Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good Times

This weekend was a good one. I have gotten a lot of things done, albeit not EVERYTHING I wanted to get done, as well as just enjoying my time with my friends and with Joel.

Other than cleaning and feeding the babies, I really didn't do much snakey, persay. I did get to do a few things, like get the clutches prepared, get the website updated, and plug in the second incubator, but other than that, really not too much.

So of course, I am going to share with you not so much snakey stuff, and more about things in general. Life is getting busy, as it usually does around this time of year. I'm getting ready for babies to hatch, prepping for the shows that I will be attending, and getting ready for the mass exodus of shipping when the babies hatch out. Usually, for a Ball Python breeder, June thru October are the busiest months for animals. This year will be no exception, although I am actually trying to get ahead of the game by preventing the little things from catching up to me when the time comes.

So I am doing all of this.. NOW.

And taking breaks in between as well.

Joel and I actually got a chance to see a movie together.

By the way, The Hangover II? Hilarious, disturbing, and totally worth seeing. There's a reason why they call it Bankok, hunny...

So there you go.

I hope you all had a good weekend as well.

And have a great day, my friends.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Clutches 12 and 13

Egg Butt Puff realized, my friends. This is the female that had the puff a few days ago. She finally laid her eggs, and she didn't let me down, other than pushing her paper away from the bottom of the tub and pissing all over the place...

This female is a Het Pied female that I bred with my Pied male to get a few more pieds under my belt. Last year she gave me six eggs, this year seven! YAY for eggs!

They are nice and big and well veined, so here's to lots of Pieds in two months, my friends.

And later on that evening, I was doing my deep clean... I went thru and cleaned all the tubs, including a tub of a Mojave that was suspiciously underneath her hide (which I only provided due to the fact that she was a crappy eater without it). I moved it away when I saw her look like she was coiled around something...

And she was.

This gal was bred to a Mystic primarily, but also my Spotnose het VPI Axanthic male as well. We shall see what took, but there were only four large eggs in this clutch. I kinda hope for the Spot to be the father on this one...

We will see. These eggs are large enough to maybe house twins? Wishful thinking, but hey, I said it here, and if it actually happens... WOOHOOO!!!

So other than cleaning and dusting some of the racks, that is pretty much all I did this weekend. And study...


Can't wait to be done with that....

Anyway, to all of the Veterans out there, thank you so much for your service and dedication to our country. Let us remember the Fallen with respect and honor. Happy Memorial Day, my friends.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Clutch #11 and fatties

So Clutch #11 is on the ground, with Clutch #12 more than likely being laid right now...

But let's discuss Clutch #11 first.

Clutch #11 is an enigma wrapped up in a conspiracy, deep fried in a nutty coverup!

Well, not really... But I am not sure who the father is.

I know who the mother is, obviously... But I have no idea who I put with this gal that sired this clutch.

This gal was a "Oh crap, I'm not sure who would be the best bet for this gal... so lets throw a few things on her" female of this season.

So I did.

And I wrote them down, crossed some out, and the sticker on the tub is basically a bunch of scribbles where there should be a guaranteed father or fathers to be.

I can make a few things out, like Mojo Spider and Bumblebee... But I'm not sure why I crossed them out. This is basically a fail of records and organization for Heather.

For shame...

But we did get six glorious eggs out of the deal, and I'm sure they will be fantastic animals, no matter what pops out.

Mystery Clutch #1 for the season...

And of course, it looks like within the next few weeks, I will have the second incubator running full blast.

Here are a few fatties that I found in nesting position.

You gotta love the symmetry of it all. Beautiful little round buns..

Some a bit more fiesty than others...

And some much more nonchalant.

But all uncomfortable and due to give me eggs in a few weeks to a month.

Bring it on.

Have a great long weekend and day, my friends.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pre-Anniversary Break

It is the Anniversary of my Wedding to be.

So, as well as being in Finals week, I decided to take a break. I apologize for leaving you all hanging.

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So much to do, so little time...

I really really have a need to go into the snake room and do a MASSIVE clean.

