Sunday, September 9, 2007
A Beautiful Gal...
...or at least a beautiful female Corn Snake, is something that I was lucky enough to get hold of today. I spent most of the morning and afternoon at the New York metro reptile Expo in White Plains, NY today. Yes that means I am feeling somewhat better than I have been, still not 100%; and sitting there most of the day manning the Long Island Herpetological Society and giving out info about the care of reptiles and amphibians was not all that taxing on my system. Not eating while there helped me stay, shall I say, okay.
I digress, so back to the Corn Snake. I guess most of my readers know one of my hobbies is guns and shooting. Another of my hobbies, one I am just as passionate about, is the collecting, keeping and breeding of herps (reptiles and amphibians). I have been into slimy and scaly creatures as pets since I was a young child. no dogs, cats were allowed in our apartment. An uncle who bought me a turtle got me started, then 5 years at summer camp had my interest in such critters really blossom. Now I am an addict so to speak. So when I got a free male corn snake today I was quite the happy camper. Then when one of the other LIHS members at the show asked me if I wanted to buy a female corn snake to go with my new male I said sure. It wound up I actually traded a Ball Python for the female Corn Snake, and I wound up thrilled.
Now you may not think much of Corn Snakes, and less of snakes in general, but just let me say this gal is a real looker. I know, you are probably thinking that sometimes even a grump like me would be easy to please in my own kooky sort of a way, and you would be right; but I'll let you judge for yourselves. Just take a look at this beauty, and if you are not phobic about snakes, tell me is she a looker or what! One of the nicer of all North American snakes. She is pretty much a normal colored corn snake, though I have to point out that there are many color phases of normal colored corn snakes. There are also many, many, selectively bred color phases of corn snakes that do not appear in the wild, but as I said this one is a natural phase in appearance.
I say she is a natural phase in appearance because she is the product of selective breeding. She laid 12 eggs this year, and I saw her 12 offspring today. They do not resemble her; and the group of them is made up of three different color phases. The male I got today is also normal in appearance, and I am curious to see what their offspring will look like, but I'll have to wait until late spring or early summer for that. First I have to fatten this gal up a bit. Then she will go into brumation for the winter (sort of like hibernation, but the snake does not sleep through the winter or most of it as would a mammal that hibernates, rather it becomes very inactive, but still active to a slight degree). Once out of hibernation, she will feed and put on some weight, then when the male is ready they likely will breed. After the breeding she will carry the eggs internally for some time, then lay the eggs, which will take about 2 months before they hatch. Hopefully they will produce some nice babies.
Well maybe you think me a nut, or maybe you agree and find her to be spectacular to behold as I find her to be. Mother nature sure has a way of making some things really nice to look at, even some things that most people seem to shy away from. I am kind of happy I find them as interesting as I do, and i guess I can thank my mom for putting up with my keeping them when I was younger. She never liked them, I can say that with certainty, but she loved me enough to tolerate them. I can also thank my wife likewise, as she puts up with my keeping them now. I guess that also means I can thank both of them because I share my interest and passion with my son; and that is a good thing indeed. If the ladies never let me get away with having these things in the house, my son probably would be keeping goldfish if he kept any animals at all!
All the best,