Sunday, January 27, 2013

No more.... (Water Bowls)

Apparently I have become a bit doom and gloom, and that is no fun to read!

So I am going to kick it up a notch and see what I can come up with that is interesting.

And this is what I came up with.

Water Bowls !!!

I have recently been inundated with cleaning the entire rooms water bowls in an effort to keep things sanitary. I do it often, but not the entire room at once. This time, that was the case.

It was HARD WORK, my friends.

But now, I realize that some of my bowls are also rather flimsy and weak.

I use water dishes from various sources, with small animals getting small ramekins, and larger animals getting dog bowls.

I did, however, manage to procure a large amount of these water dishes (dog bowls) from Ikea back when they were producing them.

They were significantly cheaper than the ceramic ones, so I bought a large amount.

They function well, and are at a diameter of around 6 inches.

And yes, they are made of plastic. They are also hollow underneath, so some snakes enjoy using it as a hide as well.

They are great for the price and great for the function, although light weight and can be spilled. Rats can also chew on them and leave jagged edges, as it is rather thin plastic.

But the worst part about all of this is that Ikea has stopped making them!!

Devastating news, indeed...

So I looked into getting some more dishes recently, and came up with these. These are 7.5 diameter dishes from Ethical Pet Products.

They are rather thin around the edges as well, but they are ceramic, so ceramic thin versus plastic thin are two different animals completely.

I look forward to putting them to good use with the largest animals in my collection. Should be a better time keeping them clean and functional, but in all honesty, as long as the animals have fresh clean water and a safe environment, whats wrong with using the "cheap" stuff?

And here we have a random photo of a Lavender Albino.


Also, I just watched the Hunger Games movie this weekend. I have to say, it was not completely the same as the book, but it did not do it wrong. I was pleased, and I look forward to seeing the next two soon!

May the odds be ever in your favor...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Joy in the little things

So since the news of the industry having a melt down broke, I have been struggling personally with all of the personality differences we deal with in a large group of like-minded (but not really) people. 

It breaks my heart that there is so much backbiting and hurtful things said about people in the industry some times. I know most of it doesn't come out as publicly as this recent fiasco has, and I have to admit, in being human, I have said some not-so-nice things about certain people.

Some of them absolutely deserved it and I would say the same things again. 

Some of them were in the heat of the moment, and on the internet, it's there forever. 

I am ashamed that I was a part of that, and that I let my emotions get the better of me. 

But, we all hopefully grow from our mistakes and learn from them. I feel like I have become a better person from my earlier years, and I hope that most are on the same path. 

But for those who don't, for those who continue to act childish and above all discernment, those are the ones in the industry that concern me the most. 

How are we as a legitimate hobby/business/industry supposed to be taken seriously when people who act like children are at the forefront of it? 

This is not even a dig at those who lobby and represent us in politics, although it does apply...

This is about the people on the internet telling others about snakes and reptiles.
This is about the children pretending to know what they are talking about so that they look cool.
This is about the people posting irresponsible photos of animals that are taken completely out of context to misrepresent the behaviors of an already misunderstood genre.

I cringe to think of all of the damage that is done by misinformation and ignorance.

This is particularly evident in forums and groups on Facebook. 

But what can really be done? 

Take joy in the little things. 

Ignore the people who take joy in creating chaos, and enjoy what you enjoy about the industry and the hobby.

Share your joy when you feel like you can spare it.

A picture of your favorite snake, a feeding episode gone well, a snake that does actually shed in one piece. 

That is partially why I do the blog. I try and share my piece of joy when I can. 

It is therapeutic in a sense that I can get things out on "paper", and can also revisit them when I don't feel like typing out a two paragraph response about what to do for hatchlings on a forum or when someone shoots me an e-mail. 

This brings me peace of mind. 

And I can ignore (somewhat) the joy stealers. 

It's just healthier this way. 

Have a happy joy-filled day, my friends. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adult Spider Morph Comparison

So to get my mind back on track for the blog and off of the drama, I went into my room and just sat for a while.

I fed some rodents off, but not before I saw and admired some of my adults.

And recently, I had someone ask for Bumblebee photos, so after taking those, I decided to do a (rather crappy) exposé on my adult spider combos. 

First, I took out this female, which is one of my favorite Bumblebees I have in the collection. NO SPOTS!!! 

This female is three and a half years old, and is looking lovely!

(The problem with adult pictures is that they are much harder to manipulate to being cooperative in photos)

So I decided to check on a Fire Bee and see the difference.

If you can't see it, you are blind. 

What a difference one gene makes!