Like sparkling clean, no dust anywhere, no snake scales anywhere, just somewhere you could, if you wanted to, eat off of.

Problem is, I don't have the time as of yet.

Maybe, if I get a day off and motivation to do so, I will get it done.

But, as we all well know, the more animals in one room, the more easily it goes towards dirty.

Of course, I have been asked "Why don't you hire someone to help you?"

Well, there are a few problems with that...

1) I have no ready funds to really support someone assisting me (and as I am somewhat of a cheapskate, I don't really want to have to...)

2) Who would I hire? It's a rough world out there, and I know there are plenty of good people out there, but it seems like there are more bad apples than good ones. Trust is an issue, my friends.

3) WHEN would I have them come over? I wouldn't want them working alone... And thus it would make it hard on me again to have someone help, that would need to fit into my schedule.

So, the moral of the story is....

Heather is just going to whine.

And get to cleaning slowly. As this weekend upcoming is a long weekend for most people, I hope to take it as a sign and actually get in there and vacuum and dust the hell out of that place. It's not the tubs themselves that are filthy... It's the racks. DUST EVERYWHERE. I can clean the tubs often enough, but to actually focus on the rack systems? That is something I don't do.

So I will.

BTW: Vision Rack Systems are hell to clean out for dust and particles.

Those will be the first ones I tackle.

So please send me nice cleaning happy thoughts this weekend as I partake in the cleaning rituals.

I'm going to need them.

Have a great day, my friends.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Clutch #10

And we have reached the double digits!

Here we have my original Het Red Axanthic female of whom I produced Chipo. This gal is a HORROR to breed, as it seems like she always manages to get a nice looking clutch that goes to hell in a hand basket later on.

Hopefully this won't be the case this year, but already it doesn't look to promising.

 Here she is on her eggs... 

Yeah, you see that slug? Yeah...

The clutch is just not that pretty. But of the four eggs that were laid, three of them look viable (the two boob eggs and the one closest to the photo).
For some reason, the egg in the middle didn't have any veins at all. Fingers crossed on that one, but I'm not counting on it. 

So... Three promising eggs!

Here's to some Gargoyles and Pewter het Reds over here!

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, May 23, 2011

BP and Cinny complex

I have noticed that a lot of my collection consists of Black Pastel and Cinnamon stuff. 
Is this a problem? No way, Jose!

But I do find that I have many of them. And also many combinations of them.

And I am going to share with you some pictures of some of them. 

Now we all well know that Black Pastels and Cinnamons are similar in terms of genetics. They both are dark and have an interesting pattern, as well as nice blushing and a orange-yellow undertone. They both have a solid dark snake as a Super form, and they both make similar looking animals when put with a Pastel (the Pewters). 

But of course, that is not to say that they are the same. Because they are not...

But they do work similarlhy, and therefgore should be considered as a complex type as well. 

I'm just not sure what they would be called.

The Black-innamon Complex?

I digress.

Now it is time to enjoy some pictures of some of the combinations I have hiding here. 
Above is the Pewter Het Red Axanthic, one of the few in the world, as I understand it. 

Below, we have a Black Pastel Lesser. Not so rare, but absolutely stunning.

I am really glad to have her in the collection. One of those combinations you wouldn't expect to look so amazing...

And of course, the Super... Kinda. 
This here is the Silver Bullet, the Pastel Super Cinnamon or Pastel Super Black Pastel or Pastel Black Pastel Cinnamon. 

Isn't that super confusing? Yeah... It is.

I'd love to have a contrast shot of these gals next to a Super Cinny or Super Black Pastel, but for some reason I don't have any. Oh well... 

So there you go.

Black Pastels and Cinnamons are awesome. 

The Blinnamon Complex, my friends... 

Have a great day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

BEL Complex combinations

BEL complexes are rather complicated. There are a few of them that create Blue Eyed Leucistics (BEL's), which is why we call them Blue Eyed Leucistic complexes. Let's visit a list that will more than likely not be complete, as people seem to be dinking with many new ones as well.

Het Russo

So if you combine any of these together, they make a Blue Eyed Leucistic.

