Friday, October 29, 2010


Hey, guys, guess what????


So guess what I did???

I got myself a snake.

I shared this gal with you yesterday, but I'm going into more depth today.

This is my gal, with no name, that is a Super Fire Super Mojave (in shed).

How do I know what she is? Well, I don't know for sure until I breed her, but my friend produced her from breeding two Fire Mojaves together, and produced several weird looking leucistics. He produced two gals that look like this one, and it was assumed it was a Super Fire Super Mojave.

Now again, nothing is guaranteed, but she is going to be bred out to see what exactly she is. It is surely a Super Fire (as she has black eyes with red pupils), and she should have at least one portion of Mojave in her, so I'm not worried.

It is very hard to get photos of her eyes, as I am not the best photographer, but I tried.

 You can see that she has a faint yellow stripe down her spine, as well as some very faint pattern on her sides, indicative of mojave-ness. 

With that being said, she is a goldmine for my projects, and I am super stoked to have her here with me (even if she is less than the Super Mojave Super Fire she is supposed to be).

So YAY, and have a fantastic Heather's Birthday DAY today, and a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Your Questions, Answered

I realize that I have been getting a few questions in the comment box, and I haven't been sure how to answer them...



Anonymous writes:

"If you day job got crazy and you had to downsize your collection down to 1 rack of 10 animals. What would you keep?"

That is an excellent question.

It would be

1) Spinnerblast male
2) Pastel Crystal female
3) Super Mojave Super Fire female
4) Spinnerblast female
5) Super Pewter female
6) Black Pewter het Hypo male
7) Pied het Hypo female
8) Bumblebee het Hypo female
9) Pastel Pied male
10) Unagi (Normal female)

But in all honesty, I would figure out a way to make things work so that I could keep at least a good chunk of my collection. Half, maybe...

Jackie writes:

"Hey Heather, how do I get my boys to do their jobs? This is as close to a lock as they seem to get:
Are the girls the problem? Is it just too soon? Is my boy George here just a dumb-dumb who doesn't quite know what he's doing yet? (He tried mating with her head last winter while I was cleaning their tanks.)"

 Males tend to be either late bloomers or really really randy.

A few tricks to try, even though it still may not help (He could be making plugs, but that doesn't mean he knows what he is doing), are as follows:

-Sperm plug from competing male on the female in questions back. Also, a competing males shed skin in the same tub as the female may also spur the male that you want to work it out.

-Feed him! Cool him! Get him bigger and see if he gets the idea later in the season.

-Combating. I do not advocate this method, although apparently it can work. I just don't like the idea of having males fight. I've never done it.  I'd rather have it work out naturally.

Jackie writes:

"Hey Heather, you mentioned you clean with chlorhexidine on What the heck is that?"

Chlorhexidine is classified as a disinfectant or cleanser. It is used both to treat environmental surfaces, and in less concentrated forms, to treat the skin, ears and oral cavity. It is effective against bacteria, fungus, yeast and viruses.

The typical type I use (which is cheaper) is Chlorhexidine gluconate.  This is typically included in your oral rinses and antibacterial wipes. I have a gallon that I use and dilute to a 1:10 solution in my spray bottle. It lasts a while, and does very well! Smells good too.

Novalsan is the more expensive alternative, and  is Chlorhexidine diacetate. I understand this is stronger and more effective against viruses, including HIV, but I could not find any internet resources that were straight forward. So take that with a grain of salt, and do your own research.

So I hope this answered a lot of your old questions.

I do plan on touching on topics that people have asked me over the next few weeks. Incubators, more baby photos, and care.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And Now, I'm Spent

This is officially the last clutch of the season.

And it is not super awesome, but not super sucky, like I had expected. 

I felt slugs. I got slugs. 

But I got more "eggs" than I thought. I had palpated seven, and I got nine. 
Granted, only five of them are viable (aka with veins), but its all good. This gal can lay!
Can't be mad at that.

Pied male to my second Possible Het Pied female (sister to the other one who laid the day before).

The boob eggs are slugs, and the obvious slug (on the bottom) is a slug, but there are good eggs in there!

