Monday, January 31, 2011

My First YouTube Video EVER!!

I have to say, it was not as hard as I thought it would be.

It was, however, much more ugly than I wanted it to be.

Lighting was bad, the white board I used wasn't spotless, and I was jiggling the camera like I was in an Earthquake....


And hopefully, you guys liked it too..

Here it is, in all it's glory!

I hope you liked it, and hopefully I can get some better things going with more practice, and have more to share soon!

I am having fun with this, my friends...

Have a great day!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Need a second...

Been playing with the camera...

Need some time to play.

Break day.

Have a great weekend, my friends.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm serious this time...

IT HAS ARRIVED! I have procrastinated about this forever, and at the coaching and requests of several friends... Ahem, Rex.. I finally broke down and got a video camera.

Why now? Why this one? Well, I woot every day, and this was a deal that I felt was worth it.
What is woot? Awesome site with great prices on random crap once a day each day.  And I lucked out with this piece of random crap which I actually did need!


So I am going to be playing with this over the next few days, including the weekend, and I should.. key word SHOULD have a video to share with you all after this weekend is over.

Now, what should I do it on?

So many options!!

So while I figure that out, let me know what you guys would like to see and I will see what I can do.

My page on YouTube is here. LadyOhh's Channel.

Yeah... I'm LadyOhh everywhere.

So be patient, enjoy when it does come, and until then, have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boys on break, What to do?

I realize I haven't been sharing much of the activity going on in terms of breeding, but to be very honest with you, there hasn't been much to share!

The boys have been pulled for a few days, and although they have had their respective female partners this past week, I didn't get any real clear locks out of the whole period of time. Therefore, there are no photos.


What to do to pass the time?

The deluge of questions has tapered off, and I have not been overcome with a specific topic to discuss today.

So I took photos.

When in doubt, Heather, take photos...

So here we are.

Recessive fun for this blog. 

Why recessives? Well, cause they are awesome, that's why... 

This is my holdback awesome Genetic Stripe female that I produced (FINALLY) this year. I am super proud of the way she looks, and I have to say I can't wait to see how she develops into a breeder. Solid stripes for the WIN!

And these two boys are going to be big time breeders in the arsenal when the time comes. Above is my Pastel Pied male, and below, my Lavender Albino male.  I cannot WAIT to use these guys in projects. But, as my luck seems to happen, my recessive males (cough cough, CLOWN) tend to be a bit slow in developing. 

We shall see. These guys are on the puny side. They have some time to grow. 

By the way, that black spot on the Pied is not a mite, nor is it dirt. It is a birth mark, and I love it. Maybe I should name him Chip? I'm not sure...

And I could not get the best colors on the Lav boy. I'm going to have to play around with the camera some more. Not true colors on this one. It's tough to make work. 

Oh well.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hypo Magic

I think I've said this before, but Hypo (aka Ghost) genetics are magic... I cannot think of any morph that Hypo doesn't make better. 

~Side note: Hypo = Ghost~

I can say that of a few morphs... Pastel does not fit with a few morphs (the darker ones), Spiders do not combine well with everything (Spider Pieds?), etc..

But Hypos? Ghosts? BOO-YAH, baby! I love it!

Above we have the Hypo Mojave, one of my favorite base Hypo combinations. 

Below, the Honeybee.. Hypo Spider. Oh yeah, baby! Love these too. Buttery golden goodness..

And of course, the popular Pastel Hypo. Can't have too many of these guys hanging around.

This gal below isn't quite a Hypo, but this was my miss this year on the Humblebee, the Bumblebee Hypo. But if you imagine and smash together the Pastel and Spider Hypos, you can imagine what it would look like!

Het Hypos are all the rage too! This is a group that I have here. Black Pewter het Hypo male that I hope to be a father soon enough. I can't wait to see these in Hypo flavor! 

And the Black Pastel het Hypo as well. I love these, as you well know I love Black Pastels. I can't wait to make some babies! 
So Hypo forever, my friends. Even if you don't love them, you have to have at least something to work into it. 

It's a recessive trait, so if you have a goal, just add some Hypo to it from the beginning! 
You won't regret it!!!

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Who is Heather Wong?

I am pressed for time today, as I still have to pull rodents from tubs and so forth, and I had someone ask me about my path to Ball Python breeding, so I am going to share it.

It's something that I can type about with ease...

Once upon a time, long before Pastels were $100, Heather Wong was getting out of college.

I was graduating from my Alma Mater with a BS in Biology, which was done to to goal of becoming a Medical Doctor. It was something I had always found fascinating, and I felt that helping people was always my calling (I still do). I was, however, missing a few classes, but was going to take them later after a brief hiatus from school.

On top of my degree, I had begun raising animals. I had always wanted to be a Veterinarian, but as I am allergic to all manner of furry creatures, I decided for my own health that the path to Vet School was paved with misfortune.