Now on top of that, you can combine any of these with any other morph to make some amazing things as well.
Hypo Mojave

And that is what these photos are up here to show. People tend to be amazed by the BEL Complexes on their own, and with good reason! They do fantastic things to the color and the pattern of Ball Pythons, and when you combine other morphs with it, it makes it even more interesting. Hypo on its own is sometimes considered boring. Add a BEL Complex, and it POPS!

Pastel Crystal
Of course the base morphs themselves are fantastic. Fantastic + more fantastic = Super Fantastic!
I love the Pastel addition to a BEL complex, as there are plenty of things that perk up with Pastel BEL complex.

Add Pastel Mojave to a Special, and you get a stunning animal, as you can see with the Pastel Crystal.

Pastel Lessers are one of my favorites in the collection just based on the fact that they have such a striking contrast. You can always count on people to love Pastel Lessers. They are just so yellow!

Pastel Lesser
So of course, I took these pictures to show off. I fully intend to get a few more photos for you all, but if you have any requests, I'd love to fulfill them! Sometimes I worry I show off the same animals all the time.

Think about it, let me know, and have a great day, my friends!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Clutch #9 and more EBP

Well, the Egg Butt Puff actually resulted in eggs early last morning, but I didn't stay around to get them all until later. I did, however, take some photos before she was done.

 She looked miserable, of course, as most females are when pushing fetal things out of holes...
But a few hours later when I had the chance to get back into the snake room, she was done.

This female was the first female to lay for me last year, but this was not the case this year (obviously). 
So a few weeks later than the first clutch, we have six good eggs from my Pastel Super Mojave male and this female Pastel. 

I am hoping for a good bunch of Pastel Mojaves and Super Pastel Mojaves.

And some more Egg Butt Puff from my proven Het Pied female. She is the next one I expect to drop, although there are a few other females that are close as well (within the next week). 
We shall see!

And I was excited to see this, as I had been missing visual locks with this pairing. My Enchi male with one of my Mojave females (in shed and dirty). Lets see if this works, eh? Should be a great clutch if I get one... 
Fingers crossed!

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Egg Butt Puff


What do I look for when I am watching for a female to lay?

Why, Egg Butt Puff of course...

Now I want to preface this blog by saying that I kind of doubt that this term will catch on in the industry, but honestly, it is the best way to describe what is going on, as well as rather amusing and more than likely easy for most people to remember.


What is Egg Butt Puff?

Well, this gal here is the next to go in the Harem, but the problem is, she was PISSED OFF at me for interrupting her egg laying procedure.

RAWR, I said. Go AWAY!

I seriously took more than 10 pictures from different angles trying not to disturb her much before moving her head to actually be able to get the pictures I needed. 

And finally, we have Egg Butt Puff. 

Do you see it?

It pretty much looks like her butt is about to explode... with an egg!

This is right before egg laying. This image is extreme, and she will give me eggs within the next few hours. Now as I mentioned before, the EBP doesn't have to be right at the vent to count as Egg Butt Puff. It can be higher, and you can tell within a week that the eggs are going to come, depending on the speed in which the puffed part moves down towards the vent area. 

It's a matter of watching and waiting. And being observant. 


An awesome indicator of eggs.

Also pay attention to the spine spike. It is an indicator of where the eggs are within the female (if you can't palpate, its another thing to see without touching the animal)

So I hope to have some information on Clutch #9 tomorrow for you all!

Have a great day, my friends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brrrrr... It better be Snowing

It has been a long time since I have been working on the TSK Snow project. This will be my third year trying to hit it. I debated even breeding this gal again, since she has been such a spotty eater, but I did.

And she gave me four more chances at Snows this year.

Four BIG chances, so I hope maybe even twins? But I doubt it.

I have to say, I'm glad these eggs are on the ground, and I'm glad this gal gave me another chance at Snows, but she looked HORRIBLE after egg laying. So of course, I cleaned her up, cleaned her tub, and decided she needed another tub to live in. So now she is in the Trouble Makers Rack.