The same goes for the Spinner, which is a Spider Pinstripe. I LOVE what they do to each other.

So of course, I brought out a Spinnerblast to compare with the Bumblebee as well. The Spinnerblast is just overwhelmingly brighter from the side, although greyed out on the top. The Bumblebee is yellow overall, but not as bright. 

I should be more patient with some of these adult photos. They could be much better, but these gals were NOT having it.

Maybe next time, eh?

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Break due to Derision

I wouldn't particularly say only derision...

It seems as if our industry is imploding from the inside, and due to people not being able to be professional, courteous and polite.

I would like to say that I try my hardest to be all of those things, and when I don't get it back, it tends to rub me the wrong way.

It also bothers me when I see others back-biting, talking trash, and just being mean...

So when USARK and Andrew Wyatt and all of the hullaballoo happened, I just sat back and watched, agasp.

What is the story, you say?

Well, the long and short of it is that (if true) Andrew did some things to a fellow herper that was libelous, and was let go from being President of USARK due to his actions.

I don't have a dog in this fight really, so I don't want to spread more gossip than is necessary, but the issue really stems from the idea that now Andrew has started his own non-profit herpetological group, United States Herpetoculture Alliance,with ideals much like that of USARK. The idea is that he is now running his own group. He also took e-mail addresses from those people who supported USARK and mailed them information about Herp Alliance without their consent.

Many people were upset about this, considering they did not solicit any e-mails from said organization.

So add all of these things up, and a large group of people were upset and distraught about what has been happening within our industry and within groups that should be working together.

For myself, I just got tired and sad.

It is really difficult to see people that I know get involved in things that should have been handled better... The thought is, "I thought they would know better than that.."

And it is prevalent all over the internet, especially on Facebook, which of course is the one place where things should not be taken at first glance.

So what does one do?

Well, soul searching first...

And then the realization that this is an issue that should not take away from supporting the groups that support the industry itself.

USARK has always been there, PIJAC has always been there.. I have supported them thru out my career as a breeder thru donations and auctions at shows.

Whether or not you feel it is appropriate to support Herp Alliance is on you, with the idea that the funds that would be funnelled into several groups will now be spread out into many more buckets.

Will this help, or hurt?

It depends...

Again, this blog is not here to help convince you of who to support. Because honestly, I'm not even sure myself. I know who I will continue to support, and will never waver from that.

The problem begins with the new groups trying to be the next big thing... Will it even help our cause of being able to own reptiles and amphibians?

THAT is the real question.

Will it help us as a community being able to still own, breed and support our industry with having so many groups?

Do the actions of the President of the group reflect the intent of the group as a whole?

I intend to continue doing what I'm doing, supporting who I know has our backs. It's up to the other groups to prove themselves to me as being team players and a group worth supporting.

And hopefully, the derision, the division within the industry, the backbiting and gossip will fade and things will move forward knowing that we are all still here to do the same thing, which is to enjoy owning reptiles and other exotic animals.

Until then, I will watch and wait.

What about you? How do you feel about it?

Friday, January 11, 2013


The most challenging time in the season for me is having all of these awesome animals hatched out and hanging around the snake room, and I have no particular idea what to do with them. 

Take the two animals above. One is the Pastave Fire, or Mojave Firefly. The other is the Super Pastel Lesser Yellowbelly. 

They are both holdbacks, and I really like them (although do sometimes forget which is which briefly), but I honestly am not sure what I am planning to do with them when the time comes. 

That is the boon or the problem, depending on how you look at it. There are a million different things to do, and I am not sure what I want to do when it comes time. 

That has already been a problem with this season, as I have put everything down on paper, but still have plenty of second guessing and questions for myself.

This Lavendar Albino... 

What to do? I could make Spider Lavs, Dreamsicles, or something else awesome. It's just a matter of how I plan the project.

 Pastel Crystal? Yeah, super awesome and totally beautiful. Do I want to make more? Do I want to do something else with it? What else to do???

And then there is new project stuff, like this Solar Flare. It's on the Yellowbelly Complex, but what else do I mix with it to see what happens? 

Too many things to think about. Thank goodness it's the weekend. No thinking allowed on the weekend.

Off I go to think about things at least for today. Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Enchi and Ghost Goodness

I was asked to do more Enchi photos, and I went into the Enchi combo group rack and pulled out a few good ones.

I missed out on Enchi Madness last photo shoot with the Pewter Enchi because she was in shed. This time, she wasn't, so I thought it would be appropriate to put her with her Cinnamon Enchi sister and see what is going on.