But I had been breeding guppies, mice and hamsters on the side, just to have some respite from studying about Apoptosis and writing my Senior Project. I had found something I enjoyed, but was still having a hard time with (the fuzzies were bothering my allergies) some of the animals I was caring for.

So I moved on, and found Bearded Dragons. I loved them for their personalities and colors, so I began to invest some time in learning about breeding them. I never got far enough, as with school and with other obligations, breeding and even caring for Bearded Dragons was becoming too much. (Feeding 10 dragons twice a day while studying the functions of the Kidneys was not something I was interested in doing).

So, I rehomed all of the Beardies. I had already acquired my first Ball Python by then, Unagi, and decided to invest in a Ball Python Morph. Back then, Pastels were the bees knees, and were four digits of expense. So, I broke down and bought my first Morph, a Pastel Male.

I then looked into it as a possible venture, and saw that there were many other morphs to be had. I wanted them all, so I invested again in a rack. I got a Boaphile Rack, and the rest is history.

Fast forward to the present, and I have over 200 animals, at least 10 professionally made racks, many thermostats and heat sources, and a room that I never thought I would be needing more space in (but I do).

And even now, I need more space and time to get things where I really want them, but this current situation is a far cry from what I started out as.

Did I ever think I would spend more than $5k on a snake? No way...

Did I ever think I would be able to sell a snake for more than $5k? No way...

I didn't get into it for that. I got into it as a collector and hobbyist. I wanted pretty snakes and fun colors to play with and breed for more pretty fun colored snakes.

I feel that I am a bit beyond that as of now, but I still feel that the passion for the animals and their beauty surpass anything else that I do, in terms of shows, etc. I love sharing the joy that I have for my animals with the people who do so as well. It's just so much FUN!

Anyway, I currently work full time as a Chemist, partially to fund my snake habit, and partially to get my butt in gear to actually take the classes I intended to do back in the day. I am actually in the process of trying to get into the classes I need to get my Masters.

Wish me luck!!! I'm gonna need it, as there is a huge demand for the classes I need, so competition is fierce.

But, until then, I will be doing the snake thing, doing the Chemistry thing, and doing the domestic thing. I am slowly getting wedding planning in gear, but since we have a lot of time left (getting married in 2012), I'm not too worried.

But the snake thing? That is always the most fun.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Friday, January 21, 2011


There comes a time in every ones life that if they have a snake, they will need to be accustomed to rodents.

Mice, rats, gerbils... you name it.

You need to be aware of the care and husbandry of these little suckers too, as with someone like myself, I always end up with a few pets/left-overs every week.

Let us begin a brief overview.

NOTE: This is BASIC care. Yes, there is more that you can provide for your rodents. If you want to, please feel free!

For a mouse or a few mice, a 10 gallon tank or something equivalent is good.
One rat, a 10 gallon is also good. A few rats, a 20 gallon long will suffice. Bigger is better, but those are my suggested minimums.

I like using tanks as they cannot chew out. There are other places to house rodents, such as the wire cages with plastic bottoms, but I have had bad luck with those being eventually chewed out of.

SCREEN TOPS. METAL SCREEN TOPS. Slide-ons are better than push tops, as rats are particularly clever at figuring out how to push things up and out.


Food and water dishes need to be chew proof as well. Metal hoppers made out of wire are fantastic for food, and water dispensers should be glass. This will prevent any loss of materials, and the need to buy a new dish/dispenser every few months.

Bedding should be some type of soft wood. Pine is okay, Cedar is not. Paper is also okay. I use Aspen. 

Chewing is a big problem, as you can see... This can be prevented by using a wheel or some type of entertainment device. If they don't have something, they will find something.. i.e. themselves.

Cannibalism is not against their nature if pushed. Be aware.

Food and Water:

As you and I both know well, food and water are essential to life. So... if you intend to keep your rodents alive, please provide fresh food and water. I check mine every day, but every other day if you only have a few animals, should suffice.

Lab block is awesome for food, as it holds up well and doesn't require much refilling.

Water, on the other hand, while awesome for drink, requires more refilling than I would prefer, but such is life.

How many per area?

Not a lot... the more there are, the more they will compete for resources and may kill each other. I like to keep the animals limited to 2.4 in a 10 gallon tank for mice, for rats, 1.3.

In a pinch, it can be more, but realize that they will have issues. Squeeking, fighting, and even death may occur. Be hospitable, and provide the best housing you can under your circumstances.

I always have a "leftover" tank available for animals that do not get fed off. This is a 30 gallon tank that is always available. Sometimes I need even more, so I have a few tubs that I use to hold them as well.

I will go over the production of these next week.

So there you go, my friends. Be nice to the food. They deserve it in their last few days.. They are animals too, and deserve respect and care. Even if they do smell.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


 This season is happening already, but there are a few problems that I have been having with some of the breeders. 

I don't have any Calico stuff as I had planned this year, so that is a complete loss, although I do have this very cool Pastel Calico female up my sleeve for the next few years or so.

 But what else, Heather, is happening over there?