The Trouble Makers Rack are the snakes that I need to keep a bit more of a closer eye on, and she is absolutely one of those. Lets hope she recovers quickly from this season... I have a date for her next year if she can handle it with my Spider het TSK Axanthic poss het Albino male.


Here we are with the four eggs, looking hugemongous like they are.

So fingers and toes crossed for my TSK Snows this year. Some double visual recessives in the collection would work out fantastically, if I do say so myself.

And since I've struck out twice so far on Snows, it would be so so so nice to actually get one in these eggs this year.



So there you go, my friends.

Hope, wish, and pray with me on these clutches... The odds gods need to be nice to me this year.

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Clutches 6 and 7

 On Friday afternoon, I stepped in the snake room to this.

 My Spider het Blurry (a trait I am dinking with) finally laid her eggs. This clutch was well anticipated, as she was with my Firefly male. 

These Bumbleflies are going to be awesome.

6 eggs, one slug. 

One slug I can handle. 

Into the incubator they went, and the weekend commenced. 

Went to a wedding, got to hang out with some Marines, had some wine, had some cake. Good times to be had by all. 

On Sunday, after recovering from the wedding, I had a few things to do around the house. Didn't get into the snake room at all until later in the afternoon/evening. 
And when I got in there, this is what I saw.


This clutch is highly anticipated as a possible double recessive visual clutch.
My Hypo het Pied male with this Pied 50% poss het Hypo female. 

I really hope to at least get a Hypo out of it. COME ON, BABY!

Six chances at a Hypo Pied (hopefully), although I did manage to drop an egg in the transfer process. Didn't look any worse for wear, so we will keep an eye out on the egg and hope for the best. 

So there are the next few clutches that are here already. WOW! Clutch Seven... 


Anyway, I hope you all noticed the change over the weekend with the new website. Check it out, let me know what you like, what you don't, what needs to be changed, etc. This is the "get the kinks out" time. Help a sister out. 

Have a great day, my friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Age comparison

I did this type of this last year with a few morphs, and while I was in the snake room yesterday, I decided to try and do it again.  The difference between these animals is about a year.

Below, we have an adult Pastel and a subadult pastel. These are from different lines (adult is Bell Line, subadult is Graziani), but you can see the changes in the coloration between the two. It is rather dramatic, but again remember that these are not the same animal. The adult does not have as high yellow as the subadult, but the overall tone is the same.

Pinstripes! These guys don't change much other than they get darker. Most adult stuff gets darker as it ages, so of course, this is no exception. You can tell that the sub adult is somewhat golder, while the adult is rather browner. Pattern stays the same, really...


And of course, I saved the most dramatic for last. Pewters, both Cinnamon x Pastel crosses. The sub adult is rather silvery purple, with bright yellow tones. You could consider it grey even. The adult, however, has mellowed out into a nice golden overall tone, with a muddy upper tone above in the spine region. It is intriguing to see that the difference of about a year changes these animals so much.

Now I have intentions of completing a few more attempts at these photos. If you have any requests for particular growing animals (that I can actually do), I would be more than happy to provide them here on the blog.

Until then, my friends, have a safe and happy Friday the 13th, and a great weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Damnit. Clutch #5

Well, it was bound to happen. I always expect bumps in the road, and this clutch is absolutely one of them.

I went in to check on the girls and saw this one curled up in egg protecting position (also called the beehive). But the problem was... I didn't see any pearly whites! This was not a good sign.

And of course, when I removed her... I was right.

Spider het TSK Axanthic 50% poss het Albino male that I hatched out a year ago with a TSK Axanthic poss het Albino female that has yet to be proven to carry the Albino trait.

This was the first year for the Spider male, so I was hoping he could do his magic. Apparently, he could, but it wasn't very strong... Or maybe they didn't have enough time together.

Either way, we got this disastrous clutch. This is disastrous mainly because there is only one chance for me to hatch out my Axanthic Spider, which is on my path to get the Axanthic bumblebee... So this makes me sad.

One good egg, four slugs. (One boob egg that is still a slug).


So of course, being the one to always try and see the positive in this, at least there is one good egg! Lets hope that it hatches!!! I can't wait to see what comes out of it.

