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December 30, 2006

Sleeping In

It is Saturday and apparently all are choosing to sleep in. I got up at 9:00. Greg didn't get up until 11:00. Frankie the sulcata (three years going on four) was really sleeping in. I checked him periodically all day and still he did not get out of his box. He didn't even turn around from his "head against the wall" sleeping position. At 3:00 pm, I wondered if something was wrong.

I went and poked him gently on his back foot and there was just a little response. I decided that I better turn him around and see if anything was wrong. I did get him to turn around (no cooperation from him) and sat him on his heat pad. He was sleepy but seemed okay. I went back at 3:45 and he was snoozing. Was there something wrong? I was fearing that Frankie had eaten something he shouldn't and was lethargic. I decided to try a food test.

I cut up 1/2 of an apple and offered it to him. To my relief, he got up and ate it. It is now 4:15 p.m. which is past Frankie's normal bedtime. After sleeping all day will he just go back to sleep or stay up for a while? I water the geckos at 5:00 pm so I can check again on him. I am a bit worried still. Hopefully, tomorrow will bring back his old spirit and he will be charging about the gecko room, knocking things over.

December 27, 2006

Frankie's Trip Out

It is officially winter! Frankie made his first trip to Petsmart because it is too cold to go outside. He was remarkably good in the Prius. He didn't wander around and try to climb over the seats. It’s as if he knew he was going on a trip to somewhere fun.

Of course, people made a fuss over him at the store. There were lots of picture-taking. He walked from the front of the store to the back of the store (where I picked up cat food & litter for our cats) and then back to the cash register. He behaves much better, rarely trying to get under shelves or trying to eat things that are close to the floor. I let a couple of people give him dog treats. A little protein will not hurt him.

On the trip home, he was a little more restless. He wanted to get under something: wanted a nap. He got home and did go directly to his sleeping box for a rest.

For Christmas, he got a fruit salad made of berries, apples and bannans. I don't look forward to the poop in the next week. It will be a bit more runny than normal.

Today, although cold, it is sunny enough to let him go outside for a little while to graze.

December 15, 2006

Christmas Preparations & Sun Changes

The sun has moved into such a position that the box turtle's outdoor pen is in the shade until the afternoon. This means that Mattie can't go outside but for a few hours in the afternoon, from about 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. She is waiting in our living room and sitting in a bowl of water.

I am thinking of buying some wax worms for the turtles for their Christmas treat. The alternative is to put together a delicious fruit salad. I may have to do that anyway since Frankie and Mattie don't eat wax worms (actually, when Frankie was less than two years old he did eat wax worms occasionally).

December 7, 2006


Tonight we are expecting our first temperatures in the teens. Luckily, Frankie stays inside at night. Today he is outside, temperatures in the 50's, grazing.

The box turtles are just lazy. They don't do much of anything (except look cute). I have them an open area to stretch out and walk around and they choose to sit there. Two hours later, I put them back in their enclosure.

I have heard from others that sulcata are so expensive to keep. I don't spend but five or six dollars monthly, and this is mostly on snacks, cuttlebone and vitamins. Frankie exists solely on the grass and weeds in our yard. Even with colder temperatures, there is still plenty of greens in his yard to satisfy him. In the next few days when temperatures will be too cold for him to go outside during the day, I plan to cut up a couple of pumpkins that I collected from neighbors. By next week, temperatures will be high enough again for him to go back outside to graze during the day.