Re: moving is such fun!

From: Phil Wilson (
Date: Wed Mar 31 1999 - 13:20:31 PST

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 1999 22:20:31 +0100
From: Phil Wilson <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1163$foo@default>
Subject: Re: moving is such fun!


Glad to hear from you again

Sorry to hear of your losses - I thought I'd done badly when I moved
several years ago losing most of my Nepenthes and all my Heliamphoras.

You seem to have had a bad winter - we've had an incredibly mild one
which has done absolute wonders for the winter growing Drosera. I've had
D. zeheri in flower (flower opened for one whole hour!) and at the
moment I have an absolutely stunning red flowered clone of D. cistiflora
in full flower. I've also got an amazing Western Australian tuberous
orchid in flower - I've been trying to get this one to do something for
five years and was on the point of throwing the plant out! I put all
this down to the fact that while we have had fairly cold winters -
mostly dropping to just over freezing at night, in the unheated
greenhouse during the day its been climbing to 10 - 18C during the day
when the sun has been shining.

You did not mention whether any of your reptiles suffered like the
plants in the move? Not the right list I suppose. I almost lost three of
my snakes which I had stupidly put in the greenhouse to cool off. My
heater failed and the snakes went down to about minus 5C. The really
stupid thing was I had almost moved them to the garage a few days
earlier because the temperature was too unstable in the greenhouse. When
it was sunny the temperature was getting far too high - not such a great
problem for snakes as it would be for tortoises which need a proper
hibernation but not ideal.

When I realised that the heater had failed I got the snakes in.
Interestingly the two corns were fine - one promptly repaid me by biting
me (I know, corns aren't supposed to be vicious but this bugger is). The
bullsnake on the other hand was near dead. He was extremely floppy and
hardly moved. I really thought he was too far gone but put him on a heat
mat anyway. Even when his head started to move I thought he might have
lost the use of his lower body which still seemed unresponsive. It took
him 24 hours to fully recover and another week before he would eat
again. Now he is fine and has developed into a real bugger - he will
strike against the side of the tank if I tap it and virtually leaps out
of the box to get his food - and then normally misses the mice I've put

I kept the bullsnake out of further hibernation although he could just
as easily gone back after a week or two. The two corns went into the
garage and have only just been woken.

I've still got plenty of productive mice. My best does are producing
regular litters of between 11 and 13 pinks which is excellent. I've come
to the conclusion that pet shop mice which are usually mixed crosses are
far better breeders than show mice. One of my show mice never got large
enough to give a litter (she got a knock on the head the other week) and
the other produces litters of about 7-8 - not bad but not as good as the

I'm still having problems getting one colony to produce litters well.
First the male I put in was sterile - at least he wasn't getting any of
the females pregnant (might have been gay I suppose!). Now I am getting
pregnant mice but strangely still very few litters. I found the other
week the reason - the mice are eating all the pinks. I don't think it is
any one mouse or I would have dealt with it. Its just a general orgy of
cannibalism. I came to the conclusion that maybe there were too many
mice in the litter so I culled a couple. Now I have three does and one
buck - in a tank about 10 - 12 inches long. I'll see how this goes.

I still have a tube of various feathers which I promised to send you
before you moved but thought better of it in case they got to you after
you left. If you send me your new address I'll mail them on.

As far as the plants you have lost, I still have a piece of the
variegated VFT (not very variegated though). No spares of this but I can
soon make some. I also have the usual Akai Ryu plants and can easily get
you a few of these, though I should think you can easily get these in
the States. I think the only other plants I have from you are some S.
oreophila which came from your bog barrel I think. They are mostly too
small to be splittable but should be better next year.

Of course if you can get these from the States you are better doing so
since you wont need to bother with permits and phytos but the offer is
there. Of course I am also happy to ship without papers but the risk is
entirely yours.

Also, thinking more long term if you want to start Sarracenias from seed
have a look at my seedlist on my website (see my sig). You are welcome
to any seed free of charge.

Speak to you soon.
Phil Wilson
Check out my Sarracenia seed list at:

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