How can I tell which are good and which aren't, you ask?

Well, it's called Candling.

Candling is when you put a flashlight to the egg and look for veins. The eggs without veins are not viable, aka slugs. 

So there you go. I will see if I can get Joel to help me get some photos of candling for the blog, as well as a few other photos. 

I've finished updating the available page, with photos!!

Check it out and let me know what you think.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Well, I didn't expect this..

Clutch second to last has been laid... I honestly think we are at 33? I'm not really sure. It's been so long since the last clutches were laid, I stopped paying attention.

This is one of the Poss Het Pied females that I have yet had the chance to prove out. I believe that this girls clutch went bad last year.

And her boyfriend... in a not so good photo.

So these babies will be at least 100% het Pieds. Can't be mad at that!

I'm hoping for actual Pieds.

Fingers crossed!

Six eggs for the win!

These guys will be Christmas babies! Should be fun!

So I actually have one more clutch to be laid, and a bunch of new pictures to share.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

How did I get into this?

Well, its time to go back to the roots...

I have a lot of people ask me, Heather... How did you get into this? It seems rather off center, and a tad bit wierd for you to be breeding snakes.

Do I agree? Yes, a little bit. I have to say that I never imagined myself as a child growing up and breeding snakes. A Doctor? Sure... Snake Breeder? No.

Why is that? Well, as a child, I grew up with a mother who has a deep rooted fear of snakes. I never got to have one as a child. I had fish, I had birds, but never anything else.

I am allergic to furry creatures, and so is my mother as well. So, with that being said, I didn't get to have many pets. It kinda destroys any chance of having a dog when your mother can't breathe.

So, I grew up with a love for animals that was unfulfilled in a way. I wanted to be a Veterinarian, but couldn't because of my allergies.

I went off to college, deciding then to go into human medicine. I got my Bachelors in Biology, and went on my merry way.

During my college years, I had the freedom to do more of my own thing (as we all are well aware). So I got a dog, I got a hamster, I got guppies, and a few other critters. I ended up rescuing a few red-eared sliders along the way, as people bought them at street fairs and didn't actually take care of them.
At one point, I ended up with six.

I decided to take it upon myself to see what other critters I could help.

That's when I ended up with a Bearded Dragon.

Beardies require much more than just a cage and some lettuce, and for some reason, people just had no idea...

So, I took care of a group of them that kept growing, a group that topped out at seven. Remember that these guys need UVB, deep green leafys, and bugs. They ate better than I did at some point.

But, with the consistency of knowing that these guys needed daily care, I got stretched a bit thin. Lizards were awesome, but not my calling... So I gave them good homes elsewhere and continued on my way.

But in the interim, I had acquired a female Ball Python from a lady who couldn't care for her anymore. I got her, cared for her, realized that Ball Pythons were so easy to care for, and fell in love.

Her name was Unagi. Yes, like the Eel Sushi. I think it is a cute name...

So 'Nagi and I learned from each other, and I got hooked. A few months later, I got another, and another, and at some point I went searching for them. I found a harem of Ball Pythons that people didn't want anymore, and I loved it.

I didn't have a ton of money to dump into Ball Pythons, but a little birdy told me about the possibility of breeding. Back in those days, Pastels were the thing to have... $2000 for a male Pastel on a good day was something I was shocked about.

So little by little, as my harem grew, I realized I needed to bite the bullet and get a breeder male.

So I bought that male Pastel, and the rest in history.

Did I suceed right off the bat? Absolutely not.

I lost my first clutch of eggs to an incubator malfunction. The second year, I did a breeder loan and didn't get any Pastels at all.

So of course, this is all to say that I started out rough. And rough is the way you should, in a way, to appreciate all the hard work and effort that goes into caring and breeding these creatures.

Take nothing for granted, that's for sure.

But here I am, still here. I will still be here 10 years from now, doing the same type of thing. I have found my niche, and I am going to stick to it.

So there you go, my friends.

That is my story. I hope that helps you in your own.

It's hard work, and you need to dedicate yourself to what you want to do. Do not waiver. Do it for the snakes and for yourself.