Well... My Clown is gay. 

I have no problem with him and his life choice other than the fact that I have several poss het females and het females I would like to prove out this season that I have so far not seen any action from. 

And all because Mister Homey D. Clown decided he is scared of girls. 

This has happened here before, and sometimes all it takes is a little time and the right amount of prompting. 

So for now, he is getting a little break from everyone.

Let's hope he decides to work his magic, as I would LOVE to hatch out a few of his progeny this year. 

And I am just tickled about this gal in my arsenal. I love Spinners.. I just want to see what I can do with all of my Spiders this year. I have a bevy of them, and there are so many things to be done and so little time to do them. 
Here is one of my plans... 

Spider to Enchi. 
Wannabees, anyone? I can't wait!

What else am I planning with my Spiders?

Another attempt at Queenbees to say the least. Other than that, I'm not really sure. I'm just certain that I will have plenty of Spider stuff this season. 


Enjoy the image, plan your dreams, and have a fantastic day, my friends.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Photography and the Industry

It is extremely important to take good photos in this hobby/industry. 


Well, I don't know about you, but if you live in New Jersey, you will not be able to see my snakes in person unless you took a long trip to a show (which I think is a fantastic idea, you should totally come out here...) 

So how do I, Heather Wong, show you, Miss or Mister New Jersey, my snakes and the quality in which I produce?

Clear cut, no blurry pictures photography. 

Pictures of your snakes can make or break a sale. 

I admit that there are some crappy photos of some of my snakes online, and I really believe that that is part of the reason why they are not sold.

Now there is no reason for you all to go out and buy the top of the line camera out on the market today. I almost guarantee it is more than you would ever need, and if you just took your decent point and shoot and learned how to focus it correctly, there would be fantastic photos oozing out of the memory card you are using in a heart beat. 

Someone asked me back in the day what kind of camera I use. 

I use a Panasonic DMC-FZ7. 
I've used it for YEARS.
Why haven't I upgraded?

Cause I really don't know how to use anything fancier. 

Now if you do, feel free to get your rocks off on a top of the line camera. 
I would LOVE to have one, but how I see it is that it just doesn't make sense to buy a new one if I have no clue. This is not to say that I don't want a nicer one, I'm just content for now with what I have. 

Yes, I just point and shoot. Sometimes I use the flash. 

Ooooooh! Fancy.

I do not do anything other than that. Sometimes I crop, but I don't have the software to do anything cool. 
Now this brings me to photographs of other more technologically inclined people.

People will edit photographs to make things look better. This happens more often than not in lizards (Bearded Dragons and Cresteds is where I see it most often), but can happen with any animal photo. 

You are out there looking for the brightest orange Pied you can find... Well, hey! I can show you one with a few tweaks of photoshop.
Doesn't mean that it is legitimate when you get the box to your house.
So be aware. 

I hate to be so doom and gloom about people, but I have seen it happen, and it is worth it to be cautious rather than ignorant. 

And yes, this pied is really that brown/orange... AND WHITE!

So what do you need to take from this blog today other than the fact that I took photos?

Brush up on your snake photo taking, my friends. 

Click away, share on the forums, get some feedback. 
And do it again. 
And again. 

It's a never ending skill you will need.
Perfect it with whatever camera you have.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Business name

I was posed a question thru e-mail about how I picked out my business name.

This is a very important choice that one must make when you are starting out in the industry.

This name is what you will be represented by, what you will be known for.

How do you pick this life changing name for yourself?
Where to begin?

Here are a few tips I would suggest thinking about before making the big decision:

  • Do you plan to only breed specific animal types, or general reptiles over time?
    • This is something that I decided to keep general. "Herps" refers to all reptiles, while if I had picked "Ball Pythons" or something along those lines, it would be tough to represent myself as someone who breeds anything other than that particular animal. 
    • I know a friend that is branching out from Leopard Geckos, and the business name is specifically gecko related. Do people know that this breeder has Ball Pythons or Boas? No, they wouldn't know that by the name. 
  • Do you want to keep it in the family, your first name, or something that means something to you?
    • I didn't do "Wong's Reptiles" (not that that sounded very interesting to me) because I realize that I could change my name at some point. I also didn't want to be like everyone else, so I wanted to be a bit more creative. Heather will always be my name, as well as it being pretty cute with another H attached to it.
    • I wanted to do "Regal Reptiles" because my dog's name is Regal. That was taken, and it also has a secondary meaning, associated with the Royal Python, ie. Regal... It was a good idea at the time.  
  • Once you decide what you want to do, GOOGLE it. Make sure someone else isn't already using it!  
    • This happened with me and Heather's Herps back in the day. When I decided I wanted to use it, I bought the domain name and did a bit of research. Unfortunately for me, there was another Heather in Canada that was using the name and was selling Corn Snakes. She was not into it big time, so I chose the polite way and e-mailed her suggesting that she change her name since I was the owner of the domain name to prevent any confusion. After several e-mail exchanges and a few heated words, she changed it. I've been checking in on that since that happened, but after less than a year, she disappeared. 
    • I google my business name a few times a year just to make sure there aren't any other people that may be attempting to use my name in any way other than positively associated with me. 
  •  Do something that sounds good to you! 
    • You will be the one that will be using it for as long as you are in the industry, so I hope you pick something you like!
    • Pick something that people will remember. People will remember you, people will remember your business name, but only if it is clever enough to matter... Joe Shmoe will remember you at a show only if you are recognizable and worth remembering. A catchy name will help the situation! 
  • You can change your name, but it will be hard... 
    • Don't count on being able to change your name. You can do it, but at the expense of all the time and effort you spent while under your current name. Bottom line is, try to figure something out that will keep forever.

