Friday, February 26, 2010

Girls getting ready

So as much as I may complain about not having much action, now is the time of season where we actually see some females developing and getting ready to lay their eggs.

How does one tell if a female is getting ready, or if they are even gravid?

Lets try and touch on a few points.

A female that is getting ready to ovulate has a glow. This is called the "Glow before they go" so to speak, and a normal ball python will become lighter in coloration. This is when the female is ready to move the follicles down the oviduct into an area in the tract (similar to the uterus) that allows the follicles to develop into eggs.
Follicles are pre-eggs, like in human women and the ovaries.
Yes, we are going to get technical, cause I am a Biologist.
Boys, close your eyes if you don't wanna learn about girly stuff.

Human women have follicles as well, but they only release one at a time (usually).
The follicle travels down the fallopian tube and ripens in the uterus.

Now in snakes, its similar, but the follicles are released many at a time, and develop at the same speed. When fertilized, the female ovulates, and the follicles travel down into oviduct and ripen there.  Then the follicles are eggs, and are laid in two months for incubation and hatching in two months.

These two females are getting ready for ovulation, aka "building."
They are getting fatter and wider, and the ridge of the spine is becoming more pronounced. They should ovulate in the next few weeks.

And then we have the female that is bathing itself. She is also glowing. This is an indicator that she is also building, but tends to be in the earlier stages of it.

Problem is, bathing is also an indicator of dehydration or illness, to name a few, so make sure that you are on top of your husbandry before beginning breeding, as this is a huge strain on a female that is not 100% healthy.

So what, if anything, should you be taking from all of this?

ONE: Heather is plugging in her incubator today.
TWO: Pay close attention to any females you may be breeding, as they do exhibit signs of being gravid if you know what you are looking for.
THREE: Girly parts are fascinating!!!
FOUR: Have a great weekend, my friends. I will be touching on some of the requests that have been asked in the comment section next week, including Chipo and some egg information.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yes, it is breeding time, and I am getting to see more breeding attempts, and more locks from more animals now that we are close to the end of the actual season somewhat. I started in November (technically on my Birthday, October 29th, but its close enough), and now in February, I am seeing the most action in terms of breedings and pairings and some female development.

This is making me feel a little bit better about things, but I would prefer to see more.

Here are a few things I managed to catch on Camera.

My Pee-Oh-Gee (Pastel Orange Ghost) at an attempt at breeding with a Black Pastel female I produced in 2007.

Mister Gee the Genetic Stripe breeding with one of my Pastel females. Pastels het Genetic Stripe, here we come!

This is a project I was unsure about doing because the female was being a picky eater, but here it is... My own line of Het Red Axanthics (the original female) and the Pied.
Het Red Axanthic Pieds, here we come!

Normal female (one of my chunker females) with my Pastel Lesser male. He is a STUD and I am very glad to have him in rotations. I am hoping for more reduced Pastel Lessers from this pairing.
No alien heads, please!

And Gee again, a few days post pairing of the Pastel, making it with my proven Het Genetic Stripe female.
Here's to finally hatching out my female Genetic Stripes.

So, with all my bitching and complaining aside, things are looking up here in terms of pairings and breedings. I am even thinking about plugging in the incubator, but I think that may be a bit premature at this point, considering all the NOT action I have been seeing over the last few months. This is going to be a late hatching year for me, it seems. But all we can do it hope!

And maybe plug in the incubator, just in case...

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Adventure in the Life of Marty Cohen

We have not visted upon one of the mascots of the Heather's Herps family in a while.

Let us say hello again to Marty Cohen.

Marty Cohen lives in the snake room, next to the supply pens and issues.

He also lives several stories above some of the rodents. He tends to enjoy watching them. FREQUENTLY. He is a cat, after all. But don't worry, he can't get at them. They are safe... for now.

And cause all he does is wander around the snake room, he tends to lounge around, including on the scale. It's nice and cool, but he is getting a bit chubby... He used to way less before we took him in and gave him a home. What a spoiled kitty cat.

He does have a kinky side. He likes to watch his friend, Sterling, attempt to get it on... (Naughty Naughty Cat) Not sure why, but... hey, to each his own.