Have fun with it!

(BTW: Unagi is still kicking and will be with me until she doesn't anymore...)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some 2010 babies

 I have had a bit more time to relax, granted without my internet still...
But I have been trying to take it easy by taking pictures.

So I have been taking a lot of them.

Above is one of the Silver Bullet girls I hatched out. I absolutely love her speckling of black, and because yesterday I shared with you Lucky, the male that is a year old, I am curious how this gal will turn out as well.

This gal here is my Spinner female. The only one I hatched out, and who was actually having some feeding issues earlier, but now is a chowhound.

 I absolutely love Spinners for their pattern. I honestly can say they are one of the morphs I like the best.

Of course, Bumblebees don't look too bad either. I really like this one, and she is so clean and beautiful. And she decided to be shy in the picture as well.

And combine the Spinner with the Bumblebee? You could get this guy, the Spinnerblast.
Again, I am in love...

And last, but most certainly not least, the Pastel Super Mojave. I need to get a Super Mojave to put next to this guy to do some education on the subject, as some people can't seem to figure it out, and it is a subtle difference.

And the colors are as true as I could get them. See the yellow stripe down the back, and the faintly light grey head? And of course, blue eyes.

Gotta love them.

So with everything for you to enjoy, I hope you have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

We shall return with a photo journal of sorts. Be prepared!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Darkness, Lovely Stripes and Pattern

Since I took many other photos over the past day, I wanted to share a few that I took on a whim.
This is Lucky, my Silver Bullet Male. Yes, he got that dark... It is really interesting how the change of color happened, and the odd speckles of blonde that have popped up over the last year.

He will be in rotation for the upcoming season, although I'm not sure what with. Anything he produces will be either Cinnamons or Pewters at the very least. Not sure what to do with him, but I'm glad to have him here!


 And this is the Red Axanthic male I picked up this season. He is not in the rotation, as he is just a little baby, but he is really cool, and I had a lot of fun admiring him thru the camera. I love his almost stripe too!

And because the other clutch shed out, the Red Axanthic is set up with a Pastel het Red and the Pewter het Red.
I did this photo mostly to compare the colorations of the Red and the Pastel het, as the Pastel het Red is a muddy yellow to say the least. The browns and reds come out well with the morph, which does not do the Pastel portion justice, of course.

And the Pewter het Red is a fanatastic shade of grey right now, which will more than likely turn into a lovely slate grey when he gets older. I love his pattern. We shall see!

And the same group with the flash. This photo is more true to color, and I am still working on that to be able to have it so that there is not such a discrepancy in the colors.

But they look great!

Tomorrow will be something else. I may do a revisit of a few of the things I have done over the past few years.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why don't I do this for a living?

Last night, I spent some time with some family from out of town.

One of my cousins asked me a question.

He said "Heather, you seem really into the snakes.. Why don't you do this full time?"


Let me outline what I do.

I am a Chemist by trade, I work in a laboratory. I make chemical compounds. I work a full 40 hours a week, and then I come home and work another 238741078 on snakes.

Why do I do that?

Lets begin by saying, as much as I love the snakes, the constancy of snake breeding and marketing is difficult to grasp.

What do you mean, Heather?

Well, baby season is upon us, and I have many babies to sell.. But what happens when I sell out? Nothing left to sell for the rest of the year, which tends to happen around December (depending on the amount of babies hatched out that year). So hatching begins in July until December. What about those other months of the year? I am feeding, housing, cleaning, and health checking all of my animals, which tends to get expensive over the course of the year.

So for what it is worth, a sum of cash to last thruout the year is not enough for me to be comfortable with. I prefer consistancy.

Granted, there are pluses to only breeding snakes, ie. having a lot more free time and not so much stress, but then again, if you can't sell that one snake to buy food for a week, that's when you know you aren't where you should be, which is why I have never done so.

Snakes are a fantastic stress reliever, but also a source of stress. Its an odd conundrum of sorts, as doing shows, shipping animals, and dealing with customers isn't particularly a snake issue, but comes with the territory. THAT, my friends, is what is more difficult. This is not to say that my customers are not the most amazing people in the world, but as we all know, people in general can be a pain in the ass.

