Wednesday, August 22, 2007

September Reptile Expo poster

See you all there.

Manitoba Reptile Breeders Expo Poster

Hopefully I don't need to buy a table to sell these little corn snakes of mine, but I suppose it could be worse. More will be revealed.

The beardie had a break through day yesterday. The bathing in marginally hot water sure does induce the voiding of waste. I have heard of lots of people doing this for snakes too, but had never had opportunity to do this for any of my critters. Mineral oil is no doubt an asset to the process as well.

She ate some greens on her own yesterday and had two dry and difficult stools pass earlier in the day with one making a mess of a bath. Later in the evening she delivered a moist easy to pass batch of waste and I think we're over the hump now and that she'll make a full recovery.

She loves being out in the heat of the sun. The UV is a must for these guys and she'll require special lighting when trips outside in the sun aren't an option, which is coming too soon although today is a beaut!

These guys make such good pets. I think this has become my favourite already, but that might change tomorrow.

Beardie - Dry crap that was typical of what she was having trouble passing. Macro shots are so others can help learn from mistakes in feeding too much protein.


The first stool that looked like she was getting healthier - day four


Out on the grass profile


Full body in the grass


Close up, shade side profile on the car hood towel shoot


Run for it


Monday, August 20, 2007

travel, running, corn snake babies and a poopy beardie

I'm on a roll. Forty one miles in 16 days. That's something a guy like me has to build up to. I had three consecutive six mile runs this week and I've had a couple of really intense threshold runs in the last couple of weeks. For those that might not be hip to the technical terms, a threshold run is where you run with an intensity that loads up your blood with lactic acid just to the point at which your body struggles to clear it out of your blood and hold it there.

It's a bit like hitting yourself with a hammer. It feels great when it's over. My point is really to say that with a twenty one mile week this week and being stronger for it, I'm learning how to do this running thing. ADHD sometimes makes it difficult to learn from my mistakes, but with the right tools it's at least a possibility for me.

PU and Boo are off to the Black Hills for the week. It's a bit of a tradition here that Mum takes the high school graduate off for a week of camping one on one. I hope they have a ball.

Last night we served 18 or so here in this tiny little place. PU put on a great spread. I over cooked the biscuits which blew bears. I was so mad. Old Joe was over celebrating his 79th birthday and as is usually the case he had a plethora of interesting tales to tell. His new $7000 hearing aids meant that the world had shifted a bit for him after 50 or so years of struggling to hear people. He's always been a good listener, regardless of the struggle to keep the messages clear. What a prize he is. Salt of the earth and all. Not an ounce of pretense about him, but a more generous spirit he has. He's still in love with PU and it's way too cute. PU was giving him a bad time about being neighbours for all these years and he's never once brought her some moon shine. What a gal.

All but two baby corn snakes have shed now. This means that it's time to try and feed them. The fun really starts now because they can be difficult to initiate feeding in captivity. I'm going to do some trials with warm roaches tomorrow from my colony of Blatta lateralis (Turkestan roach). If that's not welcomed with a big green light I'll go back to new born mice as is the proven path to success.

The beardie had another day of crapping a little and eating a little. I chopped up some carrot tops, beet greens, lambs quarters and a bit of cantaloupe that was a little grainy for human consumption and she had some of that. Apparently she should be taking most of her diet from the veggies. Just like me!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

rescue bearded dragon

I was told that this is a two year old bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) with a problem passing solid waste. It's a rescue and so far it's all good.

Warm baths, baby food veggies and a deep massage anyone?

These guys are the best. They are docile and actually seem to enjoy human contact. I've been pining for one for a while, but could not pony up for the cost. This one isn't well, but a friend of mine, Chad, seems to have done the biggest part of the job in getting her moving her solid waste through again.

I had her out in the sun a couple of times today and she really seemed to groove on that. She's had a dump on her own now and hopefully has turned the corner to better health. I'm still not sure if she's a fan of eating her vegetables, but I'll know soon enough. I fed her four big whacking horn worms this morning. She looked like she was hungry. She made a mess later, so with any luck I can just keep the vegetable content up and everything will slip through soon enough.







Wednesday, August 15, 2007

summer corn

The summer is winding down. I know this because PU is off to do some preparation at work before Boo and she head south for a few days in the badlands. The corn harvest is another good indicator of a summer flown by. The deer were held at bay long enough to get most of the garden produce off and the bears have left us some berries. The wild plums and hazelnuts are next. Manon has been busy making apple sauce from the wild crab apples we have in the yard. What a great flavour they give to anything you add them too. Nothing like a bit of character in an apple!

This wasn't all the corn, buy a long shot, but it gives one the idea of the process at any rate. I sharpened knives repeatedly all day. I love the food!

Corn for the freezer


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

baby corn snakes, spiders, and food

I should be in bed so not many words tonight, but at least a few images to fill you in on the most recent adventures. Last weekend Manon and I were out to Spruce Woods Park with the MHS crew hunting the Northern Prairie Skink and the Western Hognose snake. Camping was fun and the weather was fine. Others have posted a lot of images on the MHS forums.

Saturday morning I was double booked. I was supposed to be in Spruce Woods, but was corralled to speak about our local snake population and herpetiles in general at the Prairie Days in Gardenton. The crew at the Tall grass prairie preserve there put an active day together and there were a number of excellent speakers. Apparently I was a hit.

My corn snake eggs started to hatch on Friday night and by the time we got back from camping on Sunday there were several that Pierrette had put away kindly in little food storage bins with a bit of ventilation. When everyone of them had emerged, there were nine snows and five anerys. Snows carry double recessive genes for amelanism and anerythrism. I was hoping to have some of the neonates show signs of hypomelanism too. There is a chance the parents were heterozygous. I have yet to sex them and have a close look at colours and patterns.

These are a jumble of recent images.

Rob made me a sweet deal on five of these little guys, but Rich is going to take a couple thankfully. Green Bottle Blue (Chromatopelma cyanopubescens) These are still really small. In the lower right hand side of this shot is a roach head for scale. Maybe not the best choice, but it was handy.


Bathroom spider at Spruce Woods


Interesting caterpillar



Wolf spider


Wolf spider - in it's burrow


Corn snake eggs with a few yet to hatch


Anerythristic baby corn snake



Anerythristic corn snake baby full crop shot of the head


Anerythristic corn snake baby in hand


Snow corn snake






Big roaster filled with choke cherries. Choke cherries were difficult to come by this year, but Manon and Pierrette managed to even beat Joe to finding at least one spot where they were abundant.