Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This is admittedly late, and I am swamped with stuff, but I have to report that the Enchi female is eggbound.
Vet visit tomorrow.

Will update as I can.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Laying... and Pied Comparison

Well, my last clutch is being laid. Problem is, she is having a problem passing the eggs. I pulled the one egg in this photo, and there have been none since. The egg as well is infertile... Well... Fertile, but not going to go to term.

This makes me sad for the last of the season...

Fingers crossed at more good things. There are four more eggs on queue..

And of course, the long awaited Pastel Pied versus Pied blog!
Pastel Pied
Here we have my Pastel Pied male, and he is around a year old. Pastel Pieds tend to dull out as they age, and Pieds in general tend to mellow out as well. It's an interesting contrast, so I put my Pastel Pied with another Pied his age.

Pastel Pied and Pied
Here we have both side by side. You can tell the subtle nuances of color between the two. Yes, the Pastel Pied is brighter, but not by much! It is heightened even by the fact that I used my flash.

Pastel Pied and Pied
Here we have a more realistic color comparison. Yes, the Pastel Pieds are more yellow, but the basic pied on its own has a gorgeous golden tone to it as well.

And of course, the question about the eyes...

Pied eyes
I have to admit, eye color unless striking has never been a quality I pay much attention to... Granted, Spider eyes are awesome in their green cat-like tone, but for those like the Pieds, I never paid much attention.

So of course, I did. And I noticed in ALL of my Pieds, (basic Pieds) the eyes are deep rich tones. You cannot see the pupil much at all, and they are basically deep brown or black.

Pastel Pied eyes  

Now let us take a look at the Pastel Pied eyes...

You can't see it very well in the photo, but they have a tinge of gold green, and you can see the pupil. They are lighter, and yes, they are Pastel-y.

Pastel Pied Eyes
So what did I learn from this?

The eyes are windows to the soul... and I should pay attention to them more often.

I hope this helps in your Pastel Pied to Pied comparisons.

Have any other requests? Shoot them to me!

Have a great day, my friends.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Have a bit too much to do getting back into the swing of things.

Need a one day break.

Anticipate the Pastel Pied versus Pied blog in the mean time.


Friday, November 25, 2011

YAY! Second to Last Clutch

Well, here I was, Thanksgiving Evening, cleaning snakes... and I find this. 

This female is the second to last female to lay for me for the season. She is a proven Het Pied female bred to a Pied male. I am pretty excited about this, considering I need a few more Pied things to take hold over here. Plus hatching Pieds are always fun!

And of course, since I have family in town, it was that much more exciting to share this experience. And wait for said family to take a million pictures of the event.

And piss off the mother more so than usual...

But eventually, we got the photos taken and the eggs put in a box.

Seven good ones, my friends! I can't wait to see what pops out!

Here's to New Years Babies!

Have a great holiday weekend, my friends!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I want to give thanks to all of you out there that take the time to read my blog...

You guys are great, and my inspiration to keep going.

I am so grateful to have the opportunity to share my views and love for the animals in an outlet that is a resource for people.

I love the fact that in my life, I get to play with snakes, take pictures of beautiful creatures, and just share them with the world.

Snakes are fantastic animals, and I know you all know it too.

Thank you all for being there, thank you for caring about Ball Pythons and reptiles in general.

Happy Thanksgiving from Heather's Herps to yours.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Introducing.... Miss Piggy

I did it.

I finally got myself a Hognose.

I have always loved their little snouts and the face that only a mother could love. They are too adorable, and I have wanted one for a while.

This little girl came up on an auction, and I bid for her and won!

She is my only Hoggie for now, with slight intentions in the future to see where I can expand, but right now I'm just enjoying her!

She is quite the character, hissing at every little thing, and puffing up.

I love her colors! I also tried to get a face shot, but it was hard enough to get her to sit still for the photos she is currently in.

This was as good as I could get it to get her face. Oh, Miss Piggy.. You and I will be having a great time together.