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh, how far we have come...

Last night, I spent some time with some of my old classmates at my Alma Mater for an Alumni Dinner.

It really put things into perspective as to where I am today.

I had always loved animals, always wanted to work with them, and wanted to have them as a part of my life. Being in the College of Science, I had the opportunity to work with them and study some of them as a requirement. I also got involved with working in the Reptile House on campus a bit, and got to see what goes on behind the scenes in an educational environment. (I was not jealous of the TA that had to work in the rodent room... PHEW!)

But again, it brings me back to where I started in this industry. I was in college at the time, and I had just gotten my first snake... I was thrilled to be able to have an animal, since while living in the dorms it was not permitted. I had her in my room at the house I was living at, and I was fascinated. I had a really good look at her, and look at myself, and thought... Hey. I like this!

So it began.

One became three became seven became double digits...

And I liked it even more!

Eggs came, babies came... learning happened.

Deaths happened, bites happened.

And I graduated and kept on keeping on. Worked full time, and did the snake thing.

So many years later (I think this is my seventh season?), here we are. I'm back in school to get more of an education, the snakes are a huge part of my life now, and I had no idea I would be where I am now.

But I am glad that I am.

So know this, my friends.

No matter where you are in life, know that if you want to get where you want to be with your projects and with your collection and with your reputation, just keep on keeping on. Do what you think is right, be the best that you can in the industry, insight the passion and the integrity that is so needed in this industry to others that are just beginning.

And take that and make it more than just snakes. Snakes are awesome, reptiles are awesome, but the people are what make it what it is... Having someone to share the inspiration and love of these animals with is something that can't be missed.

It's one of my favorite parts of doing this.

So thanks, guys. You know I love yah.

Keep on keeping on.

Have a great day, my friends.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Clutches 3 and 4...

Clutches 3 and 4 were laid this weekend, and I have to say that I am really glad. Clutch 3 was found on Friday, but honestly I think they were laid a day before (as you can see the wrinkles in the eggs on the side. I usually just write down when the clutch is found and put in the box, however, just to avoid confusion.

This clutch is from my male TSK Axanthic het Albino to a non-proven Het TSK Axanthic female. With 8 eggs in the clutch, she will either make it or break it. Lets go, Axanthics poss het Albino!

And on Sunday, Mother's Day, my beloved Scar FINALLY decided to give me my eggs. She had a long bathroom break beforehand, and messed up her nice clean tub (of course). From Easter, when I assumed I would get eggs from her, til now, she has been giving me a heck of a time mentally messing with my game.

But finally I don't have to check on her or worry that she is egg-bound.

I'm pretty sure she was getting fed up with me messing with her, including palpating her to make sure that the eggs were moving down her vent. She wasn't very happy with me when I took her out. 

But of course, I prevailed and cleaned her up, as well as cleaned up her tub. Now she is relaxing and eating and being a good girl.

She was bred to the Silver Bullet (Lucky) and also my Spotnose het VPI Axanthic male. We will see what happens with this clutch. Somewhat of a mystery clutch, but not too much so. Let's go, babies!

Six very large eggs from my girl Scar. Can't be mad at that!

Happy belated Mothers Day to all you Mothers out there! I know I gave an extra pat to Scar yesterday for being such a good Mom.

Things are getting interesting over here, and I will be glad to see some babies hatching out in the next two months.

Have a great day, my friends!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Herp Nation


Well, I have to say that things have been quiet for a bit now, but I want to update all of you about what is of concern in regards to reptile ownership in the United States.

Andrew Wyatt of USARK did an interview with Herp Nation Live that I feel that everyone should listen to.

So here we are.

Please take a few minutes (It runs for 5:34 minutes) to listen up on what is going on in regards to the Reptile Nation.

Here is the Link.

Take the time, see what you think, lets discuss.

Also, here is an interview with Andrew Wyatt of USARK on Reptile Living Room about what they do and why it is so important to the Reptile Community to get together and support this movement!

Here is the Link.