He also likes hanging out with the Ghosts...
She scares him a little, especially being deep in shed and being a bit dirty. BOOO!!!

He also likes hanging out with the spicy ladies... including this Cinnamon gal.
Ai-ai-ai! Que Caliente es!

They like each other alot.

But at the end of the day, after all of the hanging out and lounging around, Marty Cohen likes to cuddle back into his basket and go to sleep...

Go to sleep, Marty Cohen.

Until next time, my friends, we say goodbye to Marty Cohen. When will we encounter him again? We shall see...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Well, I have this... What should I do?

My friend Chad e-mailed me the other day and asked me about what he should get to fill out his collection of breeders.

He had cool things, including a Pied project, but he wanted a few more females.

His question to me was "What should I do?" (with more words than that, but I am summarizing).

Well... I told him to get some Pastel females, some het pied females, but mostly I told him:

You should do what you love.


That is a great mantra to have across the board in life...

Do what you love!

But in terms of snake breedings, work with the projects you love. Work with the animals that make you happy. Play with the colors that are your favorite.


Well, I heart Pieds. And I heart Axanthics, and I heart Crystals and I heart many other projects. There are some projects I heart less than others, but I heart them enough to play with them.

Yes, I have a lot of heart.


Anyway, I really do suggest starting out, if you are a newbie, with something the INSPIRES you.

Take my friend Jackie. She got a Pewter cause she wanted to make Super Pewters. Well, there you go, my friends! She is on her way, with bells on! She didn't get an Albino cause she wanted to make Super Pewters... She had her eye on the prize.

So with all that I am saying, just keep your eye out for the one morph that makes you excited to work with Ball Pythons. And if you need more inspiration, keep an eye out for what hatches out around the world. There is some CRAZY stuff popping out of eggs every year, and I have to say, I'm excited to see it.

Every year is something new, something different, something worth striving for. Reach for the stars, and hatch yourself out the next big thing!

(And while your at it, get a few other things to tide you over.. that's what I did)


Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Future future projects

Every day, I scan the forums for pictures of new things that I have been curious about. Morphs, combos, and new dinker animals are always shown off and shared on various websites, and I relish the opportunities to see the animals that people are proud of.

And to give me new ideas.

There are pairings that I never considered doing at all, but now am completely sold on producing.

A few examples include the Enchi Pied:

Yes, again with the imagination of melded imagery, but you understand. It is an amazing animal, and I am sorry I don't have any photos to share personally.

Another animal I want to make is the Silver Surfer, care of my friend Colin Weaver.

The Silver Surfer is the Hypo Super Pastel Black Pastel Lesser.... WHEW!!!

A few other animals that interest me that I don't work with are the Calicos as well as the Phantoms/Mystics. The more I see the combos that are out there and the people that are clever enough to think of these combinations, the more I try and figure out what I want to do in the future.

I have the intentions of working on a Spinner Snow, the Super Pastel Albino Pied, as well as the Super Pastel Clown Pied.

Those are just a few, and I know that most have yet to be done. So I hope to make the grade and make it happen!

And you out there in internet land, make it happen too! I'm sure you guys can think of some off the wall combo and make it happen.. and I will be cheering you on!

Have a great day, my friends.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Things that I am working on

Like all humans, there are things I am working on.

Things in my life, things at my job, things that I would like to make better...

But on top of all of that is what I am working on with my snakes. They are a great and important part of what I do day to day, so therefore, we will focus on them.

With all the breedings I am doing, these are a few of the babies I'm trying to produce.

This is not quite what I'm working on, but imagine them melded together to form the Pastel Pied... My Pastel het Pied male is dutifully doing his job to help me achieve my goal of getting some Pastel Pieds this year.

The Pastel Lesser is working his magic as well, and I expect to have Super Pastel Lessers, Pastel Lesser Spiders, Pastel Lessers and more. I'm debating about throwing him in with a Mojave, but we'll see what happens.

This is also one of those things that you need to imagine. Imagine the two Pewters melded together. I am really hoping for a Super Pewter this year. Maybe a few, but I'm trying not to be greedy.

