Friday, July 30, 2010


I am tired.

It is Friday and I can't wait for the weekend.

I have, in the past couple of days, done my overhaul clean for most all of the animals in the snake room, which is an intense effort on my part, with only me doing it.

I changed out all the Sanichips, sanitized all of the water dishes and tubs with bleach, and have to get to a few more racks to clean before I feel like I am close to being done.

I do this often after a season, just to get things fresh.

And yes, I am not done.

I am still going thru, clearing out things, marking tubs for animals that are going to be up for sale in the next few months, and just trying to get things.... clear.

So, with that being said, this weekend will be cleaning and clearing out and sitting down and outlining the next season already.

Maybe we will all have a brain storm session on what I should pair up next season? Maybe what I need to acquire to complete projects?

Lets think about it over the weekend, what do you think?

I have a few things to show you next week for sure, but now, lets just enjoy the day and our upcoming weekend, yes?

Have a fantastic wonderful weekend, and let us return refreshed and fresh.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clutch #33: What we've all been waiting for

She finally blew, and I am absolutely thrilled!!

The Special female sitting on eggs. These last two clutches have been big ones, and I am very excited for them hatching out to see what happens.

She is a good mother, as I checked on her earlier on, she was still laying and not coiled up around them. Now? Look at that, you can barely see any eggs!

But as I do with all my gals, I took her off her eggs. She seemed very reluctant to let them go, which is always unnerving. I have had eggs fall out of coils before, and these eggs falling out would SUCK!

But no worries, everything worked out easily without any problems.

And here is the result.

I am very excited, and in two months, I will be able to show you all what is inside these little gems.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WOOHOO! Clutch 32

Almost there!!

Here is one of the bigger clutches of my year, finally on the ground.

Pewter female on eggs, baaaayyybbbbbyyyyyy!!!

This is Clutch 32, and one of my most exciting, especially since one of my other most exciting clutches, the Pastel Lesser to Spider clutch is going bad...



So here it is, and I am very excited to see them!

I hope they go better for me than the Pastel Lesser Spider clutch.

And the Mystery Clutch came out, with some odd results. Apparently the Lemonblast was the father, but NONE of the babies are Pastel at all... It's really odd, but hey, at least I got a pair of Pinstripes.

3.3 odds, so even thru out. 2.2 Normals, 1.1 Pinstripes.
Could have been better, but could have been worse.

I'll take it.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mystery solved! And baby feeding

Mystery has been solved as to the Mystery Male from Clutch #6.

Apparently, the Lemon Blast was the proud poppa, but so far all I see are Pinstripes. I didn't hit on any Pastels from what I could see either. We shall see the final count of what is coming out this clutch in the next few days.

And there was a question posed as to how I feed all the babies that hatch out over the year.

With patience, hunny.

I have a system (index cards) to keep track of who ate what when, and with everyone in a tub on their own after they shed, its actually pretty easy.

Yes, I have many babies after the hatching is done, but it is no big deal!

Just having plenty of rat fuzzies is the biggest pain in the butt...

But when there is a baby that doesn't eat well, however, there are three things that I do.

1) Make sure they have plenty of water. Babies can and will dehydrate VERY easily.
(This I do for any baby even if they eat fine, but this is a good point of information)

2) Crumple up paper in the tub to give them more security. This is key if they are feeling stressed out.   Give them a few days of crumpled bliss before trying food again.

3) Keep offering food every 2-3 days if they are not eating, 4-5 if they are.

 That's what I do!

I hope that helps those of you with babies that have some issues.

So there are clutches we are waiting on, including the Special female, and the Pewter... This is taking a long time, but apparently these females want to go LATE with the late crowd. I'm thinking another few weeks for the rest of the clutches, and then we can stop waiting. We shall see...

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Albinos! And Clutch #31

Well, Clutch number five has hatched out completely, and the odds were interesting.

I got four out of seven Albinos, but the 100% hets are ALL MALE.

