<data:blog.pageTitle/>

This Page

has moved to a new address:

http://www.bcmatthews.com

Sorry for the inconvenienceā€¦

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
----------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Rounders Date: 27 Feb 2004 ----------------------------------------------- */ body { background:#aba; margin:0; padding:20px 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small/1.5em "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ /* The images which help create rounded corners depend on the following widths and measurements. If you want to change these measurements, the images will also need to change. */ @media all { #content { width:740px; margin:0 auto; text-align:left; } #main { width:485px; float:left; background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:15px 0 0; padding:0 0 10px; color:#000; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } #main2 { float:left; width:100%; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 0 0; } #main3 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/rails_main.gif") repeat-y; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:240px; float:right; margin:15px 0 0; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; background:#fff; } #main2 { float:none; background:none; } #main3 { background:none; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#258; } a:visited { color:#666; } a:hover { color:#c63; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Blog Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 0; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #header div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #header { background:#456; } #header div { background:none; } } #blog-title { margin:0; padding:10px 30px 5px; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; } #blog-title a { text-decoration:none; color:#fff; } #description { margin:0; padding:5px 30px 10px; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#357; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow.gif") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } a.title-link:hover { background-color:#ded; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#fff; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } p.post-footer { background:#ded; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body p.post-footer { border-bottom-color:transparent; } p.post-footer em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ccc; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; color:#666; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#666; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#666; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#cdc url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#345; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#234; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#cdc; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #aba; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #fff; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#258; } .profile-link a { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_profile.gif") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#666; } .box2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#fff; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#333; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow_sm.gif") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #eee; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#456; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Some Thoughts on Reptile Keeping, and Introducing My Blue Tongue Skink

Mr/Miss Ellison, The Northern Blue Tongue Skink
By now, dear readers, you may or may not know that I'm really into herpetoculture. Which means essentially that I am now utterly intrigued by the captive care and breeding of reptiles. Whenever I describe the personalities of my darling little ones, people always say either "Wow, I didn't know they had personalities" or "Wow, they are way smarter than I thought."

A lot of people don't really understand my interest in reptiles. In fact, I've received some not-so-nice flack about my obsession with them. To the point where for a while I stopped telling people about reptiles and my pets in general. If it's not furry, or says meow and woof, people generally seem unable to understand why they mean as much to you as furred babies.  

In order to connect more fully with people who either are freaked out or repulsed by the idea of reptiles as pets, I usually liken them to caring for non-fur bearing cats. Really, connecting with your scaly or shelled critter I see as a bit of a cat-like relationship. They greet you with great enthusiasm during the dinner hour, and they will bug you through the windows of their enclosure to let you know that yes, it is now time. Otherwise, they often give you the stink eye while sunning themselves, like an irritated cat sunning itself in the window sill. I'm convinced that like predatory cats, my omnivorous darlings would devour me in an instant provided I was bug-sized. They also frequently snub their noses at me and go to hide if I hang out trying in vain to give them attention and love. Like cats, everything is done on their time, with their schedule, and their earned blessing.

Well, except for Poe, my diamondback terrapin. That one is a wiggly puppy of exuberance. He loves everyone and everything.

Most reptiles are "look but don't touch" types of pets, which again seems to baffle some people. Why have a pet that you can't squeeze and hug? Because watching them is like watching an episode of Wild America (with Marty Stouffer, geez I used to watch that show after school all the time), and their antics are usually very amusing. Even watching them in sleepy repose is thrilling.  

Exotic care is so different from dogs and cats that the extra time and research it takes is part of its appeal for me. I have been thrilled with reading field studies, scientific papers on wild behavior and diet, scholarly papers on climate of origin, as well as articles from breeders and zoos, and my fellow nerdy keepers. I've read entire veterinary texts on biology and diseases. Why? Because keeping exotics is not like keeping domesticated animals. They don't bark or meow when they're feeling ill, or their environment is not quite right. You have to be vigilant in any minor change in behavior that signals either illness, or a needed change in their keeping. And that means research and diligence.

Even still, I am enthralled with them because it takes time, patience, and a great deal of energy to earn their trust. It is a slow process, considering that I am a very large predator in their eyes. I usually tell people that I am not Mama to them, but the Great Food Bringer.

Anyway, introducing my newest and first non-turtle reptile: Ellison, the Northern Blue Tongue Skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia). And yes, I named him/her after Harlan Ellison, continuing my "author" naming scheme. And because the little one was really feisty and bitey before he calmed down a bit.

This species, like most weirdo Australian animals seem to be oddly unique, is interesting in that they give live birth. They are ground dwelling burrowers with stumpy little awkward looking legs, and bright blue tongues. They are one of the species that if their tail is pulled on or broken by a predator, their tail will detach and partially re-grow. I emphasize partially.

So far, Ellison is definitely an interesting character. And while he has a bit of a huffy temper when he (or she) is shedding, our better bonding moments have been while I'm soaking him to get the shed off. He has also curled up in my lap to take a warm blanket nap after a hefty meal, though I now make sure that I haven't cooked meat for my own dinner before feeding him, because then my fingers smell like he should eat them. And he tries to. He also comes out to "glass dance" when he's hungry, by pawing at the glass of his enclosure whenever I pass by.

Some responses I've received about him have been, "What? Why are you keeping a skank? What's a skank anyway?" and "Please stop getting reptiles or you'll become that person" and even "It's really kind of ugly."

I understand reptiles are not for everyone, and yet I always find myself spreading knowledge about the species I keep, because that too is part of its appeal. Teaching people about animals is a joy I didn't know I could take part in. And yet, now I do.




2 Comments:

At February 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM , Blogger Morrow said...

I love you and your reptiles!

 
At February 22, 2013 at 6:33 PM , Blogger B.C. Matthews said...

The reptiles say hi back!

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home