There are a few other projects I'm hoping for, but I didn't take combo pictures. Maybe I'll do a few more for next week, eh?

I hope you enjoy your days, and work on your own things as well.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stripes and Stripes and more Stripes!

As the males take their breaks for the week, I reminisce on how much I enjoy Stripes.

Stripes are great.

Maybe not on an old fashioned Convict or an Umpire, but on a Zebra or a Tiger, they are great! And there are a few other places I like Stripes as well..

Here are a few!

Of course, the infamous Genetic Stripe.

Huh... I wonder what it is? Well... It's a Genetically Striped Ball Python! Can't get much more simple than that in terms of names, eh? No one was trying to be clever with this one. I don't think I know of anyone that messes up the name of this morph. It's rather intrinsic.

Recessive Stripey-ness is always fun.

And then we move on to the Co-dom.


Now in terms of this morph being named how it is, I have to say I don't quite get it. Its not a blatantly obvious name for the morph...

Yes, it has a stripe, but some don't... and those side pattern lines don't really scream Pinstripe to me, but I digress. Such is the nature of the beast.

And then there are those Stripes that just pop out of no where for no particular reason...

Like this Pied who has an almost solid stripe down to her Pied portion. How did she get it? I don't know. But I'm glad she has it! That's one of the reasons I got her!

And of course, the infamous Striped Pastel Lesser. I feel like I show this gal off too much sometimes, but in the spirit of the topic at hand, she fits.

So to sum it all up, I like Stripes. And I hope you liked them too!

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You Tube for Heather???

So, I did see an overwhelming demand for me to do videos of the snake stuff.

Let me explain some of the reason why I have yet to do it.

I am not sure what to do on video!

I don't know what to share in terms of what I have, and with my brain farts comes not too interesting videos.

I also admit I don't watch many You Tube videos of reptile breeders, but those that I have seen seem to be the same thing over and over again from different people.

How can I, Heather Wong, Ball Python breeder, make myself stand out compared to all the other You Tube Breeders out there?

Yes, I have different animals than some of the people out there, but overall, I don't have anything really original. I also don't think I have the face for video either. You notice I don't post me much in terms of photos? Yeah...

This is one of the main reasons why I have yet to delve into the world of You Tube.

So... I have reservations about what to do, and what to say, as well as not having the correct materials (camcorder/flip vid something) to actually make it happen.

I will attempt it, with all of your help as to what you want to see, but first I have to get a video recorder. That is the first step.

So, I am on track to making it happen, but give me a few weeks to get things set. Until then, give me ideas of what YOU, my friends out there in internet land, want to see!

I need your help!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sulfur Mojave Awesomeness

So yeah, I have a Sulfur Mojave, and I really really love her. I think the morph takes the Sulfur and the Mojave and combines it to make a really amazing combo that showcases both morphs excellently.

As you may well know, I like doing comparison shots with the morphs that make the animals I have.


Here is a Mojave, a Fire (which is similar to the Sulfur) and the Sulfur Mojave all in the same frame for you to enjoy!

And now the Sulfur Mojave with a bit of overflash, which doesn't show the yellows as well. I hope I can work with this morph more over the next few years, as I am almost sure that the Super Mojave Super Sulfur is close at hand to be done. I hope to see it and love it and make one myself!

So, I hope you guys see how awesome this combo is, and you guys appreciate it as much as I do!

Have a fantastic day, my friends!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love is in the Air on this New Years!

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the Year of the Tiger, and it will be a great one!

I got a lovely day with the Joel, and we plan to celebrate the Chinese New Year today, since Chinese New Years and Valentines Day fell on the same day.

And since I've had more time to check out more of the snake room (aka every hour with the camera impatiently...) I got more lock photos!

Here is the Pastel Lesser in with a Pastel female.

The Pastel het Pied with a Proven het Pied

Pee-Oh-Gee (Pastel Orange Ghost) with a Het Ghost

The Caramel with a Ghost (not quite there, but trying his hardest..)

Lemonblast to Spider

Sterling to Spider (he's a bit confused...)

And Pastel Yellowbelly to Normal

So, love is happening, but you notice my best friend Pastel Super Mojave is not involved? Yeah... He's still being prude.

