I can't even tell you how many hours I logged down in that swamp and in the woods surrounding it as I grew up. Even now when I go home to visit my parents, I am compelled to visit the swamp too. Sadly, much of the swamp has now been filled in to make room for more housing. At about half the size it was when I was a child, I hope the swamp still brings joy to the neighborhood kids.
So, thank you dad. You instilled in me both independence and curiosity. Those qualities have led me to a lifetime of happy herp keeping.