And no, I'm not giving up on my beloved Ball Pythons. A girl can dabble, right?

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breeding and Blood

As a living, breathing creature, you have blood and you have reproductive organs. Sometimes, these things end up mixing together. It's not the best situation, when your reproductive organs are bleeding, but... it happens.

Rough and tumble, bad angles... etc.

It can and will happen.

This is especially true of male ground dwelling snakes. Sometimes, they drag their junk around before it is even needed, which tends to cause a bit of bleeding and redness.

Now, as a female, I don't want to make any sexist assumptions here, but I would like to point out that if the males are doing it to themselves and they haven't stopped it from happening again, I would be a little less concerned. They can feel pain, and they should have a basic instinct not to destroy themselves.

BUT, as animal caretakers, we must limit this exposure when possible.

YES, Ball Python males drag their junk around the floor when introduced to a female. YES, they can and will cause themselves slight harm.

Is this horrible and terrible and worth putting snake diapers on them?


It's part of the magic of reproduction. Sometimes you don't get it right the first time.

So if you see the blood on the vent, just pop your males and make sure there are no infections or internal foreign materials that have been absorbed by exposing and absorption. If there are either, then please take care of it, be it clean it up yourself or take him to a vet.

Blood around the vent is bound to happen... It even happens with animals that aren't even in breeding rotations.

If it is more than just a very slight crusting, I would be concerned. Any swelling, foreign objects, puffiness or hestiation to pop out a pene are all bad signs.

Blood in general is not a bad sign unless there is a lot of it. A lot will be quantified by being able to scab over something. That is a bad sign. Before that is a warning sign...

Bottom line is if you are vigilant with your males, and know what is normal and what isn't (slight crusting is normal), you should have no problems.

Keep breeding them the way you have been breeding them, but at any sign of foul play, separate and diagnose.

I hope this helps those of you out there with the same questions.

Check some of your animals and you will see that blood does tend to accumulate oddly on some animals around the vent. Take note at the amount. I will see if I can get a picture of someone soon for you all as well.

When in doubt, send me a picture and I will help you figure it out!

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, November 21, 2011


Sorry guys, have some things I have to deal with today.

Will be touching on Jackie's question about male breeding tomorrow.

Have a great day, my friends!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Break for the Weekend

Well, Thursday is feeding day, and the males are getting pulled out of female tubs for a little break.

And of course, I am gearing up for my own little break of the weekend.

I can't wait to be able to slog around for a while, considering things are gaining steam towards the end of the year.

I love the Holidays, and I am very excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there is not enough time to handle everything that needs to be done before the snow sets in.

Snow is a bad sight for shipping snakes, so most things are put on hold for a few months until the thaw.
Many people scramble to get things shipped before the Holidays (Christmas) too. Considering the mass amounts of packaging that tends to be exchanged over the month of December, this allows for more losses within the system. And losses of snake packages could mean life and death.

So this means buy now, or wait until the thaw... or live in California or a place that doesn't get snow!

Which is a welcome break for me to not have to run to Fedex every couple days, and to be able to just relax a bit, but it would be nice to send out a few more critters for Christmas.

This weekend is a weekend of accumulation. I have to get things managed and clean, as well as get things moved around. The males get the break for the weekend, and I get to think more about what goes where.

But it will be all good. I can't wait to be able to sleep in, dream of the upcoming turkey day that is creeping up fast, and the Holiday Season, which has already hit all major stores like a ton of bricks since the last week of October.


Yes, Grinchy as I may be, I get worse as the day comes closer... I get more tired of it the longer I hear it. I try and avoid it now as much as I can so that I'm not a raging ball of Grinch by December 24th. December 25th? Sure! I can appreciate it then... Not two months before, however.

I digress...

We were talking snakes, right?

Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A few more YPBMC initiates

And we come to the last few males left in the rotation that are currently in with females and have yet to be seen doing anything productive. Above, we have the Bunchi het Hypo male, Butter Enchi to elaborate... He is plenty big, but has yet to show his stamina to me. Let me make a note that I am frequently not checking on him, so there may be instances where he really is doing what he is supposed to be doing, and I just miss it. This is true of ALL of the males in the YPBMC club... But until I see it with my own eyes, it didn't happen.
How's that for pessimism, eh?
And let me stress that I am not in any way coercing these males to do anything. Other than placing them in with a female, that is all I do.  I don't fight them, I don't spray them, I don't put goo on them. There are ways to try and assist in the preparation for breeding, such as misting them down, putting sperm plugs of a competing male on the female, putting in a competing male in with the current male and female... I am not interested in pursuing those avenues right now. It is the BEGINNING of the season, and I can't expect everyone to be ready as soon as I am in the room with a camera. But of course, it would be nice to see something. This Lavender Albino male I had very little hope for, just because he stopped eating for me a few months ago. But, he is producing tiny little plugs, so I put him in with a smaller Het female. No luck so far.
No big deal... I would love for him to breed, but such is the way of the breeding season. He is small. He may go, but he isn't right now. I think I may pull him out of rotation for a bit and feed him for a while, see if that helps anything. He may be this year's Homey, but with less expectations for performance. But I have a Het Male I can throw in should it be obvious after another month of no action. Lavenders this season? Yes, please! So of course, with another week almost gone, I have yet to do anything but complain. I haven't moved males yet to see if they want another female instead, I haven't done much in terms of breeding other than leaving them in there. But that is really all it takes. Rotation One should be complete this Friday, and then moving begins. And hopefully some breeding photos for you all to enjoy! Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

YPBMC continued

And again, we discuss those in the YPBMC club.

This here is my Pastel Pied male, surpassing 700 grams with no problem, he appears to be afraid of the ladies.

He has been spending time in the corner, enjoying the look of his scales as he hides his head within his coils.

While he is a gorgeous specimen of snake, he is also not a breeding machine as of yet. Fear not, my friends. I'm sure he will get his bearings soon, but as of today, he has yet to lock with any females.

And of course, the notorious two year in a row Yet to be Proven Breeder Male Club head, Homey D. Clown.

Homey has no interest in females, to the point where I felt the need to check his parts to confirm his maleness. He is for sure a male, but I have to say, he has no interest in using his said parts for anything as of yet. I am really counting on him to do something, as he is now almost three years old, and I have several clown projects that require his services.

He is the ONE male that would make me devastated if he didn't breed this year. My clown projects have been suffering (yet the females growing) for years due to his lack of interest. I have yet to hatch out any Clowns myself, cause I am giving Homey a chance to shine.


And one male who decided to shine beyond the YPBMC club is the Super Pastel Lesser male. 

Albeit after several excrement filled moments and tail wagging, the Super Pastel Lesser male is doing his job with this Pastel Yellowbelly female. I am excited!

One crossed off the list...

Several more to introduce into the list, but hopefully to cross off soon.

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Yet to be Proven Breeder Club

As I mentioned before, I have several males in the "Yet to be Proven Breeder Male club" (which we will shorten to the YPBMC) , as we all do after breeding for so long. All of these males I have produced over the years, and I have to say that I am glad to have them, albeit a bit apprehensive of their functionality in this seasons go-rounds.

Below, we have my Lemonblast Het Albino male that I produced last year from my Lemonblast to my Albino. My goal was not to make Lemonblast het Albino males, but that is what the outcome ended up being. I produced 2.0, and kept back this male to play around with to create some Albino Pins and Albino Spinners.

You notice how I didn't say Albino Lemonblasts and Albino Spinnerblasts? Yes, I don't really care all that much for the fact that Pastel is a factor with this male. It's a plus, of course, but in Albino form, Pastels have a bit left to be desired. Be that as it may, I love him and he's fun to look at. He is a shy one, and has been residing with my Spider het Albino female... under her water dish.

Fingers crossed with this guy.

And here we have another male I produced last year...

