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  1. RosemaryDW

    Hahaha, as usual, tortoises do whatever they want!

    I posted a bit ago that I was looking forward to bring my tortoise out of hibernation but was also thinking some barriers my husband had built around our plants weren’t going to cut it. https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/ready-for-hibernation-to-end.189761/. She came out super fast this...
  2. RosemaryDW

    Ready for hibernation to end!

    I am expecting to bring my tortoise out of hibernation in the next ten days or so. My Russian is destuctive! Last year she climbed over/thru most of the plants we‘d put wire fencing around so my husband is walling off some fragile plants this galvanized metal edging. I don’t think it’s tall...
  3. RosemaryDW

    So Cal Russian estivation? Brumation?

    My Russian left her “summer” burrow and moved into her fall/spring nightbox after our super hot weekend three weeks ago and basically hasn’t come out since. She’s never done this before. While she has brumated early once before she was clearly digging down outside in the spot outside she always...
  4. RosemaryDW

    How hot is it in Southern California?

    It’s so hot my Russian actually took a drink when I soaked her today; this is the first time she’s ever drunk in the summer. I think she is actually in aestivation; she rarely comes out or eats. She kept disappearing and I finally realized she’s not always hanging out in her burrow; she’s...
  5. RosemaryDW

    What is this gorgeous little thing?

    New to me. I wasn’t able to get very close it put me in mind of a thistle, or something else in the sunflower family? Maybe? It was growing low to the ground in a very scrubby roadside here in Southern California. The taller thin green plants/leaves are Russian thistle (tumbleweed) and...
  6. RosemaryDW

    Would a tortoise instinctively know to avoid a rat/rodents?

    Our tortoise has been avoiding an area of our yard on her regular patrols for the last few days. It’s not her favorite spot but she never skips it, particularly when our rose is dropping petals as it is right now so I’ve been wondering if anything is up. This morning we found two of our cats...
  7. RosemaryDW

    Laser Thermometer gun “not for human use”

    Can someone smarter than me explain why this laser thermometer gun https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00837ZGRY/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20 —now marked “not for human use”—is radically different from this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B087TTL5C3/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20, other than costing $75 less?
  8. RosemaryDW

    Now here’s something I never thought I’d see

    Walking for weeds today, as Coronageddon continues, when I see this in the field next to the community garden. Looks like wild carrot but it doesn’t grow here; we do have hemlock, which looks similar but this isn’t it. Could some carrots have seeded themselves outside of the garden fence? Stuff...
  9. RosemaryDW

    Preparing for Coronageddon

    We’ve yet to shop for toilet paper or water, no human hoarding! Our tortoise could live in our backyard presumably forever with what grows out there. But naturally I’m convinced I should stockpile for her, Our farmers market has been converted to a drive thru and what could happen if we couldn’t...
  10. RosemaryDW

    Don’t baby your tortoise by cutting up their food!

    My Russian got very lucky today with a chunk of lettuce (she rarely gets it). She finished it, including the hard core and stem. Took her a while but no help needed. She’ll eat the very hard stem of a zucchini as well, the rind of a winter squash, the bottom of a brussels sprout. Your tortoise...
  11. RosemaryDW

    Trip to a Mexican market

    We don’t have Mexican markets close to us but I was near a popular one in “North County” and stopped in to buy some cheap spices and meat; Mexicans eat the whole cow so you can find some interesting things for not a lot of money. Beef neck bones anyone? They cook up like oxtail but with less...
  12. RosemaryDW

    Out of fridge hibernation!

    After a long four months we were able to match our schedules to a sunny weather forecast; she's been in her night box not quite 36 hours. One night to herself and then into the tub. She has drunk a ton in her soaks; more than I think I've seen her drink in her entire time with us, combined: 50...
  13. RosemaryDW

    Early So Cal hibernation? Mystery illness? “HAHA fooled you,” says tortoise

    Our Russian started her fall slowdown a little early this year but hey, she makes up her own mind. She seemed a little slower overall as well, but again, she does what she wants. Then out of nowhere she eats an unusually high amount of dead plant matter on Saturday; decides to use her night box...
  14. RosemaryDW

    Is nothing sacred?

    Great, the Russian has now decided she likes the ground cover that grows between the pavers in our tiny yard: dymondia. We’ve spent four years nursing it and figuring out its water preferences and it is just now growing in at a decent rate. Oh well. Of our low growing plants, she’s down to the...
  15. RosemaryDW

    How much should I feed my tortoise?

    New owners often ask “How much should I feed my tortoise?” We sometimes suggest an amount that would fill their upturned shell. Others suggest making food available all day; if a tortoise has a decent sized enclosure, they will walk it off. I’m in the second group. I threw this down for my...
  16. RosemaryDW

    Russian’s vision not good after hibernation

    Addy came out of hibernation four days ago and last night and this morning I noticed she can’t see well; she is grabbing air while trying to browse. I don’t give her any food when she wakes up; just let her eat our weeds, so I didn’t notice it straight off. I’ve researched here and believe she...
  17. RosemaryDW

    Out of hibernation! Woot!

    After three and a half months in the fridge, we felt we had a good chance of sun the following weekend and started slowly raising temps from forty degrees last Saturday, hoping to get to fifty-five or so before she got angsty. Didn’t happen. Addy was READY to go before she hit 50 degrees so we...
  18. RosemaryDW

    Calling @karensocal

    Dang, @KarenSoCal, we in the desert this weekend to see wildflowers and there sure plenty in bloon after our rainy season. We were in Anza Borrego, so the other side of you but some of the same plants. I had a couple I couldn’t figure out and it was making me nuts. I was able to determineout...
  19. RosemaryDW

    Charitable donations for tortoises and turtles, in case you’re thinking about it.

    It’s donation matching time at my husband’s work and he just asked me if there was anything I’d like to donate to? I know others tend to make donations at the end of the year. Like several members here, I have my Amazon Smile account set to donate a portion of my purchases to a tortoise...
  20. RosemaryDW

    Spring seed planting in Southern California!

    Oh my gosh we finally have had some real rain. In the hopes that we get more, I’ve thrown out various seeds. With any luck they’ll be ready to eat when Addy comes out of hibernation. There is always some of Tyler’s seed mix (that bag is going to last forever!). The only thing that grew in last...
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