Monday, May 9, 2016

Everyman's Evening Eyeful

The Happy Gardener...

...would be me today or should I say the happy tortoise enthusiast or both. While getting some garden work done today, I checked around looking for my missing female Russian Tortoise. I spotted what I was certain was a disruption in the soil and debris of my compost pile since I had last looked for her. I moved some stuff around, cleared a little debris and soil of about an inch in depth, and there was her shell beckoning me to scoop her up and bring her inside. It am guessing she had been out and about for at least part of today the first warmer day in a week or so. Even though it's only about 62 out there right now the warmer weather and a good deal of sunshine probably had her out and about for a bit. It was chilly and raining most of this past week and while she might have been out then, I kind of doubt it - today though was a tempting day for any turtle or tortoise to enjoy basking in the sun. I brought her inside and showed her off to my wife and son and scolded my wife in jest for not thinking me observant. As I always tell her, I have an eye for things when different than they were before in a not right sort of a way or when things are suspiciously dangerous appearing that others often miss. Yet, she thinks me a dolt because I ignore it when she moves around furniture or buys new pieces and ask a month layer "Is that new?".

As for the tortoise, she has been on the lam for awhile now. I had been concerned she may have escaped the inner fenced in portion of our backyard because there had been a sizable gap under the fence that I did not see when I left her out there one day about a month or so ago (so much for noticing what is not right or different, maybe my wife is right but in my defense it was under a bush). She was the only tortoise out of my five that I couldn't find at the end of that day. I plugged the gap and was not all that concerned because it was a small gap and, even if she had gotten out, the rest of the yard was also enclosed.

After not finding her over the next few warm days after her escape, I got a little concerned, especially when my son brought the aluminum remains of our wind destroyed gazebo to the scrap yard. Some were upright columns that had a wide enough interior to allow the female Russian Tortoise entry for a hiding spot. I hoped she did not crawl into one and then get taken to the scrap yard since my son forgot to check inside them when he hauled away the debris. I also wondered if a raccoon, opossum or hawk had gotten her or maybe even my one known larceny prone neighbor - my wife once saw him stealing one of our flower pots. I also thought, that if she was still around she was probably dug in underground because it got much cooler again after that first few days that she was missing.

The female Russian Tortoise is the one on your left. The other is my male
Russian and the big mother in the foreground my female Herman's Tortoise.
As it turns out, all the worry was for naught, she was just dug in. She is found, she is alive and she is apparently well. Right now she is basking in the warmth of a heat lamp inside her enclosure in my basement and I am going to get my arse back to work doing some planting.

All the best,