Dragon Strand: Looking Forward to 2019Bill Strand
Looking Forward to 2019…
A Brief Review of where we have been
Dragon Strand was started because I, selfishly, wanted better caging options. Most specifically, I wanted an easy and organized way to raise up a clutch of baby chameleons in their own cage. Thus was born the Dragon Strand Nursery Cage System which remains one of the most popular cages today.
But once I got started, I realized I was in a position to solve many of the problems that faced me as a chameleon keeper over the decades. First and foremost was the need to mount plants and horizontal branches on the sides of the cage in a way that did not look thrown together. This is where the Dragon Ledges, which I was able to patent, came in. But this wasn’t just a product development exercise. It was a step towards giving us the tools to create beautiful, naturalistic cages. I was always envious of the dart frog community and their cage set-ups which were mesmerizing in their natural beauty. The standard chameleon cage, by contrast, was a screen cage with a Ficus tree plopped down in the middle. We really had little more than the minimum recommended size cage wrapped around a chameleon. I wanted to make it easy for keepers to make a cage environment that was both better for the chameleon and more aesthetically pleasing for humans.
Fast forward a couple years and now heavily planted chameleon cages are common. We certainly still have much work to do, but it is time to start on the next step.
Our Next Step
I would like to further the awareness of the natural environment that we are attempting to create. I would like us to view the cage environment as a living organism of which the chameleon is only one part. This will include more education and awareness surrounding substrate, including the art of bio-active keeping. To be clear, Chameleons do not need a substrate to live a long healthy life. This movement is to push our awareness of the natural world and its interactions. You do not need a substrate to have a healthy chameleon. But if you have a cage system that has a thriving bioactive environment with living plants and clean-up crews then your awareness of the inside of your cage is to the point where your chameleon will be getting excellent husbandry.
Having a chameleon caging company allows me a great opportunity to create tools that go along with the education necessary to move us forward. By combining Dragon Strand, the Chameleon Breeder Podcast, and liberally distributed tutorials, the next two years promise to be a period of dynamic growth for us. We will steadily move towards more nature in our cages until our cages just become the borders of a slice of nature – where every corner has life. And, yes, like the drive that started the Dragon Strand company, this is a growth area for myself. It is where I feel I must go in my chameleon life. As I learn from the experts, I will create cage systems that facilitate chameleon people to take this next step and make it easier. You are welcome to watch the growth, but, of course, I invite you to grow along side me! I’ll share everything I know and learn through tutorials, podcasts, and videos. Please enjoy your holidays. 2019 will open an exciting new chapter for us!