This is my Pewterbee male, one of the nicest ones I've seen around, if I do say so myself. I love his colors, and although I don't find the Cinnamon Spider to be appealing in the least (although may change my mind when I hatch out a few), I want to put him in with a few other females to see what luck may have with this guy.

He is currently in with one of my proven breeder Pastel females, and although I've seen cuddling, I have not seen ACTION.

Come on, little man. You can do it!

And this isn't it, my friends. There are SEVERAL other males in the YPBMC, one of which we already are familiar with, since I complained about him last year. 

My friend, Homey.. But we shall discuss him and a few others tomorrow.

Have a great breedingful day, my friends. And send some good breeding mojo my way too. Maybe I will have spoken too soon on some of these guys...

Monday, November 14, 2011

My harshest critic

Bumblebee Fire

I have been playing with my new "old" Nikon D40 camera, and I have to say, I have a lot to learn! Lots more lighting issues, more background things, and more need for cropping (the view isn't as it seems on the camera versus the photos).

And of course, I am my own harshest critic.

So I am sharing with you some straight from the camera shots to see if you all have any suggestions for me?

I know I could use some help with this. It'll be interesting to figure this out, and I'm ready for the challenge. I did it with the camera I used before, and I'm going to do it for this one.

Onward ho!

Hypo Mojave

And besides the photography, I am having a hell of a time convincing myself that some of my breedings that I have outlined are the best that I can do.

I've started pairing, and so far I have not seen much action, which is not wholly concerning, but is getting me a bit bent out of shape.

Some of the males I am using are not proven breeders, and in my need to make sure that I don't have mystery clutches, should I just keep using these males, or have a backup?

Every year, I have my doubts about specific males... They continue with this years breeders as well. Remember the Clown male? Yeah, he didn't breed at all last year. And so far, he hasn't bred for me yet this year either.

Hypo Mojave

I will be introducing the new males that are involved this year (and hopefully will become proven this year) thru out the rest of the week.

But with doubt comes hesitation...

What to do???

Have a good day, my friends.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Allergies... still here

Happy Veterans Day!

While dealing with all of the snakes and pairings, the feedings still have to happen, and I am still sniffing like crazy on account of the rats.

I am allergic, and it's not easy to deal with... Especially right now with the dry air and the particulate that comes with rodents and their bedding.

My eyes burn, my nose runs, and I keep sneezing or coughing. It's not fun sometimes, and today is one of those days.

I do use tongs/hemostats, but I have to say sometimes it doesn't help. Especially when you have to dig thru bedding to find the rodents anyway. Shaving dust is not something that is particularly great to breathe in.

Other things that can and will set me off (and maybe you too?) is the bedding dust for the snakes as well. Sani-chips do have some slight dust, and it does get airborne if you pour it or move it around.

So with sniffles and watery eyes, I feed and pull rats all night long. It takes me around three hours to complete the feeding process, and yes, I do feed live. It's not hard, it's just time consuming. Thursday nights are feeding nights, and they take a while.

But anything to keep the collection happy, healthy and fat!

With tongs and a wary hand, I open tubs, place rats, feed snakes, remove uneaten rats, monitor snakes for issues, and spot clean when needed. 

What I do for the things I love...

Have a great day, my friends!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I finally did it... Champagne

I finally broke down and got a Champagne.

I have to say, now that I have one, I really like them.

I am ashamed to admit that I should have gotten into them sooner, but... you can't win them all.

The interest for me is more in the patterns and the colors, and the fact that they tend to be ringers like crazy! I can't wait to include this girl into a few projects, but obviously I have a bit of time to decide what that will be.

Can you see her tiny little patch of ringer near the water droplet? Yeah... It's there, and it's cool!

I am really excited about the prospects of this morph and its combinations, so I need to see what I can do to get more involved. (HAH!)

Can't spread myself too thin, so this may be it in the Champagne department for a while, but I am absolutely considering more in the future.

