August in North Texas is, under the absolute best of circumstances, an utter bear, and the weekend of August 10 was bad even by our already hellish standards. By Friday afternoon, the temperatures at the Triffid Ranch were around 40 degrees C, with anywhere between 15 and 20 percent relative humidity, making potting and packing plants an adventure. Even with plants literally dying in my hands as I’m potting them, and a late start due to logistics with the truck loading, the caravan heading to the North American Reptile Breeders Conference in Arlington made it, with a relative minimum of aggravation from traffic conditions. When it’s too hot for most attendees of Six Flags Over Texas next door to the Arlington Convention Center, the roads tend to remain nice and clear.
This August marked the second NARBC show held in the summer in Arlington, with a lot of the usual suspects in attendance. The folks from ZooMed, as always, dominated the hall with their gigantic inflatable tent, and it made quite the gateway to the rest of the convention hall. Since this was a working show and not an opportunity to wander around, this meant I wasn’t able to see everything, but both the crew at ZooMed and at The Reptile Report were more than willing to come by and chat for a bit. With the crowds on Saturday, we were all lucky to see the outsides of our booths anyway. (More on the Reptile Report crew shortly.)
And speaking of which, the Triffid Ranch booth was located this year behind and to the right of the ZooMed tent from the entrance. Five years after the first Triffid Ranch show, and it may be time to hire an assistant for larger shows such as this one.
(Oh, and a gag for a few friends. When taking this photo, the automatic portrait function in the camera focused on the head on the top shelf on the left. In the process, though, when actually taking the shot, the camera read “Blink Detected”. Should I be worried?)
Since this show’s dealer space had considerably more room than what is usually available, it made sense to bring out a pair of converted and repainted Nepenthes enclosures. While they were a bear to transport, they also gave plenty of kids the shocks of their lives when they realized that the tanks didn’t contain any animal life that wasn’t intended to be food for the plants. Combine that with the TCU fine arts student who went into shock herself when she recognized the Olmec head in the larger arrangement, and that led to a command decision: next year’s show needs an arrangement with a large Upland Maya backdrop, full of Mexican butterworts. Thankfully, I still have six months with which to set it up.
To be continued…