So the clutch consists of:

3.0 100% Het Albinos
1.3 Albinos

I can't complain about the visual ratio, but DANG IT ALL if all of the hets are male...

I am kinda surprised by that.

But hey, Albinos are awesome, yay for Albinos, and I know some of you out there in Internet land have been waiting for some Albinos to hatch out.

Well, here they are!

And when I got back from the trip also, my friend who was watching the house and the snakes helped set up Clutch #31, which was Genetic Stripe to Poss Het, the last one to go for the year.

Apparently I failed again at letting these last girls of the year get their complete time, as there have been slugs EVERY CLUTCH since I had the last group at clutch 29?...


Anyway, yes, that little tiny slug is tiny, and it should have been an egg.

5 eggs, one TINY slug.

Heck, I'll even put that on the side bar of clutches.


Next clutch is a Mystery Male clutch to one of my Normals, so we shall see what happens. I'm expecting something to pip within the next few days.

Until then, more random musings and photos and questions to be answered.

Have a fantastic week, my friends.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Musings and Pictures and Break!

Today is one of those days that nothing really snakey is going on.

I am really going on a limb here and going to take a break for a few days. I am actually going to visit family again, and attend a wedding during the season of weddings!

Joel and I have already been to one so far this year, and this is going to be the second.

So with that, I am preparing to leave today as well as get everything in order, which entails a lot of making sure things are okay.

We are expecting a few more clutches, no more than 10 more, and then the season here at Heather's Herps should be done. Problem is, the next few clutches look like they are going to come in this weekend. We shall see what happens, eh?

And yes, I will have help watching over what is happening when I am gone.

No problem. I'm just worried that there will be enough tubs for any more clutches, and anymore space in the incubators...

The next clutch to hatch out should be hatching out this weekend as well. Looks like ALBINOS!

I tried the female with the POG, but apparently Albinos are the thing! No problem. I can handle that.

Can't wait to see them hatch out!

So yes, we will continue our daily meetings on Monday, my friends.

I hope you can wait until then.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chipo update: The Onyx Ball Python

So I have gotten the credit of creating the first Het Red Axanthic Black Pastel Ball Python.

It is published in John Berry's book Designer Morphs (2nd edition) Volume one: Ball Python and Boa Constrictor.

My friend tells me Chipo is on page 37 fig.44.

Unfortunately for us here in the United States, we cannot buy the book until August.


Anyway, Chipo is the first Onyx, and I named the Onyx because I thought it was fitting.
They are one of the darker morphs, and Onyx is dark and awesome too!

So there you go.

For those who don't remember the story, Chipo hatched out from a clutch gone bad. Four eggs originally, two eggs good by the end, and only Chipo survived. She was gorgeous when she hatched out, and I couldn't have been prouder.

So in 2008, I was the first person to hatch these guys out. Ralph Davis then did it a month later with Cinnamons, and he named the combination "Gargoyle."

Since Black Pastels and Cinnamons are considered different yet similar morphs, I decided to name the combination of Het Red and Black Pastel the "Onyx" to help differentiate between the two.

Chipo has been a tough character, as she is not the best eater, but she is getting bigger slowly but surely.

Can't wait to incorporate her into the plans soon enough.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Everyone's out, and Axanthic aging


All the Stripes are out from the last clutch, and they are looking great! 2.1 Stripes, and 0.2 Hets. I would have loved a few more female Stripes, but this works!

And of course, because this is the first female Stripe I have EVER produced, she is staying here. I am so thrilled to have her FINALLY, since I missed out on her last year.


And all of the Axanthics have shed out, and I wanted to do a comparison regarding age of Axanthics and color change.

As you may well know, the older snakes tend to change color compared to what they look like right out of the egg.

Since I have a few generations of Axanthics, I wanted to share the comparison, as a lot of people make comments about how they brown out as they age.

This is undoubtedly true, no matter what line of Axanthic, but I can only show you TSK's line of Axanthics.