So I hope this helps!!! 

Good luck picking your name, and I'm sure I will be seeing you and your business name around eventually.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wholesalers, Flippers and Breeders: The differences

This one is for a friend of mine who asked me to touch on this last week.

Let us go over what Flippers, Wholesalers, and Breeders are.

Definitions are somewhat different, and sometimes overlap, but I will try and make it clear enough for you to determine on your own who you know and what to label them as.


You and I know what this means. These are the people who spend the time to raise their breeders, feed them, care for them, and breed them selectively (usually) to produce animals that they feel are good quality and healthy.

They tend to hold on to animals for future projects, and keep records as to who does what when, as well as what they intend to do with animals that they produced. It's a viscous beautiful cycle, and the breeder loves it. That's the passion and the drive that keeps them doing what they are doing.

Animals produced are produced for a reason, and the babies are what they know they are (usually, exceptions being dinkers).

These are the people making the snakes.


These guys are the ones that buy excess animals for whatever reason.

Breeders make 100 normals, and although it is awesome to see the babies pop out, they are not needed in future projects, so they are sold to wholesalers or pet stores to supply the pet trade.

Pet stores are somewhat of a wholesaler, but in a different category, in my opinion. They are the ones that are selling to Joe Shmoe, and can (if they have the resources) teach Mister Joe about the care and husbandry that they are familiar with.

Now wholesalers buy up whatever morphs or "leftovers" that a breeder or hobbyist wants to move and sells them for a profit. This is somewhat of a grey area, as this entails not knowing completely the history behind the snakes that they are selling. Some wholesalers care, some do not. The distinction is in the specific person wholesaling.

Do they back up the animal with a guarantee? Depends...
Pet Stores usually do, Wholesalers, it depends.

This is a not so clear area of sellers in the reptile trade. Some are good, some are not so good.
It is up to you to determine what you feel comfortable with.


This is a bad word in some circles of the reptile world. Why? Well, these guys are the people that take animals from breeders and flip them for profit. How quickly? It really depends on the person and the animal, but usually this is only a month or two, maybe even less.

If the animal is sick or not in optimal health, the flipper more than likely doesn't even notice. They are just out to move the animal quickly and for a profit. The longer they have the animal, the less profit they make. Flip it!

Now again, this is a grey area, depending on who you are talking about. Some people actually take the time to care about the animal and where it was produced, what the morph/locality is, etc... Most do not, which is why being a "flipper" is again, a bad word.

Now how do you tell who you are buying from and what you are getting?

Do your homework.

Do they have a good reputation? Have they been around long enough? Does the price seem too good to be true? Can they show you parental lineage? Can they vouch for the health of the animal and how long it has been in their care?

All things you as a consumer/customer have to determine in your own comfort zone where you want to be.

If you don't care that the person selling the animal can't tell you what the parents were, then by all means, buy from a wholesaler/flipper.

But remember this, these people are in it more for the profit than for the animal most of the time.
(I do not want to make generalizations because I know there are some people out there that are not.)

Money is always nice, but for peace of mind, would you rather save $100 and possibly lose the animal and your money, or buy from a breeder that can help you in the future if something goes wrong?

Again, things to think about.

This blog is not meant to sway you one way or the other, as I am trying to be as unbiased as I can under the circumstances.

Like I said before, I have sold to wholesalers, and I still would love to know that my animals, albeit not being sold by me, are getting good homes in the end.

So the final thing to take away from this is, do your homework, try not to just look at the dollar signs. If that is your only focus, you are in the wrong industry.

Have a fantastic day, my friends.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breeder Etiquette

While I know that some people may have enjoyed the Customer blog from yesterday, it got me thinking...

Yes, the customer is someone that can forget the common courtesies that people would appreciate, but what about the breeder?

Breeders have a higher standard to live up to, as they are the ones that are providing the animals and the service that people are seeking.

"The Customer is always right" comes to mind, however difficult that may be to swallow.

And as I mentioned yesterday, that isn't always the case...

But here are a few rules I truly feel need to be followed by all breeders, big and small.


Stand behind your animals 100%, or don't sell them at all.

If you don't believe that your animals are top notch, super high quality, and healthy, why sell them?

