I went up to Maine for a week this month and although Rudy could not accompany me I still managed to make it to the Bangor Reptile Expo. I could have gone alone but what is the fun in that? Instead I invited my friend Betty who let me pick her up three hours after her work shift ended only to go back home for four hours of sleep to go back to work again! We had a lot of fun though.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never been to a reptile expo, and to be more than frank I know very little about any reptiles, but I am always happy to learn! It was a nice small expo, but not too small as there was a variety of things to look at. The first things we ran into were poison dart frogs who apparently start out intensely small – maybe the size of my pinky nail. They were beautiful, all different colors, and truly amazing. Someone was here selling tadpoles for $35 a head. Interesting idea. I wonder if there was an option to get a random mystery tadpole for cheaper, not that I wanted one.
From here we ran into a bunch of lovely terrariums, set up beautifully, and a great deal of people peddling baby ball pythons of several playfully named color variations like butter and bumblebee. Those two were particularly pretty but even so they didn’t catch my imagination like the dozens of geckos here. Most were gargoyle or crested geckos, also in many color variations. Their little feet have always attracted me. They’re just so damned cute. I ended up talking to the woman from Jabberwock Reptiles. First off I gave her kudos for the name. She said it was because she started with gargoyle geckos and they looked like dragons so Jabberwock reptiles seemed perfectly fitting at the time. She told me gargoyle and crested geckoes don’t even need heating, that they are the easiest of all the reptiles. Damn. I almost wish I had a place for a terrarium now but alas no, I was here to look around, not bring home new pets.
There was a guy walking around with a fairly large black and white tegu, the other lizard I have always had a special place of admiration for. They’re just so beautifully primitive, like little dinosaurs. I have never wanted a tegu a pet (as I believe they should have very large enclosure being as large and active as they are) but I always like looking at them, maybe even petting or holding them on occasion. This one I petted. He felt like a beaded purse.
Here too were all sorts of feeders including a winter white hamster and three batches of absolutely perfect hairless rats with unblemished skin and bright perfect eyes – a rarity in the breed. These were the hardest to leave behind. I always loved my rats so much and the people they brought into my life, including Betty! I ran a rattery for a number of years and was so proud of it until my life became too chaotic to afford running it anymore and in recent years I have grown allergic to them, breaking out in hives whenever I touch them. Ah well, at least Betty ended up with the little winter white hamster (another little critter I absolutely adore) as well as a dwarf female for him. We spoke to another feeder breeder who was all excited she ended up with two black-eyed whites. “No one ever ends up with those!” (Unless you’re a fancy breeder and understand the genetics behind such a thing…)
We wandered around some more, finding orange bearded dragons and some creatures we debated about – were they fat snakes or legless lizards? They were odd either way and were next to a beautifully colored corn snake and a little hognose, which as far as snakes are concerned are really quite adorable. Betty left with her dream snake, a little ball python female, from Jabberwock. I held her for a bit, she seemed super calm.
I hope I didn’t scare Betty too badly with my driving. Rudy drives me almost everywhere and the bi-monthly trips I once took to Keene to keep my driving skills sharp have stopped since the building of a feed store in town that I have been getting all my supplies at. In any event I hadn’t driven at all in several months and was running on a week’s worth of
sleep deprivation. FUN! I will be surprised if she ever lets me drive her anywhere again. Either way we both had a lot of fun and should I be in Maine in October I’ll be up for round two.