Blood "Types"

News and musings from TBC...

Taking Stock

TBC KO TBC KO on her 2023 Clutch

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. - Truman Capote

This is a 100% het-T+ female that I hatched in 2013 and sold as a well-started juvenile. She exchanged hands at least twice before making her way back home. After a substantial QT period I decided to include her in this season’s lineup. Since she ovulated in mid-March, her behavior hasn’t been what I would expect to see from a gravid female, and today she confirmed my suspicions with 5 good eggs and 16 slugs.  While it’s disappointing to look at those slugs and consider what might have been, it’s a big reality of breeding snakes. Unfortunate outcomes like this reiterate why a clutch of eggs is only ever the gravy on top of good snake keeping - an event hoped and planned for, but never something to which we’re entitled.


Now the key is to dig into my data throughout the season, and understand what activities and environmental conditions contributed to her premature ovulation. This is a female that had been out of my collection for nearly a decade. Thankfully, she came away from this clutch with a minimal loss of condition. I now have a chance to unravel her individual quirks and rhythms over the next several seasons, and look forward to impressive clutches from her in the future. 
When I look at a situation like this I feel bad for all the effort the female went through for a failed outcome, but it's also one of those moments that prompts reflection on the "why" from season to season.  Do my choices for these animals continue to align with my vision, and even more so, my values? 

Thankfully, the answer is a resounding "Yes."  The collection is bursting at the seams with quality and every animal is in superb condition.  They're housed appropriately and comfortably, and our rodent colony is booming to ensure they're well fed.  I continue to cultivate relationships with other keepers and seek advice from mentors and trusted advisors who can actively discuss my values and goals, and aren't afraid to ask me tough questions.  I carefully screen potential homes to ensure the best outcome for the snakes hatched here, and educate keepers accordingly.  The ability and resources to keep these snakes at all are gifts, and not something I take lightly. 

It's been a phenomenal year so far with many first-time pairings and more on the way.  Every single pairing this year should produce offspring exponentially better than the parents.  It's just a few short weeks out from the first hatchlings, and days away from the last clutch of the season. In the grandest scheme of things, there's so much for which to be grateful.

Every single failure we face in life is an opportunity to learn, and it is only when we refuse to seize such opportunities that we have failed at all.  Here’s to next time.

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'Tis The Season...

...for changes!  First things first, we're excited to announce a major website overhaul coming in just a few short months.  We know the site is woefully overdue for a facelift,  and have been busy photographing animals and writing content in preparation for the new launch.  Thanks for sticking with us in the meantime.

Secondly, we are well into egg season here at TBC, with the first four clutches of the year safely tucked into the incubator and more on the way.  So far we have T+ albinos, Pollen het T+ (and potentially T+), TBC Raspberry, and some glorious black curtus eggs on the ground.  Our next clutches are due to arrive literally any moment, and we've taken the liberty of updating our Anticipated Offspring section with statuses and timelines.  If you want to keep tabs on any particular pairing(s), visit the respective page and drop in your email for notifications.

Finally, we are BEYOND EXCITED to announce the newest addition to our collection, and another step for TBC in the morph direction.  We were incredibly fortunate to acquire a stunning male Golden Eye from our dear friend Nick at Cold-Blooded Earth.  This gorgeous python is a 2021 hatch, and we're looking forward to adding him to our lineup later this year.  Raspberry Golden Eye has a nice ring to it, wouldn't you say?   While we're not diving headfirst into mutations quite yet, we do have our eye on the future and a few more select acquisitions to round out our group.   Until then, check out this simply sublime animal, who we've affectionately named Warpaint:

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Homage

JoanCover An elemental moment.

"Sometimes it's a little better to travel than to arrive."
-- Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values


It's that time of year when social media becomes inundated with hatchling/neonate photos.  Reptile keepers of every ilk and species post pictures of beautiful babies and share their excitement over the next steps in their journey. I love seeing this enthusiasm and enjoyment of new life, of drawing closer to an end goal or future vision.  I commend these keepers who geek out over the newness of freshly-born reptiles, no matter what kind, and pray this enthusiasm always remains present in our hobby. So many keepers extoll this moment as "their favorite part" of breeding reptiles, and with the yearly onslaught of photos, it got this ol' gal a-thinking...