Here are, from left to right, a Normal, a Baby TSK Axanthic, an Adult TSK Axanthic, and a Subadult TSK Axanthic within the coils of the older one.

They do change drastically from the baby colors they initially have, but they still look significantly different from a normal.

I thought this photo would be most helpful to give you an idea of the colors, as you can see a slight area of adult, but mostly the focus of the normal and the baby Axanthic.

And here is from left to right, an Adult, Subadult, and Baby TSK Axanthic.

So yes, although the animals are not the SAME animal, the morph photo outline gives you more of an idea of the change of colors that you may expect as they age.

But believe me when I say, they are awesome! You may be less than impressed with the color change, but you will not be able to confuse an Axanthic with a Normal if you know what you are looking for.

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Stripes are hatching, and although this picture shows them in the egg, I want to preface any comments by saying yes, I did rip open the one on the top. I take where they have cut in, and tear open the areas they have cut open themselves, so that they don't get stuck.

So yes, there are two Stripes in the egg, two hets in the egg, and one brave soul who decided to come out before the rest of them.

HE is, of course, fantastic. Complete stripe, slight side pattern, but beautiful animal.

And yes, I did say He.

I'm hoping I don't get the same luck I did last year with ALL male Genetic Stripes, but we shall see. In the next few days, we will meet the other two G-stripes, and we will all be aware of the situation then.

And only two of the Axanthics had not shed, so I took these four that did and took a nice picture of them. They are looking good!

So here we are with the first day of the week, and we are off to a good start.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A little more sad, and Mobee

Well, clutch 30 is on the ground.

And again, we have slugs.

I'm not really sure what is causing it other than my backing off on using the males as much for the later females that I didn't notice going. This is what I'm thinking was the cause of these slugs, as well as the slugs from the clutch before.

This time I had less eggs to begin with, but it should be fine.

This female has not proved out to be a Het yet from last year, so this is her last chance before she gets dubbed a normal.

Crossing fingers that last year was a fluke.

And here is Mobee, the Mojave Spider, which is my understanding to be termed Mojave Bee. I am not sure if the terms have changed as of yet, but this is my Mobee.

He is a proven breeder male that I acquired, and I am very excited to use him in a few things. I can't wait to put him with a Pastel or with a Pin? THAT would be awesome.

So until that day comes, he will just be a pretty picture for now.

I'm sure I'll share him again soon.

Hey look, another pretty picture of him!

I'm kinda excited, I'm not going to lie. I like what he can do. He will be fun to work with next season.


Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A tad bit sad

Well, clutch 29 is on the ground, and I am sad about it.

I have been very excited about making Mojave combos this year, and was waiting for this female to go for a while.

I bred another Mojave female, but she didn't take, so basically, this female was it.

So she finally laid yesterday (yes, Yesterday... the date I wrote on the card was wrong), and I was ABSOLUTELY THRILLED. The wait was over, and the eggs were on the ground...

Until I opened up her coils...

Now, yes, I know, five eggs is not bad at all, but the fact that there are two slugs that could have been eggs upsets me, as I should have let the males pair with her longer.

I feel like it was something I could have prevented.

She is a first time breeder for me, so it can also chalk it up to that, but I always feel like there could have been something else I could have done.

I think the dissapointment is also because of the fact that I was looking forward to this clutch so much.

Now the Mystery Males on this clutch are:

Pastel Super Mojave
Pastel Lesser
Lemon Blast

So it should be interesting.

Come on, five eggs. Show me what you got...

Have a fantastic day, my friends

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Pictures and Plans

Well, today is random picture day. I realize I haven't been doing many of those, and last night I went out and took some good looking animals out for some photos...

Above is one of the Pieds I held back from last year.. She is looking good, and hey look, she's smiling at you!

On top of taking random pictures of my animals, I have been trying to see what animals I want to add to the collection this year that are feasible.

Let me go over again the number sex ratio to our newcomers to the blog.