So, basically, I don't want to do this for a living. It would be cool, but I think I am good where I am at. I don't have a facility persay (a huge warehouse with tons of racks). I have a room in my home, where I go in and dissapear for hours on end. I would love to be able to expand a bit more, but for me and what I do, without any additional help, I am at the cusp of maximum capacity. I have over 200 snakes, and that alone takes a lot of work to keep up.

I wake up, go to work, come home, clean some snakes, make some phone calls, answer some e-mails, take some pictures, clean more snakes, ship a package, make dinner, answer some e-mails, do the blog, and go to bed.

That is my day to day. Feeding days are more complicated, of course, but there you go.

So I hope that helps you all out there understand what I do, and maybe help yourselves in what you plan to do or are doing already.

You CAN make it a full time thing, there is no doubt about it. If that is your dream, dream big and make it happen!

Have a great day, my friends.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty Pictures

I got to have a chance to take some pretty pictures today.

YAY! It's been a while, and to be honest, I've missed it.

Above is the Bunchi, who is looking fantastic and lovely and on FIRE.

Below is one of the Crystals. I absolutely love their colors, and I am not doing them justice with the colors of these pictures.

Peaches, yellows, violets... all beautiful sunset colors.

I don't ever adjust my photos (cause I don't know how), so I try to get as true to color as I can. This is not quite it.

And of course, the Pewter het Red shed out, and he looks awesome!! I love his side pattern, and I really enjoy the fact that he was positioned like this for the photo. What a photogenic snake!

Tomorrow's blog will be about this gentleman and his siblings, as well as a distant cousin, in comparison with other animals. Should be a fun one.

Also, are there any photo requests? I am taking orders... I'm ready to break open the camera and fill up a few memory cards.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Post Show Report was a success! It happened, people came, snakes were purchased. For a first time show on a weekend that was coinciding with a marathon run in the same area and another competing show a few towns over, it didn't do too badly.

Here I am with The Joel at our table, that was flanked by a Time Share booth (not sure why they were there) and another small time reptile company just starting out.

The Tiger was there again from the exotic animal rescue, but I never got away to get a picture.

But I did get a picture with someone I admire greatly.

The star of Pit Boss, the show on Discovery Network, Shorty Rossi was there.

Of course the camera cut off Hercules's head, but he was a total sweetheart.

I was really pleased to have had a chance to meet him.

And of course, I didn't get to go around much (I tended to my booth for the most part) but I did get to see this guy that was brought on display for a lecture they were giving about venomous reptiles.

As deadly as this snake is, I love the Rhino Vipers. They are GORGEOUS.

I apologize for not having more photos of the show, as it was slower, but I had a lot of talking and hanging out to do, which did not allow for much time for photos. I took the camera, but didn't use it at all.

So, I hope you forgive me. I hope to have my available page up tomorrow, as we are getting service to the house again. I really appreciate those of you out there that have been so patient with me. Thank you.

Lets get this weekend into gear, my friends. Have a fantastic day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Getting ready for the Show

So I'm getting ready for the show, and I am excited!

It is a new show in Long Beach, and I am pleased to be one of the vendors there.

This weekend, I will be shmoozing and enjoying the company of other reptile fanatics such as myself.

I always enjoy that.

There is also a show in Las Vegas that is happening, and I would have vended there as well, had it been another weekend, and not conflicting with the Long Beach show.

The Black Pastel Lesser and I will be also attending the Pasadena show in November.

And then, in January, if there is anything left, I will also be vending in Pomona.

Those are the three shows I will be doing this season, while I am doing the normal prepping for breeding and breeding season things.

Hopefully I will see some of you out there!

It is always stressful fun, so here we go!

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mystics versus Mojaves versus Specials

Here we go, Rex!

Mojave on the top, Mystic on the bottom.

Mystics are darker, just overall more "normal" looking, with blushing and floating heads similar to those of the Mojaves.

Mojaves are cleaner, lighter in overall color without any black, and more blushing and flames than the Mystics usually carry.

