Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: July 2012



July 31, 2012

Year of the Ram

What's bugging Frankie?  Really?  What is up with him?

Maybe it's the heat?  He can't decide if he wants to sleep outside under a tree or under a bush, on the side of the yard, in his cave or half in his cave and half out his cave.  This evening he had his front end hanging out of his cave with his front feed dangling in mid air.

Looks peaceful enough.

He wasn't that way all day.

I heard a huge thump this afternoon.  Ran outside to find Frankie upside down under the porch.

What the...?

This was the second time this week.  I just can't have Frankie turning himself upside down all the time.

Maybe he was after the umbrilla stand that's sitting on top of the cinder block.
I took the umbrilla stand off off cinder block and put it on the ground.

Frankie promptly rammed the umbrilla stand four times.  Then Frankie mounted the umbrilla stand and..well....he humped it.

After Frankie had his way with the umbrella stand he headed out from under the patio.  On his way out he came upon the lawn chair innocently sitting adjacent to the patio.  It's my nice green patio chair that I sit on when I am visiting Frankie.

Lucky for me I am not sitting in my lawn chair.

For some reason that the lawn chair offended Frankie and he decided that it must be rammed.  And so the lawn chair was laid over on it's side by the 100 pound Frankie sulcata.  Maybe it just looks better that way.

Frankie then proceeded to check if the yard gate was open.  He knows the gate swings open for lawnmowers and me and various other items.  Frankie knows that sometimes the gate opens for him. The gate is not open.  I have no intention of opening the gate.

Frankie decided to ram the gate open.  At 100 pounds, a sulcata can open a gate.

A few days ago, I heard a knock on my front door.  It was one of the kids down the street.  He wanted me to know that Frankie was taking a walk, again, alone.

On Wednesday, August 1st, Frankie will wake up and he will be 11 years old.

And a solid 100 pounds of solid sulcata ramming power.

I've placed a wood fence in front of the gate.  And a lock.  Hopefully it will hold.

I am going to have to disagree with the Chinese calendar that says this is the year of the Dragon.

This is Frankie's year of the Ram.

Happy 11th Birthday, Frankie!

July 23, 2012

And then there were a thousand

Just popped in this morning to check Frankie Tortoise Tails and was greeted with 10,005 page views...that would be unique visitors to Frankie Tortoise Tails. 

Frankie's old blog location at, which started in May 2005, hit 5,000 visitors in October 31, 2008.  Still the number ticks forward and today runs past 62,000 hits. 

What that says about Frankie Tortoise Tails?  Due to a huge ego this morning, I don't think I can be objective.  Whooooooo hooooooo!

There has been dry spells with few posts.  Some may even say I hit a low note in my cry-fit over the loss of Frankie's participation over Do Dah Day Pet Parade.  I've been real with myself and my feelings, I've let loose how I feel.  So I did when mom died.  To thine own self be true.  I've been sincere about my joy and love for everything Frankie.

Frankie Tortoise Tails is commercial free and advertisement free with the exception of recommended items at Amazon which to this point no one has bought through me. Isn't it refreshing to go somewhere and not be inundated with commercial, ads, videos, pop-ups, or overlays that show up on your screen/video. 

I don't profit from Frankie.  Never will.  Even if I get off my duff and publish Frankie Tortoise Tails as a book I will not make a fortune.  I have a small personal income that keeps me fed and warm.  I don't need to be rich.  I've been very poor before so I appreciate what I have and share when I can.

My riches are simple:  Greg, our families, geckos, a cat, turtles, a garden, a house that is in a purpetual state of need-to-be-cleaned, a large yard and Frankie.  Frankie is a reward all by himself.

Frankie's birthday is on August 1.  He will be 11 years old, over 100 pounds and a complete back yard terror.  

It's a pleasure to share him with you all. 

July 10, 2012

Too Hot: A Pictorial

OMG It's Too Damn Hot
Searching for green grass that is not there.

Best just to stay indoors.

This looks like a cool corner.

Sitting under the porch.  Mom, spray me with the water hose!

Retreat under a cool bush.

You woke me better have carrots.

Trying to stay cool deep in the cave. Mom has not cleaned up.  Notice the UPS brown paper?

Too hot to sleep inside, too hot to sleep outside.  So I am sleeping half-in, half-out

Tent city got an upgrade this year.  We're color coordinated. 

Crappy pool. 

Why is there never any water?
Sleeping in a pile of leaves......

....dreaming that I am a water turtle.

July 4, 2012

Fight is Proof

Years ago a friend of mine found a large turtle walking up her driveway. My friend was not a turtle person so she called me and asked what to do.

I advised her to put it in a secure place and I would come out and ID it for her. It was a very large adult sulcata tortoise.

We took pictures and began to look for an owner while the tortoise was kept in a temporary pen.

I posted "Found Tortoise" notices in the area.

After a couple of weeks there was no response to the missing tortoise posters.  I contacted a turtle rescue group to get the sulcata placed in a suitable home.

Week three later, after the sulcata was placed in a new home, a call was made from a person claiming the tortoise was his.

The guy said the tortoise pushed under his chain link fence.

I asked him to describe the sulcata: coloring, size, unique markings, sex.

Answer: big, brown spur thigh tortoise. He thought it was a a boy (right). He could not describe any unique features.

Just to be sure, I asked him to produce any photos of the tortoise as proof. He said he had no photos of his sulcata. I said I did not believe him to be the owner. He was pissed and hung up on me.

This guy who claimed to have owed this suclata for over ten years (saying he kept the giant it in a chain link fence) yet never took one single photo of his sulcata, wasn't sure if it was male or female, could not remember the significant damage to a part of the shell, did not recall that it had a very unique color variation (I called the sulcata Goldie), or mentioned that this particular sulcata had a particular behavior that I would say is very endearing.

I never heard from the guy after that phone conversation.

I believe he was not the owner. Why?  He couldn't describe the sulcata very well.  He did not have one single photo of his dear tortoise (nearly unbelievable!).  But what really struck me about this guy is he did not fight me to get the sulcata back.

I would have put up a major fight if that had been Frankie.  I would have moved the Chahaba River and dug a canal to the Gulf with my bear hands to get Frankie back.

Even after all these years I've kept my ears open for anyone who talks about missing a very unique sulcata.

Goldie now lives in a new home in Alabama.

It's a good lesson for us. Owners can prove ownership one way or the other but most of all it's true that an owner will fight for their baby.