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  1. MichaelL

    Turtle on road! (Chicken turtle)

    Was driving home today and I saw a pretty small/ medium sized turtle crossing the road! At first, I thought/ really hoped it was a florida box turtle because that road spot was where I found a florida box turtle crossing a few years back. However, after I stopped and took some pics I realized it...
  2. MichaelL

    Muscadine Grapes!

    Look what I found! I felt rich after finding these edible, delicious, wild muscadine grape vines. They are super healthy too!
  3. MichaelL

    Some Florida Wildlife

    Recently I went to some parks and saw tons of gopher tortoises, lots of six-lined racerunners, and this wild hog on a drive! All these pics of the gopher tortoises are separate tortoises. In the first pic the tortoise has a tick on its face, I tried to pull it off but it was so tightly hooked on...
  4. MichaelL

    Another pip! New baby

    Today, at 60 days of incubation, my other egg pipped! My first egg pipped June 1, this one July 2, haha. This one was incubated at around 87 so the sex isn't clear. My other was at 89, so pretty sure female. I'm surprised, because the other egg took 66 days to pip at 89, this one 60 days at 87...
  5. MichaelL

    Florida Prickly Pear Sprouts!

    I grow the wild prickly pear cactus that's native to Florida. I collect pads wherever I find them in the wild (from areas where I am permitted to) and grow them in pots. The tortoises love the pads and flowers (glochids burned off). I also had planted some in the ground in the front of the yard...
  6. MichaelL

    Massive Collards!

    Anyone else have collards this massive? I started growing them from little seedlings from Lowes, in February last year. I expected them to bolt in the heat like certain lettuces I've grown, but they just keep getting taller and providing food for myself and the tortoises! Also, aphids are a...
  7. MichaelL


    Today I went to the tortoise enclosure and I saw a mouse scurry across into one of the little caves filled with dried grass, that my tortoises use sometimes to burrow into. There are numerous toads in the enclosure and black racers love to come in the enclosure too, to hunt the toads or even...
  8. MichaelL

    First baby!!!

    Today is day 66 of incubation, and after I woke up I took a peek in the incubator and it was pipping! I'll keep you all updated as it hatches out, I'm super excited to see what its colors are. The father is full black so I'm hoping it is all black too, I love that look on russians. Here is a pic...
  9. MichaelL

    Another egg!

    My girl laid another egg! And this time, I didn't crack it. 🙂 She laid it in the same spot as last time at the entrance of her burrow. @zovick you were right, she did lay a third clutch haha. And @Tom I just had to provide some shade 😂 I'm sure she would've been fine but might as well haha.
  10. MichaelL

    Tortoise Overheating While Laying

    Just curious, will tortoises overheat and die while laying eggs if the sun is too hot and they haven't finished in time? Or will they abandon the nest and go to shade and lay later. What are your experiences. When my female was laying in March, the sun was super strong and even though she was...
  11. MichaelL

    What Veining Looks Like

    Today is exactly the third week of being in the incubator. Just wanted to share this cool pic after candling. Probably won't touch the egg again until hatching.
  12. MichaelL

    Bad news..

    I am so mad at myself. I had been suspecting my female would lay a second clutch and today I felt her and she felt lighter and her tail looked a bit stretched. I checked around the enclosure and found the entrance of her burrow a little dug up with loose dirt. However, I was in a rush and I was...
  13. MichaelL

    Tortoise laying eggs in rain

    Hey everyone, so I am expecting a second clutch within the next few weeks as my female has gained tons of weight and I'm pretty sure I feel either one or more eggs when checking by touching the inner back thigh area. There are supposed to be some rainy days in the next few weeks, and I'm a bit...
  14. MichaelL

    Is this chalking?

    Hey! I know it's early to tell, the egg was laid Saturday and it's Monday right now. However I noticed what seems to be chalking already? There seems to be a whiter circle near the sharpie dot (shows which way is up). Is that chalking, and if not, when does chalking start? Thank you, hope this...
  15. MichaelL

    First Egg Questions

    Hey everyone! Today my female laid an egg, I couldn't find her today in the enclosure so just figured she was in one of the hides because it was getting hot. Turns out she was behind a bush making a hole for an egg. This was her first time laying, and I'm thinking it may have been from a fall...
  16. MichaelL

    Very Bad Health Issue Russian Tortoise

    Hey everyone, so I'm pretty worried right now. To start off with some background information, my female russian came out of brumation several weeks ago (February 20th) and started off healthy and with a big appetite. Nothing was wrong until a week or two ago I noticed that she was having issues...
  17. MichaelL

    Are moldy weeds bad?

    Hey everyone, so my tortoises are in brumation right now and I'm letting their outdoor enclosure fill with native winter/ spring weeds that have begun to grow around this time of year. They'll be able to feast/ live outside again when it warms up and is springtime. So the weeds are all edible...
  18. MichaelL

    Look What I Made!

    So I really wanted to put all my weed knowledge into one place, and that's why I ended up making a weed identification journal with real parts of the plants on the pages! So far I have 22 weeds from my property put in the book, and have plenty more to put in! It's a super fun project and very...
  19. MichaelL

    Any benefit to feeding flowers?

    I've been wondering, flowers kind of seem like a waste of stomach space with low nutritional value and I was thinking if I should pretty much remove them from my russians diets. Are there any nutrients in flowers? Are there any benefits for including it in a tortoise's diet? I was looking at a...
  20. MichaelL

    This is pretty sad..