...all due to an alluring tortoise tail. The allure, to be sure, was the tail end of my female Hermann's Tortoise and it was alluring to my male Hermann's Tortoise. I hibernated/brumated both of them this year for about 2 months or so. A cooling period is often necessary, in reptiles, for male to produce viable sperm cells and from what I have heard may be needed to help female tortoises produce viable eggs. Then I let that little imp cupid nature take its course and take it, it did. The male tortoise is one heck of an insistent courter; this regardless of the fact that he is much smaller than is the female and thus his thingy does not reach up seemingly from behind and under her shell to mate with her. I have watched them time and time again, first last year when got the male, and then this year since hibernation - never have I seen him hit a home run. Thus, I am somewhat doubtful that the eggs will have been fertilized. Yes the female has laid eggs, 5 of them Reptiles can and do oft times lay infertile eggs, I guess just like chickens. I am keeping my fingers crossed though hoping that the little guy hit a homer at least once - after all he has been growing and he sure has been swinging his bat and getting lots of practice with consistency!
Time, and a light light held right up to the eggs, will tell. I saw no evidence of fertility when I candled them today with a very bright flashlight but then again there is little alive inside an egg, except maybe a few cells, when then are freshly laid. I expect that within a few days to a week, when I candle them again, I should be able to make out blood vessels if they are fertile. I have them in an incubator with snake eggs right now but have to set up a separate one because that one is too cool for tortoise eggs. The tortoise eggs require temperatures from just under the higher end of that which snake eggs require to a few, or even several, degrees higher than that. Those higher temps could kill snake embryos, and from what I saw the snake eggs do look fertile.
Now, what temps I use for the tortoise eggs depends upon whether or not I want to go for babies of both sexes, want all males or all females. If I want all males, I can use the temps that I know are safe for the snake eggs and thus I can keep them together. If I want all females, then I need to raise those temps by several degrees above the maximum for snake eggs. If I want both sexes or the chance of both sexes, then I still need the temps above those I would normally use for snake eggs.
I have a Hova-bator incubator that someone gave to my son. It appears unused, looks to be complete except for a few unnecessary clips (all operating parts are there), and is minus any instructions but I found the instructions for it on the manufacturer's website. I think that will be my project for the rest of the night. After that, I'll have to read up a bit more on tortoise egg incubation, I want to get it right if they actually are fertile.
Today I went shopping, online, for some 7.62x39 ammunition. I discovered that Wolf Ammunition in said caliber was out of stock at all of the dealers from whom I usually buy ammo. I mean completely out of stock! So I decided to get some Silver Bear Ammo instead of the Wolf. It is a brand I have used before and that I trust almost as much as Wolf ammo.
So, I searched for Silver Bear 7.62x39, 123 grain, hollow point ammo, in a lot of 500rounds or in a half case (some sell this as a case and I may refer to it as either in this article but be advised all prices below are for 500 round lots). I was pretty surprised to see the huge difference in prices among the various dealers I have used. The prices can be seen below and do not reflect any discounts for membership, or coupons:
Remember, all of the above inquiries were made relative to Silver Bear 7.62x39 HP ammo all because not one of the above dealers had any Wolf 7.62x39 HP ammo in stock at all! The highest price that I found for a single case of 500 rounds of the Silver Bear ammo was at Sportsman’s Guide. The lowest price I found for a single case of 500 rounds of the Silver Bear ammo was at Military Shooters. The difference between the highest and the lowest prices was $41.98. That difference amounts to an almost 28 percent off of the high price. That is one heck of a difference in prices without any coupons or sales savings being involved. So a substantial savings could be had by shopping around for all of 15 minutes. Why such a big difference? I think that it is possible, that since a couple of the smaller businesses had better prices but also had very limited stock of the Silver Bear ammo, the smaller dealers had old pricing on old stock. I am guessing that the bigger dealers had new pricing on either new higher priced stock or simply raised it on old stock in anticipation of price increases.
As I say, that is guess work on my part; I cannot be sure without more information. You may recall though, not too long ago, I wondered, here, and here, if ammo prices might soon be rising based on some info I had seen and some news worthy events round the world. A price of virtually $147.07 (the average of the high 3 dealer prices above) for a half case of 500 rounds of Silver Bear 7.62x39 HP ammo is higher than it has been at most dealers for quite awhile. So I am hedging my bet that ammo prices are rising. Acting accordingly, I can say with certainty that Military Shooters has one less 500 round case of Silver bear 7.62x39 HP ammo in stock and I can also say with certainty I wish I had had enough to have bought more of it. Next time though, I think I may have to get some of the same caliber in soft point rounds.
It's up to you if you buy more now. With things going the way they seem to be going, I can only see prices going higher in the near future.
...of the United States Military Services who departed this earth during wartime. It seems that many among us do not understand the true meaning of Memorial Day and it tends to be confused with Armed Forces Day, Fleet Week, Flag Day, Veterans Day, the beginning of the summer season and party time. This day was meant to be, and is, a memorial to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation while in military service to her during war. This day was not meant as the official beginning of the summer season at the beaches and parks, a day off from work, a day to thank veterans, a day to celebrate victories, a day to honor the flag, nor a day for any other other honors of our military save to honor they who have perished protecting our great nation during war.
Sure, it is okay to honor the vet, salute the flag, praise our victories, begin summer festivities, have a BBQ, drink some beer and other things. Don't forget though the true meaning of the day. Whatever you do today, do it to honor them - our fallen military service men and women who perished during time of war. So, when you have you barbecue today, when you open the keg, when you mix the drinks, when you recall your time in service, when you thank God that your son or daughter made it through Afghanistan with no injuries, or that your husband came home from Iraq minus an arm but still came home alive, or that your friend Charlie pulled through Vietnam with a Purple Heart for severe injuries received, or that your dad made it through the Korean Conflict with only minor injuries, or when you remember that a grandfather lost his leg on Guadalcanal, or that your great grandfather fought bravely in the trenches in the War To End All Wars, or to recall a great-great grandfather who served during the Civil War - make sure to take at least a good long solemn moment to pay homage to our fallen heroes, they who gave their lives during war, so that we could carry on.