Overall, if you've heard that Mystics are low grade Mojaves, that is somewhat correct.

Now you can see for yourself.

And Mystics versus Specials... Special on top, Mystic on the bottom.

Similar pattern, but Specials are lighter, with more blushing. Flames are similar, and that is something to look for in both morphs, but mostly the coloration. Lighter!

So there you go, my friends.

I realize that my Mystic isn't the perfect example of the morph, or this would be a bit better of an educational tool. Give me another year.

Have a great day, my friends!

P.S... KODY'S EXPO!!! this weekend, my friends. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Still somewhat unplugged

I'm here... but not really.

It's been a trying couple of days already, and I am just now catching up. I'm in the process of firing my internet provider, and getting a new one, which has resulted in a capful of grey hairs to say the least.

I have been having a busy couple of days, and not without problems, so I'm trying to sort those out before anything else.

PLUS, Kody's Expo in Long Beach is this weekend, so I have to get show prep going on.

So I am out of it today.

I promise to get something up that is interesting and entertaining for tomorrow's blog.
Any requests? I am not sure where to begin...

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Today is a day to be unplugged.

Blog to return tomorrow.

Have a great day!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Final clutch (maybe) hatched out!

Well, my friends, as you can see, my available page is still not up.

I suck. I'm sorry. Actually, I don't suck, my internet service provider sucks.

But I was told this should all be fixed by Monday night.

Alright. Last chance...

Anyway, the final clutch that I had in the incubator has hatched, and I produced a Pewter Het Red!

This is not a first, as Howard Ross produced them a month before I did...

But that's alright, people. I have this guy to show for my breedings, and I am excited!

They look somewhat like Sterlings, to a point, but the pattern is off (similar to that of Chipo), and the colors I hope stay bright! We shall see.

I am glad to have him in the fold, but of course, he is a male... I have a bunch of Male holdbacks this year.


The rest of the clutch consisted of

1.1 Pastel het Reds
2.2 Pewters
1.0 Pewter het Red

I just installed florescent lighting in the snake room to see better, but I don't think it does much for the photography of the snakes. They look greyer in the photos, kinda... I'll play with it and see what I can come up with.

Anyway, also, here is a new guy to the fold, pretty ridiculously hot, and I am very pleased to have him here.

Meet Bunchi, the Butter Enchi.

He is also het Hypo, so I'm in line to make some Hypo stuff happen with this guy too! Not sure how, not sure when, but it can and will happen eventually.

Yay for planning ahead!


Anyway, that is all for now, until everything has settled down a bit more. The incubator is temporarily off, as I am expecting two poss het Pied females to lay any day now, but I feel some slugs, so I'm not expecting much.

Until then, we can count this season as temporarily on pause... a repreive so to speak. So now all I have to do is clean, feed, water and photograph instead of also worrying about eggs.


Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Well, Isn't that Special...

I am on a ROLL with these movie and TV quotes, my friends. I'm quite proud of myself.
Anything to intigrate current day (although not so current day by SNL standards) social commentary into my blogs...

What the heck are you talking about, Heather?

"Well, Isn't that Special...." - The Church Lady

I loved that skit. Dana Carvey, you were funny once.

I digress.

This is what you guys have ALL BEEN WAITING FOR, and although I have touched on this before in past blogs, current events are current events, and yes, I must share with you what you have asked for. Such is my duty, my friends...

Here is a Special. Just a plain jane Special. Base morph, combine it with stuff to make more stuff.

They are rather normal looking, although they are not, when placed next to a normal.

Click here for a past blog on the topic.

As the other blog touches on, the Special morph is a very subtle morph. It is easier to see what you are looking for when you notice the small things. Granitey pattern, lighter coloration, bright flames up the sides, and a general interesting look to them.

And as they grow, it gets less obvious, but still significant.

Here is my breeder female. If I told you she was a normal, you would believe me, right? Yeah... it's like that. Subtle. She is generally lighter than my normals, and maybe in the next few days she will have a blog dedicated to her and other morphs next to her.

But there you go, my friends. There you go!

I hope that helps, and if you have any specific questions, feel free to post them up and I will answer them accordingly.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Prepping for the next season

Man, oh man...