At least for things you don't want to sell, just let someone else sell them.

Pet stores, flippers, wholesalers, the lot of them just look at the animal for the type and the dollar signs, not the quality, so those are the people that will sell those types of animals.

(Something to keep in mind, my friends, when you are looking for the morph of your dreams in times when the animals are scarce, ie right now)

Is this to say that I don't sell to Pet Stores or other people?
No... I do. I admit that I do.
I supply the local TRUSTED pet stores with low end morphs and normals when need be. This is part of producing a decent amount of animals.

But the ones that I sell personally, I know what went into getting them where they are, i.e. feeding, hatching, caring, etc. That is why I back them up. I know what I did! They are healthy, well-fed individuals with a history I can call upon if need be. That is what buying from a breeder is all about. (We will touch on this again on Monday, per an e-mail request)


Answer questions and calls as if they were your own.

Yes, we touched on this yesterday, but I wanted to elaborate on this.

Getting a one sentence e-mail from either the receiving or sending end is not appropriate.
You care enough to sell your animals, care enough to respond with more than one sentence.
"Thank you for your interest" is enough to make it more sincere (at least if you mean it) and more personal.

Also, do so in a timely manner.

Two weeks is not timely, unless you are on vacation and have already told the particular individual that ahead of time. A month or more?? You could be dead for all the customer knows, and heck, if I were them, I would have already moved on to another breeder to find what I was looking for.

It's not rocket science, people. It's common courtesy.


The Customer is your friend.

Remember that the customer is not someone who is set on working with you only. There is a reason why they chose to buy from you, albeit quality, price or just cause you are cute, there is a reason.

BUT that reason could also be a reason for them to take their business elsewhere.
There are plenty of breeders out there, and plenty of snakes.

Remind them why they chose you by being courteous, friendly, helpful and there when they need it.

This can be done by a simple e-mail check-in, to an actual full blown friendship, which I personally have done many many times over the years. I am proud to call many of my customers my friends, and I hope they would do the same.


Treat the Customer as you'd like to be treated.

This one is a doozy, as there are so many ways to take this.


You buy an animal, and two weeks later, it dies. What do you do???


Contact the breeder and see what they say. Hopefully, they have clearly defined Terms of Service that outline what they would/could do for you, but even if they don't, do you expect anything from them? It depends, but I know if I were the customer, I'd at least like to hear what they think happened. Would I expect a replacement animal? Well, again, depends on the TOS of the breeder.

Me personally? I would replace the animal if it were thru no fault of the owners. How is that determined? Necropsy or something of that nature.

Now of course if you step on the snake and kill it, that is a line in which I am not interested in crossing again by providing another animal.

Now lets look again at the Rule.

"Treat the Customer as you'd like to be treated"

Again, we come back to courtesy, respect, kindness and so forth.
Sometimes this is hard for some people. If that's the case, take a step back, a deep breath, and stick to e-mails. You can always type out what you think and edit it later.

This is of course, not the complete list of rules, as I am feeling as if some of them are melding together anyway.

Just remember this, my fellow breeders and aspiring hobbyists:

Customer service is key. Your animals speak for themselves, but you speak for you. Represent yourself and your snakes honestly and with compassion, and you will get far in the industry.

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Customer Etiquette

As a person who receives plenty of e-mails in regards to my animals, as well as general inquiries about husbandry (care) and morph information, I want to touch on something that I feel people seem to lack now a days.


Yes, Eh-tih-ket.

That little thing your mother or father taught you when you were two and didn't know better.

Now, this is not to say that you, my beloved blog reader, are one of these people at all. I'd like to preface my rant by saying that this is NOT in any way meant for any particular person that I have encountered over the years.

But let me begin.


Do not tell me that you can and will get X Morph that I am selling somewhere else for cheaper.

My response?

Feel free to do so. With that, you may be getting in over your head with a smaller animal, a problem feeder, or an overall less quality animal. AND, you will be missing out on the customer service in which I provide to any person who chooses to buy from me. Yes, I will answer your e-mails, and your questions, and anything you want to send my way. Yes, I will talk about the weather with you if you so choose. THAT is what I do.

Good luck with that.


Haggling is part of the game, but low ball me and insult my intelligence, and I will no longer be willing to talk to you.

Low Balling is a typical move of people looking for the best price they can possibly squeeze out of you.

Here's the problem with that... The only people who are willing to take those deals are those that are desperate. Desperation comes in many forms, family emergency, job loss, etc... There are times when it is necessary to move an animal for the sake of the animal itself. Otherwise, you are more than likely getting an animal that has been sparsely fed, not well taken care of, etc.

Now most breeders are very much in a position to keep all of the animals they produce if need be.
Do we want to? No, not really... But do not try and play it like we are. It's just uncouth.


Be polite, type up more than one sentence in an e-mail inquiry, and realize that we want to know that you care just as much as you want to know we care.

