Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Safety Checks

When you are a homo sapiens, you have four seasons (at least in theory if you’re living in the south): spring, summer, fall and winter. When you are a box turtle, you also have four seasons: spring, estivation, fall and hibernation. During two of your seasons, you will be out and about, active, eager toContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Safety Checks”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Burrowing

Bruce is a native Texas box turtle, which means his species naturally lives in the southern and central parts of our home state, as well as elsewhere (including in Missouri, which had the good taste to pick the 3-toed box turtle as their state reptile). But even though he is quite literally at home hereContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Burrowing”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Feeding

Bruce is a surprisingly picky eater! This has caused his mommy many, many stressful days and nights, worrying that he isn’t eating enough or enough variety to stay healthy and strong. It doesn’t help that, aside from the collection of water turtles we routinely rescued, cared for and released when I was a youngster, MaltiContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Feeding”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Turtle Safe Greenery

Keeping the shelled family members’ outdoor enclosures suitably outfitted with all the right accessories – swimming pool, hides, diverse walking surfaces, edible (or at least turtle-safe) greenery – can turn even the most brown-thumbed individual into an aspiring gardener. Here, I speak from direct personal experience. When Malti was little, she lived indoors with meContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Turtle Safe Greenery”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Safety Checks

For a wild rescued box turtle, Bruce can be surprisingly social. Right from the start, he was keen to interact – on his terms. His terms meant lots of staring, plenty of running around on the floor back and forth, and occasionally coming to stand on top of my feet. During his first week withContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Safety Checks”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hay

When I was little, I thought hay was for horses. Later on I learned hay is also for guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters and sheep. Now I know that hay can be for chickens and cows too (to roost on and eat, respectively). But never in a million years did I suspect a box turtle mightContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hay”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Estivation

Bruce is a three-toed box turtle. Specifically, he is a Texas 3-toed box turtle (eastern box turtle), which means his species is found here in Texas naturally in certain wild places, mostly in the eastern parts of the state. But just because Bruce is from Texas doesn’t mean our legendary summer heat doesn’t get toContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Estivation”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: The Wild

Bruce really comes alive when he is out and about in the “wild,” which these days basically means his outdoor habitat or in his enclosed backyard play area. He runs about, climbing and digging and exploring and hunting and hiding and swimming and just generally being a wild box turtle. I love this! I loveContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: The Wild”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Soaking

Box turtles are truly an enigma of sorts in the turtle/tortoise world. Sometimes they seem more like terrapins or water turtles, with their water-loving personalities and tendency to go for a “swim” in any little pond or puddle they encounter. But then at other times, especially while hibernating under layers of dirt and mulch orContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Soaking”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Protein

Figuring out what to feed a newly rescued box turtle is not a job for the faint of heart (or mind). When Bruce first joined our little flock in May 2015, I figured he would probably like whatever Malti liked. Boy was I wrong. To this day, Bruce has never deigned to even sniff Malti’sContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Protein”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Eye Contact

When my Bruce came to me, he had been out wandering the dangerously busy urban streets around our neighborhood. I didn’t know anything about his history, except that he had at one time been plucked out of a wild area and transported to a neighbor’s backyard (the perpetrator in this case was the neighbor’s grandson).Continue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Eye Contact”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Earthworms

Sometimes I feel like I literally couldn’t have chosen two more opposite shelled beings to welcome into our little flock. Where Malti is slow, Bruce is quick. Where Malti is always one nap away from her next nap, Bruce is up and raring to go before most roosters are awake. And where Malti prefers herContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Earthworms”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Edible Grasses

From time to time, I work with an animal communicator just to check in with each one of my interspecies flock members to make sure I’m doing a good job as their mama. Every time we have a session together, I always learn so much! Each flock member always has plenty to say and expressesContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Edible Grasses”

Pearl, Malti & Bruce Say Happy Mother’s Day!

When you have feathers or a shell and you hit the luck jackpot and get the greatest grandma on the planet, you always want to wish her “Happy Mother’s Day” first thing on her special morning! (Of course if she wants to thank you for your thoughtfulness by preparing you some fresh crispy waffles withContinue reading “Pearl, Malti & Bruce Say Happy Mother’s Day!”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Beards

Bruce is such a character! He is truly one-of-a-kind – both the only and the BEST (mama’s bias here) box turtle I have ever known. One day not long after Bruce emerged from hibernation this spring, I noticed what looked like black fungus growing around the edges of his beak (turtles and tortoises have beaksContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Beards”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Camo

When Bruce was first rescued to us nearly two years ago, he was both very self-assured and very shy. He was self-assured in that he seemed to know exactly what he wanted and needed. For his first week with us, he refused to stay in his temporary tub, but lived underneath a rolling file cabinetContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Camo”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hand Feeding

Sometimes it feels like the only thing Bruce and Malti really have in common is that they are both shelled. Malti was raised in captivity from the time she was born. She is used to being hand-fed, to having her shell scratched, to getting bathed in her little red tub, to making herself at homeContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Hand Feeding”

Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Making an Exit

When you are blessed with snazzy orange cheek patches and stunning red eyes, you don’t worry about making an entrance. The entrance will make itself. Let’s say, for instance, that you are sitting on top of your hay pile. All of a sudden the paparazzi happens along carrying that annoying small rectangular flashing device. WeariedContinue reading “Bruce Explains Box Turtles: Making an Exit”


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