You can't scroll through the Internet these days without being exhorted to acknowledge "the journey" that is life.  We're advised to enjoy it, and recognize that "...a thousand miles begins with a single step."  As an online meme and cliche, the sentiment is almost mind-numbingly trite, but boiled down to its essence it means one thing: be present.  Without the awareness that presence requires, it's easy to become so focused on intended outcomes that we lose sight of the plans and processes that lead to them.  With presence and awareness (and introspection, and humility), the plans, processes, and moments are savored, appreciated, understood, and tucked away as lessons and fuel for future journeys.

"So, Kara," you ask, "Why all this quasi-philosophical rambling, and what does it have to do with snakes?" Well, dear reader, I'll tell you.  As this ol' gal was a-thinking about hatchling seasons and excited keepers, I was once again compelled to confront the fact that the first moments of pipping and hatching and piles of gooey baby snakes are actually not my favorite parts of breeding reptiles.  They're very high on the list (we're talking Willie-Nelson-concert high), but they still fall behind the splendor of mature blood pythons in their prime, and ultimately, females on clutches. 

There is nothing in the rhythm and routine of captive propagation that tops the sight of a beautiful female python coiled around a clutch of perfect, pristine eggs.  It's an elemental, almost sacred moment: the elongate, chiseled head resting protectively atop the clutch with an air of maternal wisdom. The quiet puffing of breath and curious tongue flicks as she shifts her coils and pushes against my hand, protesting my intrusion.  My humble awareness that aside from providing the correct environmental conditions, she needs no assistance from me throughout this entire process and could quite capably hatch the eggs on her own. My whispered promise as the clutch is gathered and safely tucked into the most stable incubator I could provide, "You've done your part, now I'll do mine."

Yes, I'm waxing poetic and anthropomorphizing a bit, but this event deserves no less than the intensity of emotion it elicits. Perfect clutches aren't guaranteed, and that fact makes me tremendously appreciative when they do arrive.  These females put forth a fantastic reproductive effort and the results thereof will shape the future of generations to come at TBC. I know what's in these eggs will eventually be mindblowing...right now I'm thankful that they've gone from possible to probable. In these moments I am keenly present, acutely aware, and exceedingly grateful for this step along the way.

2021 Breeding Season Updates

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Spring Things - March '21

Val3.2821 Val looking especially fabulous!

Spring is in full swing at TBC and we have some great updates to share!  In addition to what we hope will be a promising hatching season, we've been busy raising awareness about anti-herp legislation, upgrading our husbandry tools and expanding on our various T-shirt (and other merch) designs!

Fighting Anti-Herp Laws
First things first - are you a member of USARK yet?  If not, we highly encourage you to stop what you're doing and join right now. The United States Association of Reptile Keepers is our hobby's representative in the political realm, and they are leading the fight against anti-reptile legislation across the US.  Visit them at https://usark.org and lend your support.  Stay up to date on alerts, and PLEASE take action against impending legislation, even if you don't live in the affected states or keep the affected species.  The only way we will be successful in this fight is through unity across the hobby!


Husbandry.Pro
We have been using Husbandry.Pro for several months now, and absolutely LOVE how easy this app makes it to keep records on our collection.  It is hands-down the BEST herpetocultural tracking app available, and we've tried them all!  H.P is feature-rich but not overwhelming, and as long as you're willing to keep up with the data entry it provides a highly detailed view of individual animals, as well as trends across an entire collection.  We're using it for everything from bloodline tracking to breeding records, and standard husbandry notes such as cleaning, weights, feeding, shedding, etc.  We're looking forward to passing these notes along to our customers with the purchase of an animal, and even better - the Husbandry.Pro developers are working on a feature that allows the transfer of an animal from one user to another.  Check them out at https://husbandry.pro/ and see if one of their plans is the right fit for you.  We HIGHLY recommend this app to help level up your record-keeping game!


