Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Addition to the Family - Elliot the Tortoise!

Nothing to do with paper or letterpress but awfully cute!
Here's the newest addition to our family--Elliot the Desert Tortoise. Desert tortoises are found in in southeastern California, southeastern Nevada, southwestern Utah, western Arizona. We got him from a school and he is 2yrs old. He is about 6-8 inches long and weights a couple of pounds but can get up to 10-12 lbs. He like blueberries--and still has the blueberry stains on his chin--he definitely has a sweet tooth for fruit but can only have it occasionally.

He is acclimatising to the outdoors very well considering he lived in a cage inside a 4th grade classroom since he was a hatchling. He lives in our yard and he cruises around the place like he owns it. He sleeps under the rosemary bush so he now smells like rosemary! Gary built him a burrow/shelter but he seems to prefer the rosemary bush.

I brought him inside last night because it was pretty cold. Desert tortoises start hibernating if the night temps are below 60 for several days and he is definitely sluggish in the am when it is still cold. They can survive heat up to 140 degrees and they cannot swim.

He's a pretty funny tortoise because he comes up right up to the glass where our cats can watch him. Because the kitties never go outside, they are fascinated with him. Elliot the Tortoise makes a beeline to cats if he sees them watching him.

In addition to the Elliot in our yard we also have a dove nest with 2 eggs. The nest sits low in the tree about chest level (didn't even have to stand on anything to take this picture) so the mom dove startles the beegeebers out of us when she suddenly flies out. Doves build the most scattery nests, I hope it doesn't get too windy.