Sunday, February 17, 2008

How Do I Choose?

I'm faced with a dilemma around this time each year. To most of you reading, it would seem trivial for sure. But to an eyelash viper connoisseur, it can mean the difference between average and spectacular. The simple dilemma is that I'm faced with the task of deciding which babies to keep for future breeding stock. Sounds simple, you say? I can't tell you how many times in the past I've been burned by shipping out what looks like an average or even ugly snake, only to see a knockout (why didn't I keep that!) eyelash viper a few years later. So now that a few months have passed and more than a few meals have been fed, I've come to the time when I constantly pull animals aside and wonder if I should keep them or sell them. The photos below are only a few of my favorites so far.

Born from a Christmas tree to Christmas tree pairing, this "reduced" patterned baby was born here September 27th, 2007. I like the faint pattern as well as the obvious mid-dorsal stripe that will only become more dominate with age.

This odd looking fellow came from a "Pink" male crossed with a Christmas tree female. I like him for the bloodlines alone but the light pastel pinks and greens along with the dominate mid-dorsal stripe lead me to believe this guy will be a knockout as an adult. Born here October 21st.

Another oddity produced from a Christmas tree male bred to a Heterozygous tiger female. The pattern is nearly perfect and, although dark, from my experience will turn multi-colored with yellow and green bands by 3-years of age. Born here October 6th.

I keep coming back to this one as my probable favorite. This is another baby produced from a Christmas tree to Christmas tree pairing, born here October 9th. The almost perfect bands will turn gold to lemon yellow within a couple of years.

So do you see my dilemma? With just under 70 baby eyelash to pick from, how do I choose? Let me see, eeny, meenie, miny, moe...

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Man, those things are UGLY! You should just settle your dilemma and send them all to this guy I know in North Carolina. He'd probably take them ALL off your hands :) J/k. Beautiful little vipers and the photos came out nice! Have fun choosing...it is a good problem to have!

I was beginning to think that you retired from the blog business. I've been here reading about the ducks and the coons for about as long as I could stand. Thanks for the new post!

Derek Canneverrememberhispassword Morgan

darlene said...

I understand very well, Baby! I also know how difficult it is for you once you decide to part with a baby and have to let it go to a new home. You are way too good to your animals and they are so fortunate to be born into your care. You give them the best possible start into the world and the best possible chance of survival under someone else's care.

...and I did digress. If only you had a crystal ball that would allow you to foresee what each baby would look like in a few years.

Thanks for sharing the photos and the delimma that you are faced with each year.

-darlene-

KL said...

Hmm...I think I like the fourth one too. Well actually, if it was me, I'd probably get rid of them all as soon as possible. Good thing it's not my choice!

Good luck.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Thanks for the comments YA'LL (I had to do that for Kyle).

OK Derek, I know now you haven't really paid close attention to the blog because I've NEVER written about raccoons. Opossums yes. Raccoons, NEVER!

As always, thanks for your support BABY! I don't know of anyone who would let me keep nearly 80 baby venomous snakes in the kitchen!

Thanks for stopping by Kyle! I know you can't wait for some warm weather up there in Eureka so you can begin collecting Crotalus oreganus oreganus.

Aggie92 said...

That's easy...you pick the one who has the most experience...oh wait you are talking about snakes...not political candidates.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

I'll name one "Hillary", just for you!

Anonymous said...

Opossums?!! Really? But they are so black. Knew I should have left my name off that last post.....

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

That's alright man. You were probably still focused on the RACCOON that ran out of your garage Saturday night.

Steve's girl said...

This is exactly why I could never raise anything to sell...I wouldn't be able to part with any of the babies!!

Good luck with your dilemma and be very thankful for a wife that allows you to keep snakes in the kitchen...now SHE is definitely a keeper!!

Just for the record, I like the last one the best too. :)

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Hi Sandy! Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. I always have a tough time selling my babies then worry about them once I've shipped them out. Yes, Darlene IS a keeper. By the way, did Kyle tell you she had LASIK on Valentine's Day?! She's trying to get a post ready for her blog. I was able to take photos through a glass door while she was having it done and a few of her and the doctor afterwards. Say hello to Steve!

Steve's girl said...

Hi Jim,
I didn't know about Darlene's LASIK surgery. Kyle doesn't tell me anything!!!
I know several people that have had LASIK and they have all been thrilled with the results.
Give Darlene my best and tell her I will be eagerly watching for her next post.

XXXX said...

I'm disappointed by the emphasis you're placing on the looks of a snake rather than the content of his/her character. Maybe that's where you're messing up pal.

I vote for #2. He will be challenged all his life by being a pastel-colored male snake. Same principle as a boy named "Sue." Know what I mean?

KL said...

For the record, MOM, I just found out this morning and just woke up a few minutes ago. Who's to say I wouldn't have told you later today? I guess we'll never know...
:)

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

XXXX - Since the content of their character from birth is to kill or, at the very least, maime me, I have no other choice but to choose by color or pattern. If you had only taken the time to study the various creatures I left on your mouse pad, instead of screaming like a little girl, you might know this by now!

Kyle & Sandy - Have you ever thought of picking up the telephone?

Kyle said...

Jim,
I'll have you know that from the time I left home to go to Brownsville a year and a half ago until now I have spoken to my mom either on the phone or in person every single day except for once. Nice try.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Wow, you get a little grumpy working the mid shift. Maybe you should go home and take a nap!

GB said...

Sounds like a lot of snake biting going on! Just think of the profit man...and of course you will be a father of many more vipers. Your dilemma continues.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Thanks for the comments Geoff. You are correct sir and breeding season begins in less than 2 months!

XXXX said...

First, you've never heard me scream like a little girl. I save that for my private moments at home, when I'm lying in the fetal position.

