Thursday, February 28, 2008

Out Of Hibernation

Can you actually believe that March is here already? The swallows will soon return as well as the orioles. The days seem to be getting longer and flowers are blooming all around us. It is a great time of the year.

This week has provided us with perfect Southern California weather. The temperatures have been in the 70 and 80 degree range with plenty of sunshine and warm breezes. I must say that I thrive in these conditions. The sun and I have definitely had our disagreements on the color I would like to be so I am not one to sit out and bake. Being born a redhead with the fair complexion I have had my share of sunburns. This was before we found out how damaging the sun can actually be. The sunburns are NOT worth the fleeting color that that big light in the sky provides. I do, however, enjoy working in the yard when the weather is as it has been this week.

One signal around here that lets us know that spring has arrived is the appearance of the tortoises. Since they hibernate all winter, it is a real thrill to see them out and enjoying the fruits of the winter garden. Three of them made their appearance this week. Of course they will spend a lot of their time eating and hydrating in their pool of water after a long winter's sleep.

These are our adults who are both in their fifties. Both weigh around twenty pounds and are approximately 18" in diameter. Their names are Joshua and Saguara and they are well loved by the grandchildren who frequently hand feed them. As soon as the kids arrive the tortoises will come out to meet and follow them until they are fed. These two have been family raised since they were babies so they are extremely people friendly.

One thing that I enjoy is checking out other blogs. It is such a thrill to view what others are doing and sharing with pictures. Barb at A Chelsea Morning
is having a giveaway to celebrate her newly learned craft of knitting. Check out the great scarf that she has already made. It looks like she is well on her way to bigger and better things soon. I'm sure there are many others who are also getting into projects that will stimulate their minds and keep all of us inspired.
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

This is our "baby" who is eight years old. The children named it Franklin, but we have had to change it to "Frances." The sex of a tortoise is not able to be determined by the eye until they reach about the age of five to seven in captivity. At that time the plastron, or bottom of the shell, will go from being flat to being concave if the tortoise is a male. Her shell is quite flat still and thus the name from Franklin to Frances. As you can see, she loves the strawberry patch even though the berries are few and far between at this time of the year. She will spend a lot of her summer days there enjoying her finds. Right now she is after the blossoms.


  1. My great aunt used to have a tortoise, and I remember how my sister and I used to love feeding him too! Back in the dark ages. My children went to a pre-school in Cape Town where they had 3 giant tortioses in the playground, and they loved them to bits too.
    I am with you on the signs of sprning. I just love the brightness of the flowers and the sky after a long dark winter.

  2. I love tortoises! We used to have a lot here, but I haven't seen any in awhile. Spring is almost here! Can you believe we turn the clocks forward next weekend?!

  3. I have been intending on asking you how the tortoises are doing! Glad to see they are well and out of their long winter sleep. Do you have any eggs this year?

    We just got back from a 4 hour snowmoblile ride. It is just glorious out there with about a foot and a half of new snow! I didn't get many pictures as no one wanted to stop so that Grammie could get out her camera! D fell asleep on the way back and there were no serious crashes this time!

    They are saying we might have another storm on Tuesday too.

    I am still on limited stable help but not every day thankfully. The owner is doing better all the time and her family is helping out too. I don't go at all on Sunday with church in the am and pm so she gets others to pitch in.

    I have had my share of burns too even though I always had black hair and dark skin. Right below my neck just burns in minutes and has the wrinkles to show for it! Sigh...

    Can't wait to go to the mini horse show in Florida in about 10 days! I'm hoping to get some wonderful pictures of the little guys.

  4. Amazing tortoises!

    We had 74 degrees yesterday and cold, nasty, windy, snowy today. What a crazy place!

  5. love the tortoises. thanks for visiting my blog. so nice to meet a new friend. hope you'll stop by often.

  6. What a beautiful March day you are having! The tortoises are amazing, you and your children must love watching them!

  7. The tortoises are awesome!! They are yours? Where do the hibernate? How neat for the kids to come over and check on Grandma and grandpa's tortoises!!
    You saw the thermometer at our house two days ago, yesterday was 65! I was seriously doing a happy dance in our backyard! It will be 35 today with an ice storm expected tonight! Isn't that crazy? But that is March up here!

  8. I love 70-80 degrees! I am ready for all that fun in the sun!

    love the turtles! interesting facts! We have 2 box turtles, I know for sure we have 1 male and 1 female, we did catch them mating for about 6 hrs! Now we are waiting to see eggs?

  9. Oh my gosh, I love toroises and turtles!!! THey are so cool. I dont get to see them too much either here! How neat!

    I am so glad March is here and spring is on the way! I cannot wait to see green again! Heck, I would be happy to see brown grass, lol!!