Gerti Digs Her New Digs

We had to pull Gerti (our desert tortoise) abruptly out of her peaceful winter hibernation to move to our new place. We put her in a plastic tub with dirt and straw and hauled her down to Elephant Head. We placed her little temporary home in a quiet back room, hoping she might continue her winter nap for a few more weeks until we could build her a suitable new home.

Unfortunately, it started warming up and Gerti started to get a little antsy, so we had to hurry up the habitat construction. We decided on a nice (soon to be shady) hill, right off our back porch!


We decided not to put a block wall around the bottom like she had in her old garden. One of her little tricks was to pull herself up on top of the block, and usually end up on her back after tumbling off! We thought she might like to fully enjoy the incredible views from her new home!


This is looking to the South East



And this is looking to the South West!

It didn’t look like much of a garden when we got her settled in. But, Gerti didn’t seem to mind! The smile on her face said everything!


And yes…you can absolutely tell when she’s smiling and when she’s grimacing- Who knew tortoises were so expressive!

During the next week, Todd installed some grass, plants, and flowers to  ‘garden’ it up!

Gerti had to help…GertiDirt

We planted some hibiscus- That’s her favorite!! We also transplanted some native grasses she can nibble on!


We still have some work to do, but now that the grass is getting established and the trees are filling in, it’s quite apparent that Gerti is really enjoying her lush new digs!


One thought on “Gerti Digs Her New Digs

  • My Ariza was able to climb a metal fence just like yours, used her claws. And if Gerti is able to see what’s out there it will be an incentive to climb or dig to go out there and investigate. Just a warning, been there done that with my Ariza. If you don’t mind telling me, what kind of grass did you buy? I need to get a little patch going for mine but she’s not really that crazy about grass anyway. The Hibiscus I need to get a couple of them, she LOVES the flowers.


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