Tortoise news

The baby tortoises have not yet been named: they are Russell’s., so it’s up to him.  In the meantime, I have looked at them carefully enough to be able to tell them apart and have called them both Roberta (he tells me that they are both, allegedly, female) and so dubbed them Bobbie and Bertie.  I’ve not mentioned this to Russell as I named Edweena, so it’s only fair that he chooses the babies’ names, it’s just so that I remember which characteristics belong to which tot.

They are still indoors, though they really should be outside during the day, but we haven’t got their run sorted out.  I’m not sure whether all three can be in together or whether it’s better to have a separate run for Edweena.  When I went to feed them this morning, I found a large splodge of dried-on poo on Edweena’s back, thus proving that when she falls over, she can get up again.  I picked it off with a tissue and sponged her, but later gave her a bath.  I bathed the babies too, washing their shells carefully and it seemed to give them a good appetite.

A few things I’ve discovered – I sit watching them for a while, to get to know their habits.

Bertie loves deadnettle flowers.  She was picking off the white ones and munching them.  Bobbie was eating a purple deadnettle, leaves and flowers.  They both love primrose flowers but aren’t interested in cucumber.

Edweena enjoys echinops leaves above everything except dandelion flowers and cucumber.  She also munches globe artichoke leaves with enthusiasm, including the fibrous stem.

I’ve also given them herbaceous geranium flowers and leaves, clover, vetch, plantain, dandelion leaves and lamb’s lettuce.  I must look up the list of recommended foods, as well as the forbidden ones.

Another thing I’ve found is that the babies, in particular, like their food spread out in their run rather than piled in one place.  Tortoises seem to have a good sense of smell – or a reasonable one, anyway.  I see them sniffing food before choosing what to eat.

Right, that’ll do for now.  In other news…

I’ve sown some more seeds – with an overcast day forecast, I reckoned it was a good opportunity – French beans don’t germinate in the greenhouse if it’s hot, they rot as badly as if it’s cold.  Also sown cucumbers, courgettes – can’t remember what else.  The seedlings that have already sprouted are coming on well.

I weighed myself and am quite relieved to find that mild overindulgence has had no ill effect.  I do walk quickly, though, maybe that’s enough exercise because I’m not doing much else.  My hip hurts if I sit for too long – my own hip, that is, not the replacement one.  I’m starting to steel myself for its deterioration in the next year or two.  But there’s no point in fussing, and I’m not going to.

Apologies to those who live in areas that have flooded, but I was quite relieved to see it rain.  It’s been quite dry here and we do need quite a bit of springtime rain.  My friend Jo was also relieved yesterday; she suffers severely from hay fever and the recent sunny weather left her miserably bunged-up.

6 comments on “Tortoise news

  1. Roses

    I’ve been trying to convince Dave that he needs a tortoise.

    I’m going to start reading bits of your blog to him. Unfortunately, he’s not taking the hint.

  2. Z Post author

    They will be receiving visitors at the blog party – though Edweena has her own way of being the life and soul of the party, of course….
    I’m a lot fonder of them than I ever thought I would be.

  3. Pontillius

    Ever sine I was a boy I have wanted a tortoise, but the parents always said no. When i was married the wife said no, she was scared of them. Now I’m single again I’ve just not got around to getting one.

    I was sad and upset three years ago when I found a dead tortoise in my shrubbery. It had a hole drilled in the edge of it’s shell and there was a piece of nylon string attached to it which had tangled around a stem. It must have been there all that winter. I asked all the neighbours, but nobody had lost one.

  4. Z Post author

    Pontillius, what a dreadful discovery. I’m so sorry that you’ve never had a tortoise – if the thought does still interest you, you could check if there’s a society in your area. R’s Tortoise Club helps to rehome tortoises that need a new owner and they’re great with help and advice.

    The babies are so small, I must admit that I’m nervous of them going out in the garden, even in a run, in case they get lost.

  5. Z Post author

    She’s much better behaved now. I let her walk over the carpet regularly and she hasn’t had a single accident – it was a close run thing on Saturday, to the grandchildren’s amusement, but she was safely back home before she let rip!


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