Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 60

HOW TO LOVE A SNAKE . . .

BEAUTY IN THE DETAILS

A boyhood love of reptiles led ecotour company owner
Tal Galton to a lifelong exploration of nature.

By NANCY HENDERSON | Photos by TAL GALTON

G

ABOVE: Tal Galton is at ease with creatures.
TOP: Male blue ghost fireflies seek out females
in this time-lapse photo captured in Brevard,
North Carolina.

60

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

rowing up in the San Francisco
Bay Area, Tal Galton couldn't
get enough of the outdoors,
especially if snakes were involved. "Some people are
frightened by them, but I got a
little adrenaline rush from seeing them," says Galton, 45, who moved to
North Carolina 23 years ago and now operates Snakeroot Ecotours in Celo, a small
land trust community in the shadow of
the Black Mountains in the western part
of the state.
As a kid, Galton (his first name is pronounced "tall") wanted to be either a
baseball player or a herpetologist but ul-

timately majored in history at Haverford
College outside Philadelphia, where he
ran cross-country and track. He also spent
a year studying at the University of Sussex
in southern England, exploring Scotland
and Ireland, and connecting with cousins
he'd never met before.
"I was definitely a little disappointed
by the wilds of England and Europe," he
says. "Those places have been so densely
populated for so many years that they
don't really have the same kind of park
systems and wilderness areas and extensive forests that we still have."
After college, Galton set out on what
would become a lifelong, unorthodox


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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 5
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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