TBC Stuff
We've had a ton of requests for t-shirts and other merchandise, and recently rolled out some new designs available on a variety of items.  Here's a sneak peek - check out our Redbubble shop to order.  More stuff on the way, so stay tuned!
 

Breeding Season Updates
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for...breeding season updates!  While 2021 won't be a huge season, what it lacks in quantity it more than surpasses in quality.  We have confirmed ovulations from 3 females and can't wait to see what the future holds. 

As of now, we're hoping for a nice clutch of curtus from Tux (Hartwig line) to Joan (Jet line), and brongersmai from Bravado x Epitome (Marter x Marter), and a repeat pairing of TBC Whiplash x Jewel (TBC Manic Panic x Marter).  These babies will go quickly, so if you're looking for some nice, friendly Sumatran STPs or EXTREMELY red bloods, get on our list ASAP!

We'll be updating our Clutch Records page for 2021 as the season progresses, so check back often!

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The Sum of A Decade...

It's been said that "the days pass slow and the years fly by," and I suppose that's as true in breeding snakes as it is in any other aspect of life. Before you know it a decade has passed, and looking back gives so much perspective on how far you've come. As the last clutch of the 2018 season makes its way into the world it's a worthwhile time for reflection, considering these babies became a possibility 10 years ago this summer.

The TBC Raspberry project has been one dear to my heart, and its roots go back to the days before the TBC prefix when I still lived in New England.  In late 2005 I acquired a fantastic wild-caught female blood python.  She was raspberry red with a reduced black and yellow pattern, and had a temper to match her color.  She was an utterly irascible snake, one that allowed an extremely limited amount of handling and no mucking about at it.  You had about 20 seconds to move her into a holding tub, clean her enclosure, ensure all was well, and maybe another 20 seconds to move her back before she boiled over.  Of course my goal was to eventually breed her, so minimizing stress was always my number one concern (besides potentially reproducing her temperament).

Early breeding attempts were for naught, and after two years I wasn't sure if she would ever settle down enough to successfully reproduce in captivity.  She was paired with a very handsome, calm, tractable male in late 2007/early 2008 that ultimately resulted in a very nice clutch of babies.  Many of these offspring were retained, the most promising of which were showing very intense color as early as 8 months of age.  The goal became to utilize the best of these animals to fix and establish the bold red color and reduced patterns within the line, thus they were raised up over the next three years.  By that time Ryan and I had combined our collections (and every other aspect of our lives), and the real work with these snakes began. 

We don't power-feed our snakes, and actually have a tendency to grow them fairly conservatively, giving them plenty of time to mature and body up prior to their first breeding season.  As such the first linebred TBC Raspberry clutch made its debut in 2013.  Out of that clutch there was a single male, and he stuck out like a sore thumb amongst his female siblings.  He was affectionately named TBC Double Down (TBC Fire Hazard x TBC Don'tCha).  To this day he is one of the reddest snakes in our collection (if not the reddest), and watching him grow and mature into a spectacular, richly colored animal has been nothing but a thrill.  His photo graces the front page of our website, and he's pretty much the embodiment of what I had - initially - hoped to achieve with this bloodline. 

Since that time we've done additional linebreedings and outcrosses with the TBC Raspberry animals, resulting in snakes like TBC Million Dollar Baby (linebred PE Stripe x TBC Raspberry - TBC All That x TBC Don'tCha), and TBC Girl On Fire (linebred TBC Raspberry, TBC Fire Hazard x TBC Ladybird).   As good as this project has been to us, it's not all hatching glorious red snakes.  Eggs go bad, females don't produce in a particular season, sometimes snakes die for what seems to be no apparent reason, and such setbacks can really take the wind out of your sails when you have high hopes for specific pairings.  The flip side of that, of course, is that when things go well they go extremely well and propel us to even higher levels of color and pattern refinement to further build upon someday.