"Hey, is that snake still available?" is not quite the e-mail we as breeders expect from a prospective customer. I personally like to know that the person inquiring actually cares a bit about the snake that they want to buy, be it asking for more information, more photos, etc...

Plus, if you don't leave a name on the e-mail, am I supposed to call you in my response to you?

The same goes for phone calls.


Please call once as an inquiry, leave a message with your phone number and name if we cannot pick up the phone, and wait for a response back.

This is kind of a roll over from Rule Three, but valid none the less.

I have had children call me at all hours of the night asking about Ball Pythons, and also calling non-stop until I pick up.

One boy called 15 times in 20 minutes. That rankled me a tad as I was in a business meeting, but once I got him on the phone, I explained to him that I work full time as well as breed snakes, and that if I cannot get on the phone, please leave a message and I will call him back as soon as possible.

Life tends to get in the way of e-mails and phone answering, so please keep that in mind when expecting immediate responses.

I know I try my darndest to answer things as soon as I can, but sometimes things slip thru the cracks. We are human too.


If we as breeders ask for you to send us an e-mail to make sure your shipment arrived safely, please remember to do so.

This is a slight issue, not something that really comes up often, but I do have anxiety, just as you do, about your package arriving correct.

Please, as a courtesy, just as we would do for you.... Pretty please with sugar on top.


We are human, you are human, treat us as you would like to be treated.

This is something that I think everyone in the world needs to be reminded of once in a while. We are all human, we are all people, and we all deserve respect. Treat your fellow man well, and you will be rewarded.

Always a nice thing to remember.

These rules are not all that there are, and I'm sure I could come up with a few more.

There are days which I feel like pasting these rules to people's foreheads that I see around the forums, or at a show...

Remember that even though you want your snake, your hamburger, your car wash, etiquette and politeness goes a long way.

Have a fantastic, polite, smile filled day, my friends!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How I breed

Well.. Not how I breed.... that would be completely inappropriate and downright X rated.

This is a blog about how I pair up snakes for breeding.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

Anyway, how do I do it?

I usually, as you could see in yesterdays blog, have a plan for who goes where...

The males get ready, and I put them in with the specific females they get. They get to spend 3-4 full days in with the females. If I see a lock with them, I take them apart sooner and give the male a break, or a new female.

So in general, 3-4 days on, 2-3 days off. I usually rotate the males once a week or so.
Females usually get at least a visit or two each month.

I allocate a male 2-4 females each, depending on the project. I have males that only get one female, however.. Just depends on the project in question.

And now on to said locks that I wait to see:

Spider het TSK Axanthic 50% Poss Het Albino male to Albino het TSK Axanthic female. Yeah, that is a mouthful, but I am all about maybe getting a Snow Spider out of the deal....

Pastel Lesser to Spider female. Queenbee attempts again this year. Lets see that it actually comes to fruition this time. 

Genetic Stripe to Het Genetic Stripe. More Stripes please!

Pastel Het Pied to Het Pied. Pastel Pieds FTW!

Spider Mojave to Pastel Yellowbelly. They are almost there in this picture, I'm pretty sure they managed to lock up at some point. 

And last but not least, Albino to Spider poss het Albino. Albino Spiders are awesome, so I can't wait to see them hatch out, if they do! Spiders het Albino are also great. I can handle that.

So there you go, my friends.

Until tomorrow, have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Starting to gear up...

Usually when there are fewer and fewer babies from the season before can I actually focus more on the breeding for the year to come.

That is the case as of today.

Yesterday I cleaned up all of the tubs of babies that are now living in new homes, and I am thrilled! Not because I dislike having goo-gobs of cute baby ball pythons, but because there is less work that has to go into "baby" time.

And with less baby time needed, the more adult time can be spent, including photos and new things to approach and discuss amongst ourselves.

So with adult time comes less direct cleaning, but more thinking. These guys have been gearing up for a few years on getting big enough and ready enough to breed.


So of course, my job is to set up the play by play.

Move this male here, feed this female up a bit more... get that male in with that female since he doesn't like that one...

It sounds easy, but it really isn't.

I am always second guessing myself as to what to pair with what..

Have I shown you my list, you guys?

Yeah, I do a pre-breeding season list...

Here is a little snapshot of it...

Yeah. See all the scribbles and stuff that I couldn't decide what to do???????????

In most of my projects, that is how it works.

Scribbles upon scribbles cause I am not 100% sure what to do with some of the gals I have in the arsenal.

Which is why I turn to you all, my internet blogging buddies, cause sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on in frustration.

Not that this is an unhappy problem, really... It's just one that could harbor a bad year versus a good one in the choices of pairings that I would do.

THAT is what the problem is.

Lots to consider.

