Friday, April 5, 2013

All Turtles Present and Accounted For

Last October, Terrance managed to burrow in for the winter in a location unknown to me.  I strongly suspected the Bodhisattva Garden.  I even went so far as to excavate his favorite summertime burrow where he spent last winter.  No luck.

Well, this past Wednesday (April 3) Caro spotted him up and about, getting some rays.    Of course, by the time I got home from work, the shadows were lengthening and all good turtles were somewhere warm for the night.  A few minutes of searching and I found his lair, about 8" away from his old hide-hole.  My new soil thermometer showed that he was at a comfy 72°F just below the layer of mulch.  He had been protected by an ornamental Fescue that only recently had been cut back.

Meanwhile, Trudy has been out and about for two weeks.  She turned up under the fake rock that covers the sprinkle systems riser.  Since that has heater tape to keep the pipes from freezing, it's not a bad place to camp out.

Originally she had been a couple yards away in a burrow up against a short cinderblock wall, not far from last year's over-winter burrow under another Fescue.  I tossed a wireless temperature guage under the rock with her and it never got below 40° despite some chilly nights.

Trudy has been eating the occasional strawberry and a good bit of hamburger.  Terrance so far has turned up his nose at people food.  I may try to tempt his appetite with some bay shrimp this weekend.

Terrance weighed in at 13.4 oz (381 g), but Trudy is a hefty 20.3 oz (578 g).   Terrance actually gained weight over winter (0.24 oz or 7 g), which I find puzzling, while Trudy lost about an ounce (27 g). 

More to come as the season unfolds.