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January 5, 2010


It’s cooooool outside. Frosty cold doesn’t even describe it or even icy cold. It’s crunchy cold! Yep, that describes it. That is how your bones feel and your fingers and your nose when outside. Crunchy is how everything outside is: crunchy garbage can, crunchy car axles, crunchy grass, crunchy water crystals in Frankie’s outdoor pool. Crunchy weather is not sulcata weather.

Whether or not Frankie has adjusted to time inside is critical. A bored Frankie turns destructionator in an instant.

Supplied with some distractions like Steel Stella, a walking maze through the gecko room, regular shell rubs, daily carrots, Frankie is some-what adjusted to indoor living.

Except for food. Too cold outside for daily grazing, Frankie has to accept what I give him. This just isn’t working out that well. Frankie has one idea of his indoor cuisine and I have another.

Offered: Oxbow Orchard Hay
Frankie wants: Bag of Spring Greens and Heart of Romaine

Offered: Hibiscus flowers
Frankie wants: The whole hibiscus bush

Offered: A daily carrot for a snack.
Frankie wants: Apples, bananas, strawberries, and cantaloupe.

Offered: Small amounts of hand picked nut grass and winter weeds
Frankie wants: Dandelions, rose pedals, plaintain and other favorite summer weeds

Offered: Shredded carrots in hay soaked in warm water because Frankie refuses to eat dry hay.
Frankie wants: To go outside and graze on fresh green grass for two to four hours.

This is the big conflict between what Frankie wants and what I allow him. Consequently, while indoors, Frankie eats very little. I get somewhat concern that he may be on a hunger strike for which there is just nothing I can do. What fresh grass existed outside during November and December has turned crunchy brown in January. Frankie can’t spend two hours looking for what green grass is hiding outside without turning into a crispy critter himself.

Today, like clockwork, Frankie demands to go outside. It’s 24 degrees F. outside. I expect Frankie to make it as far as the garage door before realizing that NO sulcata needs to be out in this weather and he will turn around and go back inside. But surprise! Frankie not only proceeds outside, he heads up to hunt down the last remaining green grass. He spends fifteen minutes outside grazing as much as he possibly can.

I almost expect to find a frozen Frankie statue outside but somehow he manages to get what grass he can and heads inside to his waiting warm igloo.

Well I am amazed. Frankie would rather face the crunchy cold than eat the hay I have lovingly provided.

…..hmm. Maybe I am missing the point. If he only eats a little everyday yet remains healthy on a this more slender diet then there is less poops for me to pick up. I guess I can continue to be concerned about his diet but I can appreciate the other side of the coin. Nothing wrong with a little less poop.

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