1.0.0 represents one male animal
0.2.0 represents two female animals
0.0.1 represents one unsexed animal

So, lets test our knowledge.


What would this mean?

3 males, 1 female, and 2 unsexed.

Usually unsexed is not used in Ball Pythons, as they are easily sexed. Unsexed is usually used in Crested Geckos or animals that develop sex indicators later in growth/age.

So now that we went over that already, it will be more clear as to what I am out to get!

I want:

1.0 Lavendar Albino
1.0 Pastel Calico (or something combo Calico)
1.0 Mystic/Phantom something
1.0 Champagne (MAYBE.... I like them, but not enough to jump on one immediately)
0.X Calicos (not sure how many I want, but I want some)
0.X Spotnoses (again, not sure how many, but I want some)

Random Snake Image to break up the blog
Hope you enjoyed it!

I need a few more males as well, so the thing that I am trying to determine is WHAT?

I am at a loss for what I should get.

Its one of those points in the collection that make things complicated and rather difficult.
One must stop and just let things flow, and see what happens.

So at this point, that is what I am doing. I am absolutely prepared to get something, the matter is what?
We shall see what comes my way, eh?

Plans change, of course... but as of right now, that is it, with more on the side, as there always is.


As I dwell on this, have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Blog

Well, I have been doing this blog every day during the work week for at least two years now, and I have to say, its been a lot of fun.

I've met a lot of people thru it, and I am honored that so many people actually care enough about what I have to say to be one of the Blogs Followers.

So I made a promise to myself that I would get 100 followers this year by making this blog 10x more interesting and fun and educational.

Problem is, where to begin!

I am thinking about starting from the beginning again. Touching on topics I have touched on before, sharing more photos of morphs and answering questions when they come up in person or online.

It won't be easy, but it is a task I am willing to undertake. I am also aware that many people think I should do a video blog occasionally. I am still working on that.

I have listened, I do plan on making some changes, and hopefully it will be for the better.

I am also doing some spring cleaning (summer cleaning actually) in terms of projects that I need to focus on, the animals that I can work with, and so forth.

Today was a revelation of sorts, to get myself in gear again for what will be an amazing show season and year.

I wrote out a list of everything that could possibly go next season for me, what I am interested in picking up for next season, the animals that I could move to make space for others, and etc.

It is a tad bit overwhelming.

Planning ones season when the current one isn't even over yet is rather audacious, but necessary.

I need to get myself in gear.

100 Followers, a more streamlined collection, and a great outlook for the next season.

It will happen, my friends.

It will.

Help me help you, and it will happen.

Have a fantastic day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

TSK Axanthics and color

Well, they are all out, and I am very pleased with them.

Of course they always look amazing when they just hatch out, but I have to say, I'm very excited to see these grow. 

Yes, this was done with flash, but.... I have a very dark room, so yeah.

There was 2.4 hatched out, all 50% poss het Albino to boot! Too bad there are no Snows in there, but at least I know what the deal is, eh?

And there is the group with one of the Pastel het Pieds to show the color and to prove that I am not messing with the photo (cause I have no idea how to anyway).

Here are the two boys, sitting pretty and looking handsome.

And the girls..

I am very happy with this clutch, even though it didn't prove out to be what I was hoping for. They are still awesome, and I can't wait to see them shed out and show their true colors.

And on Friday night, this female Het Caramel laid for me.

Seven good eggs. We are at clutch 28, my friends. Lets hope for some awesome Caramels out of this.

Have a fantastic day, my friends. Its the beginning of an awesome week.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Axanthics out!

A few are out!


I love love love Axanthics when they come out of the egg. They just look so unreal, its awesome.

There is one more in the egg as I type this, so hopefully we have the whole group out and a photo for everyone on Monday.

This group is 1.4.1, which means one male, and four females, with one more in the egg. ALL are 50% possible het Albino.  More critters for the Snow project? Maybe... for someone else!

Unfortunately, you can see a bit of umbilicus still sticking out of the female on the left.