Second, let me see if I am interpreting your logic correctly. If my modus operandi were to either kill or maim you, then I could count on you to provide me with food, shelter, and potential mates, provided I was good-looking enough?

I guess I'll get to work on my mid-dorsal stripe.

darlene said...

Baby, you will always have my support. 80 little vipers in the kitchen is a bit much but they are well-behaved, stay in their corner, don't make a lot of noise and really don't bother anyone! =D

Uhmm... Hilary? (scratching head) Why? Was one of the babies born without a spine? (Sorry..it was too easy!)

"X", your comment cracked me up!! I can just see the other little vipers making fun of the little pastel fellow. If this story follows the "Boy Named Sue" tradition then this little guy will be the baddest viper in the 'hood!

Sandy, thank you so much for your best wishes re: LASIK! It's been incredible so far! I still find myself thinking that I need to remove my contacts at night! ;-) I can see perfectly for reading and distance is good enough to drive. Distant text is still blurry at times but I can read most of it.

(Sorry for hijacking the thread. We can go back to viper talk now!)

-darlene-

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

XXXX - Obviously you've forgotten about the crayfish I dropped on your desk that you thought was a SCORPION! Wish I had that one of film!

Darlene - OH MY GOD!!! Mike will SURELY be on his soapbox now after that remark about Hillary. Of course, you can always remind him of his "freedom of speech" rant! Oh, I forgot, that only applies to him!

Border Cowboy said...

Oh man! I'm still trying to recover from extreme laughter over the "xxxx"/La Vibora exchanges. Gems to say the least. As for the vipers, I'm only qualified to choose among pit vipers, so I'll abstain.

Oh, and Jim --- you apparently haven't changed since your Midland days. Not sure how accurate the story was, but I was told you would toss tarantulas at coworkers who had different viewpoints.

darlene said...

"X", I'm ROTFLAMHO!

Baby, I forgot to mention how beautiful your babies look sitting on the kitchen counter. You have created a 'bouquet' of baby vipers!

-darlene-

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Border Cowboy - Thanks for dropping by and lending a hand! Sorry to inform you but eyelash vipers ARE pitvipers so you're not excused! As for the Midland stories, they may be just a BIT exaggerated. I typically dropped dead tarantulas on my co-workers who insisted on killing them! You mean those stories are still circulating after all these years?!

Darlene - Thanks again Baby! I guess I should have included a photo of the "viper bouquet" for everyone to enjoy! Hmmm, I feel another post in the near future.

darlene said...

Baby -- A viper bouquet post would be quite interesting IMO!

(humming "...pretty maids all in a row" -Joe Walsh/Eagles)

-d-

darlene said...

Border Cowboy -- Jim would never toss a live tarantula on anyone for fear of it being harmed, or worse, in the process. He loves scare the pooh out of people with the sheds.

I didn't know about the deceased tarantulas being used to torment the Midland NWS peeps! It doesn's surprise me.

Someone I know once placed a rubber snake inside the 'bin' of the coffee maker at the Victoria NWS. I think this incident caused one of his coworkers to go home for the rest of the shift. Or was that the time ... ?

-d-

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Hey, he had it coming and I can't help it if he was scared of a little green rubber snake! Granted, it worked to perfection when the head popped up when he pulled out the bin to add coffee but, hey, he had it coming for bragging about killing snakes!

darlene said...

Did he bring a change of clothes to work each shift after that incident? (You really don't have to answer that!) ;-)

-d-

gb said...

Jim you should offer all Americans an eyelash viper in every kitchen. Or was that offered by some past politician. You would make a fine President...better then the other snakes that are running.

Aggie92 said...

I thought this was a blog about snakes...not politics.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Man, don't let Mike here you say that. He's so pro-Hillary, I'm surprised he hasn't imploded already over Darlene's remark! All in fun, though!

Aggie92 said...

It doesn't matter who you vote for as
long as you vote period...snakes that
is.

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Aren't most politicians referred to as "snakes"? Personally, I don't get it. I trust my vipers more than I trust politicians!

gb said...

Aggie92...I know but I am having so much fun!

gb said...

Jim, do you name your vipers? If so, give us some insight of your favorites...pictures? See how quickly one can change from politics back to the matter at hand.

Jungle Pete said...

I'd keep #3 - He looks delicious!

Beth&Leo said...

Just read your latest effort to Leo. We do enjoy your writing style. The pictures were great and you sure got a lot of responses.

We enjoyed lunch with your darling wife. She is always good company. Of course our cups would have been overflowing if you could have made it also.

beth&leo

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Pete - After reading your post about kicking poor, defenseless bunnies, I'm not surprised you'd want to eat one of my eyelash babies!!! Great stories, keep 'em coming!

Beth & Leo - Thanks for taking time to comment, I always appreciate your input. Wish I could have joined you for lunch but it's great to hear you're both doing so well.

Angela said...

Dad, you have an incredible menagerie of vipers. It must be hard to part with babies knowing you were of part of it's making and generations before it. But you have a true gift and I know that whatever decision you make and however hard it will be the bloodline with be forever beautiful and continue to flourish in your care!

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

Thanks Ang! I hope I didn't "guilt" you into taking time to comment. You know you've had a hand in all of this. How many times did I have you skip school to work the mouse-house, years ago? By the way, armadillos still don't carry lepidus.

Much love to you and "our babies"!

darlene said...

Angela,
Very beautifully worded and all so true! I know that in time you will be able to teach that guy of yours all about arboreals, which ones have eyebrows and which ones do not!!

Beth & Leo,
Thank you both SO much for having lunch with me Wednesday!! It always does my heart good to spend time with the two of you! It would have been 'complete' if Jim could have been there too.

-d-

LaVibora - Jim Campbell said...

What a fun thread! Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment!
Jim