Day 30: Love for cold blooded creatures!

One of the things I really love about Hawea is her loving, nurturing spirit. A few weeks ago, someone’s dog found a box turtle on the loose, and brought it home. They didn’t know what to do with it, but a friend of theirs called Vea’s mom, because for years, she had a section of her yard devoted to “turtle town”.

Vea made arrangements to pick the little critter up, and took it to her Mom’s house where it lived on the lanai in a large, unwelcoming bucket. (The turtle town of years ago is long since gone).

She went out of her way to visit Miss Hissy often, (named because she hissed the day she brought her home). She began researching turtle diets, behavior, and habitats, and before we knew it, a sweet little bond was formed.

It soon became evident that bucket life was no way for Miss Hissy to live. Vea stepped it up, making sure to “run” her in the yard (believe it or not, she moves FAST!) and she started bringing her special snacks (a frozen strawberry here, a chunk of papaya there… )The original plan for Miss Hissy to live on Christy’s lanai fell apart when fruit flies started gathering. And thus, Plan B was born.

I can’t tell you how many days / weeks was devoted to designing the new and improved Urban Turtle Town. What i can tell you is, this crib is freakin’ awesome!!!

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As you can see, they built a large terrarium with ample room to waddle about. Wire screen provides an optimal view, and there are lips on each corner to prevent an unwieldy escape. There are wheels (WHEELS, people!) on the bottom to make for an easy transit to shelter, should she get caught in a downpour. What you can’t see is that there’s an ever so slight angle to the base of the unit, to assist with proper drainage. Yes, it’s quite the functional masterpiece.

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On top of that, it’s pretty! I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe the ol’ cardboard box show from my childhood?

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In any case, I was surprised when i saw this lush space, divided into a shaded bed of woodchips, complete with stone cave, for burrowing and lounging, a dipping pool, a basking rock, and a sunken earthen bed complete with organic, pesticide free mint leaves, plenty of worms (for protein) and a few patches of bermuda grass. It saddens me a bit to tell you that Miss Hissy is being denied fresh lemongrass (a true turtle delicacy). Vea looked for it to plant, but came up empty.

I honestly had no clue when I was told “we’re getting a turtle” that it would entail all this. Likewise, I did not expect a cold blooded creature could worm it’s way so easily into my heart, but she most definitely has!

So there you have it, yet another example of our nerdy birdy ways. We love to sit and watch her scuttle about in the afternoon, zoning into a “turtle trance”. What a sweet little meditation it’s become!

In case anyone’s counting, we’re now a family of 2 humans, 2 cats, 3 dogs, 1 fishie, 2 snails, and … a turtle. The question is, “am I naive enough to believe that our family’s now complete?!?”

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