Sit back in your favorite chair and embark upon a journey with me, a journey that will take us from the Pecos to the Colorado, and beyond; from the depths of Death Valley to the towering peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental; from Big Bend to Baja. For this is my story, a story of travel and adventure; whether it be witnessing the incredible bravery of a mother hawk defending her nest in a fight to the finish against a hungry Great-horned owl, an encounter with an enraged female Black bear defending her cubs against the indiscretions of a human intruder or, perhaps, listening to the melodious call of a red-winged blackbird defiantly proclaiming its territorial legacy. We will encounter many marvelous creatures along the way: a snake that "walks" across the hot desert sands, another so deadly that its venom is reported to kill a human in twenty minutes, a lizard that "barks" like a dog and another that actually runs a fever when it is ill. And, finally, a species of lizard in which there are no males, only females. These creatures and many more will be met within these pages, and hopefully they will become your friends as they have become mine. Michael A. Williamson was educated at the University of New Mexico. He is a former high school science teacher and was the first curator of birds and reptiles at the Rio Grande Zoological Park at Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a former Professional Fellow Member of the AAZPA and a co-founder of the New Mexico Herpetological Society. He has authored numerous publications in the field of vertebrate zoology, including a guide to the reptiles and amphibians of New Mexico (also published by Sunstone Press). He has edited two newsletters and reviewed an article on gila monsters for National Geographic Magazine. He also served two terms as a delegate to the New Mexico Conservation Coordinating Council. He is married and has two daughters.