Fred-Rosy Bloodred, left. It’s almost spring, and the snakes that have been brumating for the past six weeks came back out into the light and warmth today. Brumation is a period of dormancy in reptiles in which the metabolism slows down and the animal “sleeps,” waking periodically to drink water. Brumating the snakes may increase fertility, and will set them all on the same schedule for the spring breeding season. It’s difficult to brumate them here in Florida because it just doesn’t get that cold. I’m hoping an abbreviated brumation will still be beneficial.

Lily, right, and Fred will have another chance this season at producing a clutch of Bloodreds het Lavender Kastanie. I’m hoping another year of maturity, plus the brumation period, will result in fertility this year! Fred, who is on loan from Colorado Corns, will also have a chance with Penelope, Hypo Lavender Bloodred. Fred loves the ladies, and I’m sure he will be up to the task!

El Wray, bottom left, Huddleston Miami Motley. El Wray and Cherry produced some beautiful hatchlings last season, in a last moment, probably too late for ideal fertility, breeding. So beautiful that I kept two, which I hadn’t intended to do. As an additional surprise, both parents both turned out to be Het Amel!! This year Big Daddy El Wray will breed with Milksnake Phase Cherry again, and most likely with Zora, the Fully-Striped Miami Mot. There could be some _wild_ hatchlings from that pairing!!

Last but not least is Pepper, bottom right, Rich Hume Avalanche Stripe. Pepper and Katie Haluska’s Buzztail produced a beautiful clutch of Granites and Bloodreds last season, whopping 8-10 gram hatchlings. Most have gone off to new homes now, or are waiting for warmer weather to travel. I love how they turned out! Wonderful diffusion in both, and bright, rich red in the Bloods. This year, Pepper will be paired with a different female, Annabelle, RH Hypoblood Het Snow Stripe. She’s on loan from Colorado Corns. Maybe my dream of hatching Avalanche, Fire and Granite Stripes will finally be realized this season!! I hope so- I’ve been working on that project for four years, and it came to a screeching halt when Ruby probed male. Oh well, back to the drawing board! (The Projects Page has up-to-date news on all the pairings planned for 2011, as well as photographs of all the snakes!)

I can’t believe the change in the hatchlings! They are almost two months old now and are going through their second sheds. The color change in the second shed has been dramatic, to say the least! They are eating like horses and growing like weeds! The biggest ones will be eating double pinks at their next meals! I’m talking 16 grams and up! The Bloodreds are turning flaming red, and the Granites are to die for. Silvery beauties with excellent diffusion. As gorgeous as any I have ever seen. I am _very_ proud of them.

And they are just a joy to handle, too. Confident, unafraid. They’ll hold on, not go flying and flailing away. You’ll definitely get a tail rattle. Possibly a bite if you make them impatient, but they are not hatelings. You won’t have a moment of worry about feeding- they feed right away with no tricks. They are big and strong and healthy. You can set them down for pictures and have a reasonable expectation that they will sit and look around, not run away in fear. They have been handled. They are used to the routine of being taken out, weighed, cupped for feeding, asked to stay in a deli for pictures. They are not terrified of humans. They are curious and out-going.

Many have departed for new homes, scattered to all areas of the country, but there are still plenty of beauties left to choose from! You can see the For Sale Babies on the Available Page. Please take a look! Shipping is quite reasonable and the weather is nearly perfect now!

I still can’t believe my luck! It started at the 2010 Cornsnake Supper Club Raffle, in Daytona Beach, Florida. The raffle is a benefit for USARK, a science and education based advocacy for the responsible private ownership of, and trade in reptiles. This is the second year we have put on a very successful raffle! The Grand Prize this year was a high white pied ball python donated by Tom Crutchfield. I bought a number of tickets and divided them among a few prizes that I would like. I thought, what the heck- I’ll put ten tickets in for the Grand Prize! I’ll never win…Imagine my shock when the ticket was drawn and my name was called!

I collected my beautiful little ball python and was immediately overwhelmed, both by the unfamiliarity with the species, the newness of the out-of-egg baby, and the breeding potential! It wouldn’t be fair to keep him as “just a pet.” So I was moping around the National Reptile Breeders Expo the next day, unable to enjoy the awesomeness of my incredible prize, when I happened to bump into Don Soderberg. I told Don and his friend, who happened to be a ball python breeder, of my dilemma. Don said to me “Well, would you like to trade the ball python for a 2010 male Tessera?” Would I!!! It took me all of about five seconds to make up my mind. I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do. Thank you, Don, for giving me the opportunity to own a cornsnake morph that was beyond my wildest dreams. Don, being the kind, generous person that he is, went on to give the pied ball python to a friend who dearly wanted, and couldn’t afford, a pied. Don’s friend was thrilled with the gift, and will provide an excellent python-friendly home for the pied. What a crazy way to acquire my first South Mountain Reptiles cornsnake!! I still can’t believe my luck.

So I’d like to present Gartersnake (yes- the fun name stuck!) 2010 M SMR Tessera. I’ve got some big plans for him! You’ll find out in a month or so when Gartersnake’s future mate arrives from Low Belly Reptiles! Carol and I will be hoping to produce a new Tessera morph– I can’t wait!

There was only one thing I was looking for at Daytona. I knew they would probably be there, the question was, could I afford them? The answer was yes! I had been researching Terrazzos for the last year, putting out feelers, reading everything I could. I had decided that I would like to get them from Jeff Galewood, JMG Reptile. I hadn’t even corresponded with Jeff- I just dropped by his booth and sure enough, there was a beautiful pair of 2009 Terrazzos. Better yet- they were in my price range! I called my snake mentors Carol Huddleston and John Finsterwald in for a consult and they agreed; the JMG Terrazzo pair was a must-have! I am thrilled to introduce Zeke, the male, on the left, and Zoey, the female, on the right. They should be of breeding size in 2012! I can’t wait!!

I have 25 baby snakes in the house!! 15 from the Pepper x Buzztail clutch, 5 from the El Wray x Cherry clutch, my three Lavender hatchlings from Colorado Corns, and a gorgeous Bloodred Male and Pewter Female from Colorado Corns who are raffle donations for the Cornsnake Supper Club Raffle to Benefit USARK in Daytona Beach, FL, next weekend. The Pepper x Buzztail babies are growing and thriving. All have had two meals, and tonight they start on their third feedings! These hatchlings are big ones, ranging from 8.5 grams to 10+ grams!

The babies are nearly ready to go and four, in fact, have been sold. I will be bringing the babies to Daytona next week for the National Reptile Breeders Expo. All will have had two meals, some three, and they will be pre-registered with The American Cornsnake Registry. I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of this clutch. After their sheds, they are even more beautiful!! And they are ravenous feeders, every last one! It’s hard to decide which are prettier- the lovely grey-toned Granites or the bright Bloodreds. All have excellent diffusion! A Bloodred + Bloodred Pair, or a Bloodred + Granite Pair will produce a rainbow of hatchlings: Bloodreds, Fires, Granites and Avalanches in Saddles and Stripes. These babies result from a total outcross and are _very_ vigorous!

Cornsnakes are relatively easy to care for and most will live into their teens or twenties as long as you provide a few basic items. Read more!

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