I want to touch on this, as this particular animal was overly excited to get out of the egg, and came out like that. This amount of umbilicus is fine, and will dry up and fall off within the next few days. You don't need to do anything for the animal other than watch it to make sure nothing ruptures, as there is still blood flowing thru it.

To make sure the umbilicus doesn't get stuck on anything, I wet the papertowel that they lay on to make sure it stays moist. And it gets absorbed within a day or so at that size.

Yes, it happens often enough that this is not the first, nor will it be the last time I see this. And neither will you, prospective breeder out there in internet land. Live and learn.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends. I know I will!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quake, Pippers and Weenie

There was an Earthquake yesterday when I got home from work, and I have to say, I was glad I was home.

I was able to run into the snake room, make sure everyone was fine (they were, no tubs opened or anything), and go on about my picture taking. It was actually rather entertaining.

Growing up in California means knowing Earthquakes and knowing what to do. Usually, what to do is do nothing. Yesterday was one of those days, although it did knock out the cable for a while.


So these photos were taken only a few minutes after the earthquake, and I think that they didn't notice it. They seem pretty comfortable in those shells of theirs. I want them OUT.

Gotta love the Grey and Black heads popping out. I absolutely love them!! I fall in love with each morph all over again when I see them in the egg. Axanthics are no exception.

The one on the far end was having a bit of trouble, so I helped it open up the head space after these pictures were taken. No harm was done, no snakelings were choking, we are all good.

And while the photos are here, this is an excellent time to mention cutting eggs.

You notice there are only small V's? Yeah, that's all I do. I don't hack it open, I just peek inside.
Is it necessary? No. But once the first head pips, I usually give the babies an out just in case they have a problem opening up the egg.

Cuticle scissors that are disinfected and a flashlight is all you need to cut eggs.

Oh, actually, make it three things.

Common sense, cuticle scissors, and a flashlight.

Don't hack them open, don't cut thru veins, don't cut them too early.

Too early, you say? Well, in my book, before Day 50 of incubation is too early.  To others, before is fine.

You do your own soul searching and determine when you feel comfortable doing it, if at all.

We can and will touch on this again if anyone has any questions about it. I can do a tutorial, but I'll need help with the camera, which means we have to wait for the Joel.

And here we are with another clutch yesterday..

I'm starting to loose track of what number clutch we are on. I admit that I go back to the list and count from the beginning.

So this is Clutch 27, and remember that Cinnamon female that I couldn't figure out what to do with? Well.. She went with the Pied, and she gave me some eggs.


Six eggs to be exact. I am very glad to see these, as she is Lucky's mother, and that was a four egg clutch last year. She was going to have the year off, cause I was worried about the four egg thing, and the year before that she slugged out with three slugs. Six is good! Six is very good. 

Anyway, I've been saving this picture for a slow day, but since I really really like it, I'm going to share it today.

Meet Weenie.

Weenie is a dumbo hairless rat.

He is my new best buddy in the rat collection.

Why is his name Weenie? Well... he just looks like one, doesn't he?

I love Weenie, and hopefully will be able to share better pictures of him later.

I just wanted to share it today.

So with that, have a fantastic, non shaky day, my friends.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Clutches 25 and 26 are on the ground, my friends, and both big incubators are full...

Here is Clutch 25.

Here is one of my largest Pastel females, and she was bred to the Genetic Stripe male to make some Pastel het Genetic Stripes!

I am really excited to see these, as I want to hold back a few females this year.

And Clutch number 26, this is one of my large normal females. Her name is TV, as I bought her with a TV on Craigslist. Weird story, I know. 

She was bred to all the males that didn't have dates thru out the season this year. So again, another Mystery male clutch. Should be interesting to say the least...

Gotta wait and see who the fathers are. WOOHOO!

And of course, the incubators are both completely full. I'm waiting on the Axanthics to pip so that I can clear that space, but for now...


I am plugging in the extra Nature's Spirit tonight.

Its time to go into overdrive.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.