Together, it's like night and day. I am really intrigued about the differences between the two.

The Cinnamon Enchi is just stunning in terms of contrast and color.

The Pewter Enchi is interesting in its tones, and has a curious color variance that I look forward to seeing as it ages.

She isn't as Enchi as the Cinnamon Enchi, and I wonder if it is due to the Pastel part washing out the contrast?

We shall revisit this in a few months and see where we are at.

And here we have the Pastel Butter Enchi, and I am floored by the yellows and colors.

Peaches, purples, and yellows, all over. I LOVE IT.

Take away the Pastel, but add some Hypo and you get this guy...

Hypo Butter Enchi, and he is amazing looking.

I put him next to his Hypo Butter sister just for contrast.

Look at the difference one gene makes!

Anyway, I am also posting some stuff on Facebook on the Heather's Herps page. Go like it and enjoy some other photos there as well!

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Photography time! -Red Axanthic-

So I volunteered to take requests (as I do here) on my Facebook page.

I got requests for many things, and I tried as hard as I could to take them.

One of them was a request for Red Axanthic adult next to a baby, which unfortunately I couldn't do, since I have still yet to produce a Red Axanthic myself.

But I did have my male, and I thought that the next big thing would have to be Red Axanthic next to an actual Axanthic.


You can clearly see the difference between the two, and the reason why they call it a "Red" Axanthic.

The pattern is also a clear indicator.

I love doing the comparison shots, as I think it helps educate people much more than just seeing the individual morph photos.

And I have plenty more where that came from!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pied Combos and what makes what?

I was asked to do this at the show based on "What makes what and Why?" blog from back in 2009.

Apparently some of the historical blog posts are still helpful!

This one is going to be harder based on the fact that we need to go over recessive genetics before I continue...

Recessive Genetics 101:

Heterozygous animals are animals that carry the gene in question but do not express it. They look normal (or otherwise), but do not visually express the gene that they carry. They hold HALF of the key to making visuals.

100% het means that they are 100% certain to be carrying the gene.

66% het means that they have a 66% chance of carrying the gene. (This is created when you breed two 100% hets together). 

50% het means that they have a 50% chance of carrying the gene. (This is created when you breed a 100% het to a non carrier.)

There are lower percentage hets, but most people don't advertise or care about them beyond 50%.

So, how do you get a 100% het? You breed a visual animal to anything, and the filial generation (the babies) will be 100% het for the visual animal.

Why does this all matter when you are talking Pied Combos?

Well... Pieds are recessives.

So anything in my upcoming list will have to be 100% het Pied to actually equal the visual morphs we will be talking about.

So here we go.

 Pied x Pastel (Het Pied)= Pastel Pied
Pied x Spider (Het Pied)= Spider Pied (Spieds or "White Wedding" Pieds if all white)
Pied x Pinstripe (Het Pied)= Pinstripe Pied
Pied x Sable (Het Pied)= Sable Pied
Pied x Mojave (Het Pied)= Mojave Pied
Pied x Lesser (Het Pied)= Lesser Pied
Pied x Butter (Het Pied)= Butter Pied
Pied x Het Russo (Het Pied)= Het Russo Pied
Pied x Cinnamon (Het Pied)= Cinnamon Pied
Pied x Black Pastel (Het Pied)= Black Pastel Pied
Pied x Enchi (Het Pied)= Enchi Pied
Pied x Yellowbelly (Het Pied)= Yellowbelly Pied (Pumpkin Pied)
Pied x Het Red Axanthic (Het Pied)=  Het Red Axanthic Pied
Pied x Fire (Het Pied)= Fire Pied
Pied x Sulfur (Het Pied)= Sulfur Pied
Pied x Champagne (Het Pied)= Champagne Pied
Pied x Chocolate (Het Pied)= Chocolate Pied
Pied x Vanilla (Het Pied)= Vanilla Pied
Pied x Woma (Het Pied)= Woma Pied
Pied x Mystic (Het Pied)= Mystic Pied
Pied x Special (Het Pied)= Special Pied
Pied x Spotnose (Het Pied)= Spotnose Pied
Pied x Calico (Het Pied)= Calico Pied

And Recessive to Recessive!!

