Hare Racing Moments!…Go Gert, Go!

You could cut the tension with a knife!

Who would have thought a small patch of grass would cause such a sensation! Todd has been working on the Tortoise garden since last Spring, planting and landscaping. Gerti (our desert tortoise) loves it! But then, so do all of the other critters in the yard! The lush little patch of grass is nirvana in the desert! Needless to say, I don’t think Gerti is real happy to share…. but then, how fierce can a tortoise really get to defend it’s territory?

(Click on the photo)….

She can be somewhat creative in her tactics!

But I think she may need to come up with another plan for the dirt monkeys….

(click on the photo)

She may just have to let Todd take care of that little problem!

A Hibernation Happitat!

It’s finally hibernation time for our resident tortoise, Gerti (a.k.a. the Torta Lisa). A few weeks ago, Todd built a beautiful new tortoise habitat, with a warm southern exposure. Luckily, she seemed to like it, taking right to her new burrow. The rest of the ‘gang’ likes her new house as well!

Even as of  last week, Gerti was still poking her head out to enjoy a little warm afternoon sun. Cooper has found a new spot for winter sunbathing as well….

Gerti’s burrow sits in the perfect spot to stay warm in the sun, until it sets. So we won’t have to be too worried about her freezing!…..I hope!

We haven’t seen her for the past few days, so I think Gert is down for the winter. When she wakes back up in the spring, Gerti will be greeted with a new landscape which will include a shallow pond, a lush grassy lawn of tiff and clover, and native plants that tortoises eat, such as hibiscus, morning glory and of course her favorite prickly pear! Todd’s already started with some clumps of deer grass….

And then, Todd’s next project is going to be cementing and painting the wall, then cap it with brick….should be a great addition to Todd’s Backyard!

I just wonder how the rabbits, squirrels, lizards and other assorted yard dwellers are going to share Gerti’s little plot of paradise! Hopefully, it will put a little happy in everyone’s habitat!


A Tortoise Adventure

Our torti girl is getting ready to hibernate…but she doesn’t like the burrow that Todd built her.

At least not for her winter hibernation. (She loved it this summer!)

Todd talked to an expert today, and he said that the desert tortoises winter burrows need to face south. Unfortunately, the wonderful summer burrow faces north….and Tortalee does not like it!  She has not been sleeping in her house with the temps staring to dip!  I found her the other morning, under a bush on the south wall of the house, groggy and grumpy.

Sooo…. we are going to embark on the construction of a  new enclosure, that’s just off the back porch, with lots of sunny southern exposure for the winter. In the mean time, TL came in the house today (through the doggy door), to make her laps around the house. I think that she may be looking for a good place to  hibernate in the house.

We have friends that keep desert tortoises and they let them hibernate in their house….in a box….in the closet! I just don’t see that happening here! But, I guess if that works, it works. But, hoping that TL will adapt to Todds Backyard (Outside the enclosed potty garden where she lives now),  I thought that I would let our little torti girl out on the porch to investigate her future home. And, she had quite the time!

One of the first things she did, was wander off of the porch and  find the pond. When she is attracted to water it usually means that she’s thirsty. So, before she plunged head first into the pond to drown, we turned the hose on the pavers and she waded and drank to her heart’s content….then made her way in the opposite direction, to explore some more!

Ohhhh! Prickly pear fruits…TL’s favorite! So, she made her way into the yard, finding all of the fallen fruit, (prickly pear). But what was really cool is that she got to discover the fruit herself, instead of being offered on a platter of  veggie delicacies. She sampled various fallen fruits as she made her way deeper into Todd’s Backyard.

But then, to our surprise, she found her way back to her favorite spot!

Tomorrow, Todd will be working on TL’s new space….It will be outside! …It will be facing South! …..And she will be sleepy, sleepy, happy, happy, there this winter!