Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: October 2006



October 30, 2006

Sprinting into Fall

For a fair weather state as Alabama should be, we 've had some very cold nights. All turtles came inside. Frankie is back inside for nights and outside if temperatures are above 60 and there is sunlight outside. The box turtles are all inside for the winter. I will not try to put them under ground for the winter. For Mattie, the madagascariensis spider tortoise, she got a new "above carpet" enclosure so that she can be warm and not have to sit on the cold ground.

The box turtles are in a plastic container with straw and are sitting under some great fluorescent lights. They get water every day to every other day (about five times per week) and are fed every other day. Of course, they will not eat vegetables and I will not torture myself this winter trying to force veggies on them. What makes them happy, makes me happy.

Greg continues to make headway on the solar panels. He wired them over the weekend. I whacked myself really good on one them outside. I have this big red "v" on my forehead where I came in contact with the solar rack. At the time, I couldn't decide if I wanted to pass out, throw up or kick the panel. I settled for lots of head-holding and wailing. I can already tell that this will not be the last time I will whack myself on these potentially lethal items. Maybe I should put a safety fence around them -- to protect me.

October 12, 2006

Dream of Brown Eyes

Frankie's hole was filled in but he kept going to it to try digging it out. I put cinder blocks all around it to stop him. Still he tries. I put more cinder blocks around his hole. Then I went out of town for five days. While I was gone, he continued to try to get to his hole. He may never quit.

Moving the cinder blocks was done without realizing that some of the blocks were keeping the box turtle enclosure intact. Mama turtle had dug a hole near the area where a cinder block was. Yesterday I had rounded all the box turtles together for a little water. When they left the water, Brown Eyes went up toward the yet unseen hole. Last night when I went to check everyone because the temperatures were going to be cold, I found the hole but could not find Brown Eyes. As far as I could tell, she had escaped into the back yard. At 11:00 pm, no light and a very large yard to search, I felt all was lost. I could hardly sleep for worrying about Brown Eyes and never seeing her again.

This morning, I got gloves and a rake and begin to go over the wooded area of the yard in search of Brown Eyes. After an hour of looking, I went back into the box turtle enclosure to put the turtles into water (it had warmed up enough). To my surprise, I found Brown Eyes. She was near her regular area but had dug in a bit so I overlooked her last night.

All is back to normal. I must work on soil for the box turtles as they crave digging and cannot. Now that the night temperatures are heading toward the 40's, soil to dig in is a priority.