So of course, I have been moving the pairs around and right now, this is who is together:

Albino x Spider ph Albino
Sterling x Normal
Pastel Yellowbelly x Yellowbelly
Pastel Lesser x Spider
Pastel Super Mojave x Black Pastel
Pied x Het Pied
Pastel Het Pied x Het Pied
Pastel Orange Ghost x Het Ghost
Spider Mojave x Pastel Yellowbelly
Lemonblast x Pastel

.... and a few others at the moment

Granted, this is just who is in with who. Some of these pairings will not result in a lock, so lets keep our fingers crossed for some locks with these guys!

Lets make it happen.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Show Brief

Well, I didn't get to take pictures of the PVC Piping because Joel was the one who set it up for me on Friday.

I didn't get a chance to do any of that, so that will have to wait until tomorrow so that I can explain it.

As for the show, I had a great time, it was a fantastic turn out with more people than ever before showing up to a Reptile Super Show!

I am very pleased with how many new faces I met over the past two days, as well as some very nice blog readers that introduced themselves to me over the weekend, including at the auction.

Again, I thank each and every one of you for reading this blog and making it known that you appreciate it. I love knowing I am not doing this in vain.

Anyway, here are the photos I managed to take over the weekend, not much, but stuff I had never seen before or had seen and not known much about.

This is a Pewter het Red male, and he looks awesome! I like how he turned out, but I hope my boy doesn't lose his pattern as much as this guy did.

Of course, one of the morphs yet to be in my collection, the Champagne. I like them... just not enough yet.

 And a Pastel Champagne..

This was very interesting, something I didn't know had been produced... This is a Crystal Fire.

It has way more color than a regular Crystal in terms of the peaches and oranges, and as I was told, this guy came out of the egg solid WHITE.

How cool is that?? This is something to be done for sure.. I am on the books for this one next year...

An absolutely awesome Calider. Calico Spiders would have never been something I would have thought of doing, but if they turn out like this one, I am all for it.. 

And a Pastel Jigsaw. I love this morph, and hope to make a few in the future. I think I may do the pairing tomorrow. I never decided what to do with my Pin female this year...

Anyway, I am going to get some rest. I sold out a LOT of stuff, so I am due to update the available page today or tonight. There is very little left to be had this season, and that works for me, as the new season is gearing up!

Have a fantastic day, my friends. To those new and old, you know I love yah...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Popping (with horrid pics)

So I tried.. I really did. 

Joel was not as cooperative as I would have liked, and I actually have hurt my finger recently in a knife wielding accident, so this wasn't the best time for me to do this, but I did it anyway!

Lets see if I can explain this as much as I can with the photos. Above is how you would hold the tail. Put your pointer finger across the base of the tail, and the thumb and forefinger of your other hand holding the tail. 

Bend gently back to expose the vent. 

Roll your pointer finger towards the vent, while also pushing gently down and out with your thumb. 
Hemipenes like these will show up if it is a male. I wish the flash were on (which Joel completely ignored me about) so that you would be able to see the color and detail more clearly of the vent area... But my "finger was in the way". 


Here we have a female. Notice that there are no penes at all, albeit there are a few nubs. Nubs are typical, but if they are not more than 3-4mm long and red, they are not hemipenes. 

If you notice the base of the vent, it is getting a bit red in the scales. This is typical of bruising behavior in light animals (this was a Pied). So if you see a lot of red around the vent, STOP. You are pushing too hard.

 So I hope to be able to get a more willing photographer and try this again soon. Until then, this is all I can do. 

I hope this helps, and let me know if you have any other questions. 

Have a fantastic weekend, my friends!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How I prep for a show

As you may or may not know, I will be vending at the Pomona Super Show this weekend.

This is a first for me, as I usually sell out before this show. Thing is, I hatched out more than before, and I am ready to do this!

I like this show as a spectator, as it is pretty well attended and has a good general following of people in the area. Los Angeles has a large population, and with that, a large group of hobbiests in the area!

I love it.

Anyway, I prep for a show by doing several things, which I have yet to do, but for my sake and for the sake of writing things down, I will outline for you.


- I make sure all of my acrylics are functional and clean, that my ink pens are not dried out, that my hand sanitizer and business cards are all in quantity.

- I check the "Show Box" for all the supplies.

They are as follows:
  • Paper Towels
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Power Cord
  • Hand Sanitizer (to put out) 
  • Business Cards
  • Ink Pens
  • Chlorhexidine Spray bottle
  • Table Cover
  • Show Banner
  • (If the Show does not provide drapes) Banner holder (PVC Piping)
  • Zip Ties
  • Snake Bags
  • Snake Cups
  • Receipt Book
  • Stamps (Sold, etc)
  • and More....
I have collected plenty of stuff over the years of things I never thought I would need at a show, including scissors, hair ties, and even candy. So, there are a lot of things to plan for, and that is just some of it.


Make sure that everything you intend on bringing is presentable enough to bring to show to the public. Is it too small? Is it in shed? Is it a bad feeder? All of these things you have to think about before packing up your snakes to bring to a show.

Make an inventory and price list before you go, just to have some semblance of organization when you set up, as depending on how much time you have and how much help you have, it may take WAYYYY longer than you think.