So that is it for now... I'm off to see if I can get more pictures of lock ups and get my act more in sink with my snakes.

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I know I had questions to answer... and I have completely been distracted by getting things back in order for the 2012 breeding season, my friends.

So if you asked me a question and I haven't answered it, please ask again!

I will be revisiting making an egg tub as soon as the last few eggs are laid in the next few weeks, so that I remember... But other than that, I am sadly lost.

Sorry guys...

I am not trying to ignore you at all. Just discombobulated and distracted.

Easily distracted, actually....

Ooooh! Look! A Bunny!


In wake of that joke, I really am very sorry for not getting back to some of you in terms of your questions.

But I am getting some more breeding plans going, and I feel that a few of the pairings are really excellent. Some, not so much...

It is based upon my males, that are proven and have produced babies, and those that have not that I am counting on that much more for.

Like the clown last year... He turned out to not like the ladies last year. I am really praying to the Ball Python Gods that he is over it and will give me the clowns I have been so desperately craving to hatch since I began.

There are a few other males that are in the same boat. It's difficult to plan a season when you are not sure if the males you intend to use will actually get work done.

THIS is where the Mystery Clutches came about, and honestly, I'd rather go for broke than try that again this year. I don't have time to worry and fuss over what "it" could be.

So the two solutions are to just breed like I planned and just see what happens, or pick up a few more proven breeder male morphs. Problem is, nothing out there that is available is anything I don't already have... So I am stuck.

It's not a fun place to be in, but I think I'm stressing myself out too much over things that I can't change. And this upcoming breeding season is already going to be complicated as it is, seeing as how I will be insanely busy with other life goals, such as school and work and wedding.

Why does it have to be so complicated?

HAH! I like the challenge.

The spice of life, as it were.

So I will be introducing some of the newly transitioned males and hope that I can catch them in some kind of act to justify using them this season as breeder males.

So keep an eye out, and ask your questions, and enjoy your day, my friends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pretty White

I have always touted the glory of the leucistic complex morphs, the Lessers, the Mojaves, the Butters.. etc.

Pastel Lesser
And of course, most people love the wow factor of the white animals. Pieds, leucistics, and albinos all have that WOW that even normal people would love to see.

So of course, most of the popular morphs are those that actually have that Wow Factor, or can contribute to that Wow Factor.
Mojave Het Genetic Stripe

Pieds, Albinos, Leucistics are all goal snakes for most people who are beginning out breeding, because they are awesome even out of the egg.

I have to admit, making Albinos and seeing them pip is always a fun thing, due to the fact that you can immediately tell you have something new and different. There is no question as to what they are, and they are always a cool thing to have and see.

So of course, I had to go out of my way and add more WOW factor to the collection.

Welcome to the fold, Black Pastel Pied.

He is VERY high white, and apparently most of them hatch out this way. He even has white nostrils!

There is no coloration to him other than his head. His body is entirely white until his neck and head, and the white bleeds onto his nose as well.

I am super excited to have him in the collection, and I have to say that he is a complete jerk, so I know he'll be a good eater at least. He has already tried to bite me at least fifty times... even through his cup on the way home!
Black Pastel Pied
Gotta love the feisty ones...

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pairing up!

Well, it rained this weekend, and I really did get up off my ass and get things done snakewise this weekend. I was shocked at how much I managed to get done with my limited free time.

Everyone is clean, and I was able to stand in the snake room and LOOK.

And by LOOK, I mean envision.

It's an artists time to shine, in pairing specific animals with each other.

So I got a group of animals on lock down, guaranteed this is what they are going to do pairings.

And I put them in together.

Some of them have never bred, so they were not doing anything... Some of them were just not interested.

But some of them, like the Mojave Spider male and the Cinnamon female, were ready to go!

This is within the first four hours of being paired up. 

Of course, this was an easy decision pairing...

Now comes the hard ones.

I have plenty of Pastel females to breed to, but what should I combine with them? What would be the best choice?