Oh well.

Happy New Year, Have a great President's Day, and enjoy your loved ones, ALWAYS.
Valentines Day is great, but don't forget to appreciate the people you love all the time.

Have a great day, my friends!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Frustrations with the ONE

I think I have mentioned I have yet to see some males lock up at all...

And this one is the most frustrating of all.

Dearest Pastel Super Mojave...

I had many many plans for you, and yet your inaction have foiled them all.

Your beautiful blue eyes betray the fact that you are aware that you are messing with my head. You know what you are doing to me, and you enjoy it.

Enjoy my lament, as it will be my last on you, my friend. If you do not do your job now, you will do it later. It is only a matter of time. I am just not prepared to wait any longer.

You are aware of your foibles, and yet you flick your tongue at me, slither around like you own the place, and pick the nicest and most comfortable areas of the tub to relax in.

I will only ask you once more. Please enjoy and entertain your ability to reproduce. It would be most helpful.

Thank you.

Have a wonderful day, my friends.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Up and coming babies

Again, another day without breeding photos, which means that there is not much action going on at Heather's Herps. I am working on a few new pairings of males that seem to not be interested in any other females with new females.

But since I have the few guaranteed males doing business, I have to say I will have plenty of Pewters...

Which is great! I love Pewters!

And I was hoping to prove out a few yet to be proven Het Ghosts to make some of these lovely creatures..

Ghosts are one of those recessives I didn't get into "soon" enough, so I am playing catch up to get my females. I do have a few, but you gotta have lots to get the recessive job done...

So I'm working on it with Pee-Oh-Gee, but he is on a break right now. So we shall see. I have to say I am excited to get more Ghosts and more Pastel Ghosts. Fingers crossed!

Aren't they beautiful?

I can't wait for eggs, and to know that I'm just missing these locks and that everyone is getting it on.

If only...

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Darkness falls

I realize I seem to touch on this topic every week or so, but I wanted to do a photo expose on the dark morphs while I had a chance.

I love taking pictures with morphs NEXT to each other for contrast. Most people only get to see the morph on its own, beautiful in its own right, but when questions arise like "How can you tell X morph is X morph, compared to the Y morph, which is similiar?"

Well, here we go.

Lets begin with the Sable. It is a subtle morph, but what you can see are the large black alien splotches, granite spots in the alien heads (alien heads are the golden patterns on the sides on the black background), and a very dark black overall color.

Next are the Cinnamons. They are a dark brown overall color, with a nice cinnamon colored head. The alien heads can be and usually are attached to each other towards the vent area, and are a golden chocolate color. They have nice flames on the sides underneath the alien heads, and the alien heads are bubbles instead of eyes (one spot inside instead of two). The most distinctive characteristics of Cinnamons is the head coloration.

And last but not least, the Black Pastel, which is very similar to the Cinnamon in terms of what it can do in combinations, but looks very distinctive. The Black Pastel has an overall black background, interspersed with a bright golden alien head pattern. Unlike the Cinnamon, which is a muted chocolate, the alien heads on the Black Pastel are golden brown. Similiar to the Cinnamon, the Alien heads are bubbles, but have a black lined pattern around the bubbles. This characteristic is indicative of the Black Pastel.

And here is a side by side of the Black Pastel and the Cinnamon in terms of the black and brown tones I was trying to describe. Next to each other, it is obvious that the Black Pastel is more golden, while the Cinnamon is more brown.

They both have a Super that is a solid black or dark grey snake, so people tend to combine them together. They are individual morphs, but do similar things.

And now we throw the Sable in the mix. In order from left to right, there is the Black Pastel, Cinnamon and Sable.

Now that the Sable is in the mix, it is again obvious why I call it a subtle morph. It looks normal next to the other two, but Sables are a proven morph. They have a Super that some people consider a Hypermelanistic. Hopefully in a year or so I can share with you what the Super Sable looks like. Until then... google.

I think that I should have thrown in a normal as well, but I didn't think about it at the time.

Anyway, hope this helps you guys figure out what you have.

Have a great day, my friends!