Pied (het Albino) x Albino (Het Pied)= Albino Pied
Pied x Pied = Pied
Pied (het G Stripe) x Genetic Stripe (Het Pied)= Genetic Stripe Pied
Pied (het Axanthic) x Axanthic (Het Pied)= Axanthic Pied (Lightning Pied)
Pied (het Ghost) x Ghost (Het Pied)= Ghost Pied
Pied (het Clown) x Clown (Het Pied)= Clown Pied
Pied (het Lavendar Albino) x Lavendar Albino (Het Pied)= Lavendar Albino Pied (Dreamsicle)
Pied (het Caramel Albino) x Caramel Albino (Het Pied)= Caramel Albino Pied
Pied (het Ultramel) x Ultramel (Het Pied)= Ultramel Pied
Pied (het Tri-Stripe) x Tri-Stripe (Het Pied)= Tri-Stripe Pied

I know it is not a complete list, but it is pretty thorough.

So enjoy, learn and use what you have learned to better yourself and your collection.

Have a great day, my friends!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Super Show was Super!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the last show of the 2012 season has been completed.

I am glad that there will be some respite in it, but I had a GREAT time at this show.

Lots of old friends popped up, as well as new ones.

The crowds were huge!

People all came with a passion to learn, to see new animals, and to enjoy the day.

It was a great time, and I am so happy to have been a part of it.

Ramy always puts on a good show, and I really did think that this show was the best of the season!

Thanks to all of you who stopped by, especially Jackie, Robert, and the Facebook friends that I have made over the years.

Have a great day, my friends. I know I will!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Show Prep

So this weekend is the Reptile Super Show in Pomona, and we are super excited to be a part of it. It is supposed to be one of the largest ever, and that is really awesome!

I always enjoy meeting new and excited herpers and talk to them about the industry and snakes and the like.

Of course, if you are in the area and make it, mention the blog, and get a FREE T-Shirt to rock at the shows!

They are pretty sweet, I have to say.

So here we are, prepping for the show, getting all the snakes ready, getting the tables set up. It will be a great time, and I am looking forward to it.

I hope to have pictures to share, and I will have help this weekend, so that I may be able to get out from behind the table as well.

Until then, my friends!

Have a great day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Breedings and Getting Ready for Show

So I have been moving males around, and these are the only locks that I was able to take photos of this time around.

Below, we have the Black Pastel Pied with a proven Pastel het Pied female. I am intrigued to hatch out a Pewter Pied. I have seen them in person, but to hatch them out is a whole other story entirely. She is also being bred to the Mojave Pied, so we will see what we come up with when the eggs hatch. Somewhat mystery, but not really...

And here we have a Mojave het Hypo female (yet to be proven) being bred by my Black Pewter het Hypo male I produced. This is his first year breeding, and I am excited to see what pops out of this clutch!

Other than these photos, we have been getting ready for the Reptile Super Show this weekend in Pomona. It is the last Southern California show of the season, with the next show in August after this one.

It's always a good show, and I am looking forward to being a part of it!

It is January 5th and 6th, and will be at the Pomona Fairplex.

Also, take a look and "like" my Facebook page if you have the need. I post things there that occasionally don't get on the blog (and I post there more often), and I have to link the two somehow for those who want to keep up with the most up to date info.

So I will see those of you in SoCal at the show, and for the rest of you, stay warm!

Have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pastel Mathmatics

So with photos, I have decided to show comparisons within the span of similar animals, as I have done before. I have had the opportunity to do so in the past, but this year has made it that much easier to do it again!

We are working with addition today, addition of Pastels.

Ball Python addition is fun. I hope you like math!

Here we go!

Here we have a Cinnamon Mojave, a Pewter Mojave, and a Sterling Mojave.

Cinnamon Mojave is kind of straight forward, Cinnamon + Mojave.
Pewter Mojave is a bit more complex, Pastel + Cinnamon + Mojave.
Sterling Mojave is the top of the food chain in this group, being Pastel + Pastel + Cinnamon + Mojave.

Does it make sense? It is rather obvious once you get them all together, with the most drastic changes between the first two.

Let's try it again.

Here we have a Butterbee, a Queenbee, and Killer Queenbee. 

Butterbee is not as straight forward, since "Bee" can mean Pastel Spider or just Spider... This one is a Butter + Spider. 
Queenbees are also rather complex, as they can be Butter Queenbees or Lesser Queenbees. This one is a Lesser Queenbee, which is a Pastel + Lesser + Spider.
And last but not least is that Killer Queenbee up there, which has the same path of the Queens. Can be a Butter or Lesser, and can and should be identified, but usually isn't when named. This guy is a Pastel + Pastel + Butter + Spider. 

Did you enjoy that? 

I did!

Hopefully I can do more comparison shots as well. I'm working on the Pinstripe suggestion, although this year has not been good for having all of the combos to work with. 

Have a great day, my friends!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013