMENESS – the best pet should be calm-natured, NOT trying to squirm out of the holder’s hands constantly.  Naturally, it also should NOT scratch, tail-whip, bite, etc.

  Each pet owner will be asked to step up in front of the room and introduce themselves, tell us what kind of herp it is, tell a little about the animal (where it lives in the wild, what it eats, etc.), how long they’ve had it, and why they feel it’s a good pet.

  The audience will vote for its favorites about halfway through the meeting, after which, ribbons will be awarded to winners, and the winners and their pets will be photographed for the CHS website.

Photographs must be submitted in print form, preferably in the 8” x 10” (or up to 8” by 12”) size range, but no larger.   You may submit smaller snapshots, but keep in mind that you have a much better chance if your entries are as big as everyone else’s to compete fairly with them.   Only single images, unaltered by digital wizardry or other “tricks”, will be eligible.   You must be the one who took images to enter them.  Color and / or black & white images are acceptable.

  The following 3 herp categories will be open for judging:

  FLORIDA  HERPS --- The subject(s) must be native to Florida, or  an introduced species that lives and breeds here now.  They can be wild or captive, in any background setting. 

  BEHAVIOR --- The subject(s) must be exhibiting some form of behavior / action; in other words, doing something besides just sitting there and looking pretty.

  HERPS  &  HUMANS --- The subject(s) should be depicted in an obviously artificial (non ‘wild’) situation, such as around your home, or on & around manmade structures or areas.  This category includes pets, in their enclosures, being held by people, etc.

  We’ll also choose one  GRAND  PRIZE  WINNER  --- The best overall herp image –- the one that wows and impresses us the most --- gets the grand prize; no other criteria matters except that it is of a herp-oriented subject.  The 3 category, and Best of Show winning images will be displayed on the CHS website if you provide a digital copy to Bill Love at  after the contest.

Up to 5 images may be submitted in each of the 3 categories by each contestant for no charge.  This means that each contestant may enter up to 15 total pictures in the contest. 

The judging will take place on Thursday evening at the meeting by Bill Love (who will not compete in the contest) and at least two other club members.  Emphasis will be on the visual impact of the image (how memorable it is), the difficulty factor of obtaining it, the fascination and ‘unusualness’ of the subject shown, and the shot’s overall artistic appeal.   The difference in quality between what simple cameras versus fancy, expensive cameras & lenses can record will not weigh heavily against contestants.   It is photographic skill and creativity that counts here, not photo gadgetry.

You must label each of your pictures as to which of the 3 categories it is competing in.  Also put your name and telephone number on each entry on each photo, plus list what species is depicted, where it was photographed, and any other details of the shot that you wish to describe it.

 MEETING SITE : In Ft. Myers, Florida at the Calusa Nature Center , near Colonial Blvd. (S. R. 884) and Interstate 75. Get off I-75 at exit #136 (old exit #22) and go west (towards the coast) on 884 (Colonial Blvd.) for one-half mile, then turn right at the first traffic light onto Ortiz Ave., and then left into the Nature Center after only one-quarter mile. The Iona House meeting site is an older dark green house located to the left (as you enter the grounds) at the rear of the complex, back near where the school busses are parked.  The meeting opens at 7:00 pm, and the speaker usually starts no later than 7:15 pm.  Click HERE for a map to the meeting site.  After each meeting, all attendees are invited to join "the core" for an informal nightcap at RJ Gator's Restaurant / Sports Bar on Colonial Blvd. where we usually gather following meetings which end at 8:30 pm.

WHO'S INVITED ? You are! Anyone with an interest in any aspect of herpetology or herpetoculture is welcome to attend, learn, and exchange their experiences with our friendly membership. Come out to meet others who keep, breed or study reptiles and amphibians, and let them share their fascination with you. We average 35 – 70 people attending every meeting.

Cookies and cold soda, a nightly raffle of live herps, herp products, and books follow each speaker's talk, and lots of herp camaraderie, gossip, and fun can be counted upon at all meetings !

For more info , call (239) 728-2390 or (239) 481-3525 or  EMAIL:   

Home           General Meeting          Special Events          Calendar          Contact Us