Have a great weekend, my friends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The one thing I know that most people don't associate with snakes is that they are cute.

They are demonized by many cultures, as well as in the Bible and many other religious facets.

Now it takes a lot for some people to even be in the presence of a snake, and I can understand that to an extent. I have to say that there are some snakes I would prefer not to be around (ala Venomous) for the sake of my safety and my ignorance on those particular species.

But for the most part, there are many other snakes that do not fall into this category, and I find them cute.

Granted, snakes do not have any type of emotional response, which I understand has a lot to do with people's discomfort with them. They don't give you many warning signs that they are upset, other than a neck curl. Compared to a dog, they are an emotional rock. Can you imagine your snake panting and wagging its tail when you come around due to excitement? I've been told they are more like fish, fun to look at.

I digress.

Cuteness is a personal determination, and I have to say some of the cutest moments in my snake career have been seeing snake eggs pip and little noses popping out.

And of course, extra cute when they try and eat me. The smaller they are, the funnier they are when they try to be big and bold. Of course, when they are big and bold, it's not as cute... It's rather startling. But I love them all the same.

So I wonder out there in Internet Land... Do you think your snakes are cute? Or is it just me trying to anthropomorphize my critters?

I also wonder if it's a gender thing. Nurturing cute critters for a female versus taking care of snakes for a male.

Anyway, this began with my holding one of my babies that is growing up to the camera... Gotta love watching them grow! It's a reassuring feeling knowing that they are getting big and healthy and strong. I'm a proud momma. And they are so CUTE!

Have a great and cute day, my friends.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Jeez, hotness...

Seriously, weather... It's not Summer yet. I can't deal with Spring temperatures at 94 degrees. It's just not fair.

I don't enjoy the super hot weather. I don't.

And when it comes several months early, I don't enjoy it even that much more.

The other problem with the hot other than my whining is the fact that rodent production stalls. I don't breed many rodents, but I have a tank of each for just in case. And neither tank has produced for a while (mice or rats).

So, what to do? I introduce new blood, older animals get to live on, but newer breeders come in. BUT!! My plans will be foiled if the heat keeps up as it does. Apparently rodents dislike heat just as much as I do and don't want to do anything in terms of getting hotter.

I completely understand.

But it makes things tougher.

I know my rodent supplier has swamp coolers that run thru out the Summer months into the Fall here in Southern California, as the average temps are around 90F for those months.

Can you imagine the electricity bills?


Of course for us Snake people, the heat is a welcome respite from having to heat tubs. My electricity bill tends to go down (a little) and then back up when I need to run the air conditioning. I don't like running the air conditioning, as I like to think Green when I can, so we try to suffer thru it until the last possible opportunity. When the incubators get overly hot, that is when we run the air.

Or when I can't take it any more.

Whichever comes first.

So here we are, overly hot already and me whining. Welcome, Summer. I've been expecting you...

Have a great day, my friends.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Collection photos

Well, this weekend, my friend Lewie and I took photos of the collection for the new website that should be popping up soon. Lewis Kessler Photography is his Facebook site if you so choose to check out his work.

While testing out a few backgrounds and new things, I got to use my own camera and played around with it myself. I am looking into a new camera (may get a hand-me-down soon), so I wanted to play around with photography again and some techniques.

Yellows and bright colors are easy to photograph on whatever background you so choose. Whites work well, as do background colors.

Whites with other colors pop well with any other background as well, although its better to use a darker background to set the contrast.

I still yet have not perfected the white on white background, although I am aware it has a lot to do with lighting. In the snake room, I have fluorescent lighting, which assists in real color recognition in photography, but not in extreme cases as in white on white. But, to be fair, this Pastel Super Mojave really is yellow, just not as yellow as it appears in this photo.

Well, those are the photos I took, and the ones that Lewie and I worked on should be visible shortly. I look forward to being able to unveil all of these to you soon, my friends!

It took a heck of an amount of time, as I took photos of all of the morphs I have here in the collection so far. But it was fun, and enlightening. Makes you appreciate what you have, and the beauty of the individual morphs.

So there you go, my friends.

Have a fantastic day!