I use an excel spreadsheet with counts of animals, as well as prices. This helps in remembering what was sold, as well as keeping tabs if something gets stolen.


I bring things that keep me comfortable. We have a cushy chair that I bring, as well as my laptop and my phone. Entertainment when things get a little slow... I brought a few magazines once as well, but that didn't end up being necessary, as I didn't get any time to read. Also, a sweater. Sometimes these places get COLD (or too hot), so bring things appropriately to account for the temperatures.

We always bring a cooler as well, as there is not often time to go and get food in an 8-10 hour period of time. Sodas, water, snacks.. All good things to prepare for. Beer works too, depending on the show promoter.


I don't know about you, but I provide paperwork when I can, and that includes at a show. If I sell a Het, it will come with paperwork. So, I bring it!

This also includes the paperwork that doesn't have to do with genetics, including your receipt book, your vendor license, your permits for sale of whatever particular animal you sell (depending on the area). You never know when something comes up...


I always psych myself out before a show, usually because I bog myself down with "Gotta do this, gotta do that." Always remember that these things should be FUN! If you aren't having fun, you are doing something wrong. If anything, its a great few days to get out there and talk to the people about the snakes you love! SMILE, get sleep, get hyped up, and get ready for it!

It's a ton of fun when all is said and done.

It's just exhausting.

So, with that, I think I'm going to go take a power nap. I need to get all I can in before this weekend comes.

Have a fantastic day, my friends!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

That kinda looks purple to me...

Well, I have finally achieved a milestone in the want department of the collection.
My friends, I have finally gotten my Lavender Albino male. 

It was a tough road, as many people seem to have been snatching these guys up left and right. 

I only succeeded with the help of a friend. 

He is a late hatch, and I was told this guy was the best looking one out of the whole season. 


Now you may be saying to yourself.. "Gee, Heather is a bit crazy. This snake looks like a regular albino to me..."

Let me tell you, buddy. This looks like something different in person.

Let me show you!

This photo was taken with one of my regular Albino subadults, which we well know are pretty hot on their own.

Look at the color difference! The whites are white on the Albino, and the whites on the lavender are... well, Lavender!

I wish I had a smaller Albino to show you the difference, but I do not, not when this guy is in quarantine. 

So, I have achieved! And I am so glad to have him here!

Now what to name him...

I'm sure we will figure it out, right? 
Comment away!

Have a fantastic day, my friends. 

(P.S. I am still working on getting good photos of snake junk for you all to see)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Het Red Combos

So I've been getting a lot of questions about Het Reds again, and I wanted to touch on it in a way that I have not already done so here

Het Red Axanthics are a base morph, and photos of said base morphs are on the link above. 
Here, we will explore the combinations of Het Red Axanthics. 

Yes, there is a Super, and it is referred to as a Red Axanthic. 
It is NOT recessive, it is a co-dom morph with recessive sounding title.
Just another way to confuse the public. 

Here is the Super form of a Het Red Axanthic. It is my Red Axanthic male. Does he look Red? Well, yes, compared to the recessive Axanthic. I am pretty sure I took a photo of the two side by side, but can't find it in the archives of my photos. 

Anyway, below is the Pastel Het Red. This is a double co-dom combination. Pastel x Het Red Axanthic. She's pretty, no?

 And of course, my gal... Chipo. 

This gal is my Onyx, and she is also a double co-dom combination. Black Pastel x Het Red Axanthic. 
I love this combination.

And the Pièce de résistance of my Het Red Axanthic collection, my male Pewter Gargoyle. This guy is a Pastel x Cinnamon x Het Red Axanthic. 

My Triple Crown boy... How I love thee, and hope that I will make more soon! He is shaping up very nicely. I will continue to share photos as he matures.

So there you go. 

Of course, I will be touching on a few other topics that have been requested of me, one of which is popping. That's going to be an interesting one. I'll need some photo help, but it will be done!


Monday, January 3, 2011

Back to it

 Yes, I am back to it, and so are the snakes and my picture taking skills. Here are a few of the pairings I have been doing over the last week, and a few pictures I managed to take. 

Here is Spotty McGillicutty, my darling bumblebee male with one of my big Pastel females. He's trying, but she's not having it yet.


And of course, my Lucky man (Mister Silver Bullet) is actually doing his buisness as well, with a Pastel female. He has been a stud so far this season, and I am trying to decide what else I want to put him with. Of course, with breeding comes the urinating before hand..  Usually the female expresses some urates and urine when first introduced to a male. It's rather odd, but more than anything, its frustrating, as I had cleaned this tub about 15 minutes before this pairing was done.


And again, my attempts at Snows. Come on, I really need one!! And the female was not really interested. Oh well. We have more time...

And last but not least, the Spider het Axanthic male with my Axanthic female. Here's to Axanthic Spiders!

So that's enough with the pairings for now. I will be touching on a few morph questions that have been piling up, as well as twin updates!

Have a fantastic day, my friends!