I am trying to get things in order for the beginnings of next season, and this season isn't even over yet!

I am feeling a bit spread thin, especially since my lifeline (aka my internet) is still out at the house.



Alright. That's enough bitching for today.

I am currently trying to feed some of the tougher feeders to get them at least in line for the next season. Problem feeders are just that... problems.

And my absolute last resort is to change feeder types.

I hate that I have to even consider it, but there are some animals in the collection that are picky, and one in particular, a Het Pied female that only ate mice for a while, ate rats, laid eggs, and now will not touch rats.... is driving me bonkers.

Bonkers because I don't like giving in. I'd rather her eat rats, but she'd rather eat mice, more than likely. I have yet to offer it to her, but I am almost 100% sure she will eat them.

Next week, if she doesn't eat a rat, she will get a mouse, then a rat doused in mouse.

How does one mouse douse?

As gross as it sounds, dirty mouse bedding. Put them in a bag with dirty mouse bedding, "shake and bake" (another movie reference, but in this case, shake it up), and place in the tub. The longer the rat is in the bedding, the more likely it will work.

But overall, getting animals to eat for the season ahead is very important, and necessary. Fat and happy makes for better breeding.

So I am working on it. Some animals are not cooperating, as I had said before, but that's alright. We have another few weeks to get them going.

Until then, my friends... Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Post shed goodness

Finally, the last few clutches have shed out.. There are a few more, but these guys have captured my attention.


Hypos in many shades... Hypo male first, Honeybee male second, Pastel Hypo female last but not least.

I really like the Honeybee. I have never had a chance to really admire one before, so I did so very much with the camera today.

He is so awesomely frosted... I am really really liking him! Maybe his name shall be Frosty?

And a few versions of Crystals

Pastel Mojave, Pastel Crystal, and Crystal, respectively. I do plan on doing another Special blog, so stay tuned! I am doing this blog very slowly thru tethering, so photos are taking forever.. which means the Special blog will have to happen when I have more internet.

Head colors up close and personal, kinda... I love the blue eyes and the yellow face stripe. Gotta love them.

So that's all for now, but I will be getting into more interesting topics again soon.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Thank goodness for Smart Phones, and prepping for 2011

One of the things I love about Smart Phones is the fact that you can tether.

We have been having weird weather, and apparently what happened was a wire got crossed during a storm, and the house internet has been down and will be down until Weds.

But, with the magic of my Smart Phone and tethering, I can actually get some internetting done.
I apologize for yesterdays lack of Blog...

BUT this has put a HUGE damper on my getting my available page up, as I am working from the laptop, and I can't upload large files with this internet connection....

Therein lies the rub.

Oh well.

At least I can do this...

So, Jackie, my friend.

 You have a female that is almost getting to size.

Lets recap what I do and see what you think.

Around this time of year, when only a few more clutches are due to lay, and when things are winding down from the season before, I like to take inventory of what is possible for next year (Granted, I say this now, but have yet to get it done)..

My cut off points:

Males producing sperm plugs, or at least looking like they could have the size to breed.
400 grams minimum before checking for sperm plugs. One year minimum age.

Females looking good and "toight" (Austin Powers reference.. name the movie/character?)
1200 grams minimum, 1500 grams being optimal. Two years minimum age.

So, in your case, Jackie, my friend and snake sister, I would go for it. This is, however, VERY early, and I would try and beef her up in the next month and see if she can handle getting a few more grams on her.

I want to take a moment and thank the customer service man that helped me on the phone trying to figure out what happened to my internet. Apparently, he reads the blog too. Small world, eh? Thank you! I seem to recall your name being John. If I am wrong, I apologize. Thank you for your help.

So with that, I plan on getting my available page up and running as soon as the internet here at the house is working, and more photos of things that have shed out and more cool stories other than my internet being down. I can imagine that being boring to read after a while.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Computer Problems

Was not able to get onto the internet last night, so was not able to do a cool blog.

Bear with me today, as it is Friday, and I hope that I will have internet at the house when I get there today...

Have a fantastic first day of October, my friends.