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.