So here I sit, 10 years after that fateful clutch that kicked off the TBC Raspberry line.  TBC Double Down sired his first offspring for us this season, outcrossed to a lovely linebred Marter female named Fancy.  The resulting hatchlings from this clutch are a mere few days old & already colorful beyond my wildest dreams (and let me tell you, those can get pretty crazy!) As with anything we try to take it all in stride - three of the offspring from this clutch did not survive, but fortunately the rest seem to be strong, healthy, robust babies with big futures ahead of them.  I can't wait to see where the next 10 years will find us with these snakes and their descendants.

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And That's A Wrap!

I know, I know...it's been entirely too long since an update from TBC. After enduring "The Neverending Winter" and navigating what can only be considered a tumultuous early spring, I'm thrilled to report that we've jumped headfirst into summer, and have some very exciting clutches hatching, and more in the incubator to boot.  Brongersmai were our primary focus this season, and I'm sorry to disappoint all of those who are patiently waiting on SSTPs & BSTPs - those are on deck for the 2018-2019 season!  We had some key red projects we wanted to nail down this year, and will have some fantastic snakes to raise, as well as some to put into the hands of dedicated keepers looking for consitent and beautiful color lines.

It's been a thrill every time I open an enclosure to see a female on eggs, and since I'm there in the moment usually just have a cell phone on me.  With that in mind, pardon the poor quality of some of the following photos - I hate disturbing females on clutches & my focus is always making sure those precious eggs make it into the incubator safe & sound!  I'll be hard at work the rest of the summer getting updated pics of these beautiful snakes and their offspring onto the website.

So without any further ado, let's jump into a review of this year's season so far...

Our first clutch of the season arrived in early April, from TBC Bang Bang x TBC Rosalette, a pairing of two pure Bangka Island locality blood pythons.  They are beautiful snakes with vibrant peach, pink and cream coloration, and charcoal-grey heads, and we anticipate that their offspring should be similar in appearance.  While several of the eggs in this clutch were lightly veined and ultimately went bad during incubation, we hatched three beautiful Bangka males in early June, including a set of twins.



Our second clutch of 2018 was a repeat breeding of TBC Ricochet x TBC Vertigo. These lovely TBC Manic Panic line reds knocked it out of the park once again with lots of stripes and loads of color. 11 robust, thriving babies made their way into the world on June 18th, and we're looking forward to watching them color up and grow. Check out the awesome red eyes on this hatchling:



Clutch #3 for this year was a PE Stripe x TBC Manic Panic line pairing, between TBC All That & TBC Suckerpunch.  We're really looking forward to hatching some redheaded PE Stripes, and can't wait to see these babies in early July. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!


Clutch # 4 for the season will be one to watch for those looking for a great first pet blood python. This clutch was sired by a Marter line male, to a grade female named Robbin.  Both snakes are wonderfully pretty,docile animals & we anticipate their offspring will follow suit.


Clutch #5 should make for some jaw-dropping babies as we crossed our TBC Manic Panic line male named TBC Whiplash (TBC Ricochet x TBC Vertigo), to a gorgeous Marter line female named Jewel.  I had back-burnered this clutch for the 2018-2019 season, and Jewel had other plans, gracing our incubator with 13 perfect eggs. I was not expecting this clutch to arrive when it did & unfortunately didn't grab a pic of Jewel on eggs, but here's a collage of sire, dam, and soon-to-be offspring:  


Our last clutch of the season is another exciting paring involving the Marter line.  We bred Fancy, another fantastic female, to TBC Double Down, a linebred TBC Raspberry male. Both snakes are top shelf, and we anticipate their babies to be no less than amazing. It's going to be a VERY long 60 days for those hatchlings, but totally worth the wait!



As you can see, we'll have our hands full with a bounty of beautiful brongersmai throughout this summer, and look forward to bringing you lots of updates as these clutches progress, hatch, begin feeding, and start to color up.   We will have a nice selection of red babies available this year, and you can keep an eye on our Available Animals section for more info.  If you're interested in offspring from a particular breeding, please take a moment to complete a Prospective Owner Application so we can get to know you, and add you to our notification lists.  Finally, if you'd like to receive general updates on the rest of our breeding season, feel free to subscribe to our Breeding Season Updates category right here in the TBC blog! 

Thanks again for stopping in to see what's new at TBC!

K


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