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September 17, 2008

Wiggly Meal

This morning was dig-up-worms-for-the-box-turtles day. Since we had a good rain two nights ago and a cloudy day yesterday, I figured worms would be nearer the surface to warm up and avoid the real wet soil. I was pretty right.

I yanked out about four really big earth worms. Mama Turtle, Big Turtle and Brown Eyes each got one. The extra one went to Brown Eyes who ended up sharing it (not willingly) with Big Turtle.

I love how the turtles will grab a worm and head off to protect their catch. "You aren't getting mine!" Chomp chomp! A turtle without a worm will pursue another turtle's dinner. To prevent this type of food fight, I try to dig up several worms at a time (like six or so) and let them eat those while I go and dig up a few more.

Worms are no easy meal. Digging them up is one thing cause they all have escape routes back into the soil. Sometime they will simply detach part of themselves. When they are dug up they fling themselves wildly about. They continue this dance as the box turtles try to eat them. Sometimes the worms get away. But for the most part, box turtles expect this wiggly meal and are ready for the battle.

I guess they had six worms of varying sizes each. Nothing to turn a turtle nose up to.

And one more note: Mama turtle spotted one big worm all by herself and very expertly pulled it from the ground. I was impressed at her skill. I am not so graceful. I end up with dirty knees, hands and nails.

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