I was raised
in the Midwest...born in Iowa, but lived mostly in Illinois farm country and had always been around both domestic and wild
animals. We had farm animals when I was growing up and the usual dog and cat that most people have. When I left home I usually
had a pet of some kind and also developed a love of aquaculture. There was seldom a time when I didn’t have an aquarium
or two going.
I had never really given reptiles much thought. I appreciated the five-lined prairie race runners that were
common to my area and always liked to see turtles and frogs, but just never kept any as pets (at least not long term). While
I was in college my wife at the time bought a big adult normal Corn Snake from a mutual friend of ours. It took me a few weeks
to get used to the idea of handling her, but I soon found out I liked it. Before long I found myself ordering a pair of yearling
Corn Snakes (normals, but really beautiful animals) from Glades Herps (via our friend) which I raised with the intention of
someday breeding. The female died, but the male thrived and the following year I bred him to the original big normal female.
I hatched my first clutch of Corn Snakes in 1992 and was hooked. The whole process was unlike anything I had ever encountered.
working with various species of snakes, with Corn Snakes always the dominate choice…and California Kings a close second.
The new and exciting morphs that kept appearing year after year kept my interest going. It seemed there was no end to it.
moved to Kentucky in 1999 after a divorce and a job change with my kids and my snakes. The same friend that I received my
first Corns from was traveling to the Daytona Show with some other mutual friends in 2001 and stopped by on the way. They
had a bunch of neat stuff and I bought some Corn morphs I didn’t have, and two male Jungle Corns that he had produced.
I had read about the Jungle Corns and considered them, but had never had an opportunity to purchase any. Fate struck and two
fell right into my lap.
I met Paula, who was a herp lover as well, shortly after that. We dated for quite a while and she and her son
eventually moved in with me, my kids, and of course all the snakes. Together we had quite a colony and as soon as the Jungle
Corns matured…the “mad science” began.
Paula and I have been producing Corns, Kings,
and of course Jungle Corns and Jungle Kings (both of our passion) ever since. Fascination with genetics and reptiles made
the creation of a namesake an inevitability and so we chose SerpentMutations to represent us. We are two hobbyists that found
a common bond that gets more exciting each year.
James "DAVID" Sickels, Jr.