Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Viper Bouquet

I'll be the first to admit I have a problem. When it comes to lines, they have to be straight. I still press my pants, including shorts, with military creases. My shirt sleeves, long or short, have to be creased right down the middle. Pictures are constantly straightened about the house and in the workplace. I feel sure it goes back to Boot Camp. I learned how to properly fold socks, shirts and pants quickly after finding the entire contents of my locker on the floor a couple of times. Bed sheets and blankets had to be "line tight" with "hospital corners". I just can't get beyond it, to this day. So when Darlene commented on my last post that I had created a "bouquet of vipers" in the kitchen, she wasn't kidding in the least. The remaining 76 eyelash vipers and bush vipers born late last year are all positioned in perfect order in one corner of the kitchen.

The "viper bouquet". Each baby is housed in 16oz. clear, pre-punched (air holes) deli cups purchased from

Each deli cup is labled, identifying the birth mother and date of birth.

A 2oz. "portion cup" is used for a water bowl and to help maintain humidity. Paper towel pieces are used for substrate. Here, a 5 month old baby eyelash viper perches on the edge of the portion cup.

Now each of you should be able to create your own lovely viper bouquet. Granted, you'll need a very tolerant and understanding mate like Darlene, who doesn't mind venomous snakes in the kitchen. Oh, just one more thing, inscribed wine glasses are optional.

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...