They say that waking up is hard to do

…but not in Edweena’s case.

I’ve been a bit anxious about Russell’s tortoise, because it has been such a mild winter that she hasn’t been able to hibernate very deeply and so would have been using more of her stored reserves than if she was in a very sound sleep.  But Russell has been hankering after more tortoises and negotiated to buy a couple of babies.  It was Tortoise Club last night, so he returned with them, warm lights, vitamin and mineral supplements and bags of chalk.  Only trouble was, from my point of view, that he’d said he was bringing back something for them to live in too – he reminds me of being in India.  If you ask a driver if he knows the way somewhere, he’ll always say yes because he thinks it’s more polite and helpful, even though getting lost isn’t helpful at all.  Anyway, they’re only little, so it was no problem to find a large plastic box for the time being.

Today, I set it up for them with earth (actually compost, and I need to get sand too), several lumps of chalk and a dish of water, I started them with a nice warm bath and then Russell fetched Edweena the Incontinent Tortoise.  The instructions said you should take the lid off the box so that she could start to warm up slowly, she might move in her sleep but when she opened her eyes, after about an hour, she was awake.  She was looking about in ten minutes.  So I gave her a nice warm bath too and went to empty another box.


Here she is in her temporary home.


Here are the tots –DSCF7970 IMG_2767

10 comments on “They say that waking up is hard to do

  1. Blue Witch

    I fear that your present tortoise plight could be my fault for mentioning tortoise sex… adopting them is a much better idea than going through the whole process though.

    Smalls are very cute!

  2. Z Post author

    I play tunes on the shells, John.

    It’s the digging, Scarlet, as well as the wandering. It’s going to be a constant anxiety for us!

    The babies are really cute. I went up this evening and one of them was chomping determinedly on some slightly wilted deadnettle. Edweena hasn’t eaten yet, though I keep offering her ‘junk food’ cucumber. She’s also fond of tomato, I’ll try that tomorrow. I think the daily baths are the most vital thing though. Russell is also making her a bigger run tomorrow, but darling Zig has a surplus vivarium she’s passing on to me, which I’ll bring back from Wiltshire.

    I’m getting more involved in this than I meant to be.

  3. Mike Horner

    Ann’s father kept a tortoise (this would be in the early 1950 I think). They had a large garden and he drilled a hole in the outer edge of the tortoiseshell, and attached her to a long, light weight,brass chain, the other end of which was attached to a short iron stake. This made her (we can neither of us remember if she was male or female, but as there were no other tortoises in the immediate area, it didn’t really matter) fairly easy to find – you waited till someone tripped over the chain then hauled the tortoise in on the end of it. The stake was moved regularly to other garden areas. Another advantage of this system was that it was easy to keep her away from plants that you did’t want her to eat. I suppose this sort of restraint would be rather frowned upon nowadays?

  4. Z Post author

    We haven’t named them yet, though Zerlina came up with names – one was Flash, can’t remember the other. I’m sure that keeping them on a chain would not be taken well now, but maybe it’s better than losing one.


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