I feel like I don't have enough male breeder stuff right now, but I think that is just because I can't figure out what is the best choice for what I have left.

It's rather frustrating, really.

But I did acquire a few more animals over the weekend, and I will be introducing them sporadically thru the week.

I didn't end up attending Pasadena at all, so if anyone wants to chime in and share with us how it was, that would be great!

On to a new week! Have a great day, my friends.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekend and Plans


This weekend, I promised myself I would sit down and get a few things hammered out, as well as get the last few trades and critters complete for the next seasons plans.

I will have a bunch of new photos to share, but until then, we get to admire the babies that I have hatched out this season.

I also get to do a massive clean, which I tend to do after a show. It's hard to bring all those animals back and put them in dirty tubs, and while cleaning those, I always feel bad for the others that I didn't clean as completely.

So massive clean is on the schedule.

What is a massive clean, you ask?

Well, I spot clean and pick things out of sani-chip substrate, and of course change out the paper bedding for the babies... But massive clean means going in, bleaching all of the water bowls, bleaching the tubs, completely new fresh bedding and possibly new tub sizes (this tends to be the reorganization time, as many snakes are displaced by the cleaning anyway).

It is an all day affair, and I need to get it done. This way, I can look at all of the possible breeders of the seasons and get things hammered out, while cleaning and admiring animals as well (and possibly cursing the fact that so many of them are not keeping their tubs spotless).

It would be great to get it done as well as head over to the Pasadena Reptile Show this weekend. I plan on attending at some point this weekend just to check it out. I have to say I am somewhat relieved not to have to be vending this weekend as well. I already have a ton to do, no point in adding to it right now.

So hopefully plenty of new photos and animals and stories to share very soon.

I am going to get down and dirty this weekend.

How bout you?

Have a great one, my friends!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's that Time AGAIN...

I know we discussed breeding and plans a month ago or so, but I am going to tell you, I have not really thought about it since.

I have thought maybe briefly about something here and something there, but not sit down and PLAN kinda thinking.

And now, here we are, a few days past my birthday, which is usually the time where I have already planned things completely out and have started pairing up.

Hey, guess what?

I haven't started pairing up.

So I need to get my act together and get things planned and going and ready, because apparently, it's breeding season again.

Recall that I still have one or two clutches left to be laid...


So therefore, I'm not quite mentally prepared to start a new season when the last season hasn't even finished yet!

But... It has to happen, or I may loose valuable breeding time that cannot be retrieved.

The tubs with markers for animals that will breed this year have been up since the last time we discussed, but I really need to get cracking on who goes with who. And of course, stick with that one pairing. No more mystery clutches if I can help it.

Have you guys already started pairing? Have you already planned who to go with who?

You have any suggestions for what you'd like to see next year out of the Heather's Herps menagerie? 

As always, I feel like I am late, but the East Coast tends to have earlier clutches than the West just by default seasonal changes.

So off I go, to print out spreadsheets and plan pairings.

And this time, I'm going to do it for REAL.

Have a great day, my friends.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last Crystal Clutch of the Year

Well, this Special Mystery Clutch wasn't so much of a Mystery after the hatching.

The answer for the question?

Pastel Super Mojave was the father yet again this year.

That is totally okay, since there was only one Special animal in the entire four egg clutch. (OUCH)

But it turns out to be a Pastel Crystal, that is less of an ouch.

BUT... She's a girl.

So now I am stuck with the problem of... should I keep her or should I sell her?

She hatched out with 2.1 Mojaves as well, all very nice looking ones to boot.

But of course, in a sea of dark colors, she stands out like a beacon.

And yes, Beacon... not Bacon....

Mmmmm Bacon.

I had all intentions of selling whatever came out of this clutch to pay for various and sundry wedding items that are needed, but... I am conflicted yet again with what to do specifically with this girl.

And tomorrow, I will share the photos of color change between the years. I haven't done that in a while, and with this girl and her older sister, I feel that I need to once again.

So there you go, folks.

Have a great day!