Day 107: The Tortoise and the Towel

When you are small, round and brown with a shell, nothing says “nap time” like the sight of a soft, cozy brown towel. Not only are you sure to be warm and comfy during your siesta, but your choice of camouflage is seamless (and, it nearly goes without saying, fashion-forward). For an even more relaxingContinue reading “Day 107: The Tortoise and the Towel”

Day 104: Tortoise Creature Comforts

Some beings mildly appreciate so-called “creature comforts” when the opportunity presents itself. Other beings dive in to comfy-ness (a technical term) like an Olympic swimmer dives into a pool. This, of course, is because you were born for comfort. Made for it, in fact. You are so all about getting comfortable and staying that wayContinue reading “Day 104: Tortoise Creature Comforts”

Day 101: Redfoot Tortoise Is a Basking Beauty

You can take the girl out of the forest, as they say, but you can’t take the forest out of the girl. Or something like that. Here, your mama can mutter about “the importance of full ultraviolet spectrum light” all she wants. But as a tropical tortoise who is adapted for life under deep leafyContinue reading “Day 101: Redfoot Tortoise Is a Basking Beauty”

Day 98: Tortoise Hydration

The large shell-less being here…. Tropical species such as, say, the South American redfoot tortoise, really need plenty of humidity and hydration daily to stay happy and healthy. If conditions get too dry, lots of bad things can happen…and did happen, as I’ve shared in detail on her blog. All that to say, here atContinue reading “Day 98: Tortoise Hydration”

Day 95: Tortoise Is A Leg Giveaway

“Cuteness” is widely considered to be an extremely desirable trait. But there are times it can turn into a liability. For instance, when you are very cute and you want to get away from it all and enjoy a restful nap, you may find that no sooner have you settled your adorable shelled self down,Continue reading “Day 95: Tortoise Is A Leg Giveaway”

Day 92: Tortoise Visits Shelled Support Circle

Living amongst the large shell-less beings has its perks. There are the gourmet hand-fed meals, the shell scratches, the cozy heated seats. But life in an interspecies flock also has its drawbacks….like the continually lurking paparazzi, the needy single box turtle living one habitat over from yours, your small shrieking feathered brother. Sometimes you justContinue reading “Day 92: Tortoise Visits Shelled Support Circle”

Day 89: You and Me and Sea Turtle Makes Three

From the outside looking in, some might assume that tortoises prefer to be solitary. After all, there is all that napping. And the very intent head-down grazing. And then more napping. And then there is the burrowing and the digging and (for some) the hibernating….all quite natural activities for the alleged shelled introvert. But perhapsContinue reading “Day 89: You and Me and Sea Turtle Makes Three”

Day 86: Turtle Lookout

The sight of a tortoise placidly plodding along evokes different thoughts in different folks. In your large shell-less mama, for example, all you have to do is, well, you don’t even have to do anything and she instantly comes running with snacks and shell scratches. That is called “the power of cuteness.” But in otherContinue reading “Day 86: Turtle Lookout”

Day 83: Food Face

Some cold-blooded species can be notoriously picky eaters. But not the redfooted tortoise. Redfoots are often described as “opportunistic feeders” in the scientific literature. Personally, after nearly five years of close daily observation, I would say Malti’s gustatory style comes closer to that of a contestant in one of those “all you can eat” contests.Continue reading “Day 83: Food Face”

Day 80: Tortoise Toys

The large shell-less being here…. Regardless of species, size or even blood temperature, young beings like to play. Play helps improve motor coordination, sensory acuity, learning speed and overall confidence. Play is also fun! Malti came to me when she was just a month old – a true baby tort. She is a juvenile nowContinue reading “Day 80: Tortoise Toys”

Day 77: The Lap Tortoise

When you really, really, really want snacks – and not just any snacks but the GOOD ones – the best thing to do is to climb up into your mama’s lap. She definitely won’t expect it. She will be overcome with cuteness. She will “ooh” and “aah” over you. She will give you lots ofContinue reading “Day 77: The Lap Tortoise”

Day 74: Slow and Speedy

As a cold blooded being living in a mostly warm blooded world, you have to face many misconceptions. One of the most enduring of these is that having cold blood means you are slow-moving. As if. Happily, this is a particularly easy mis-belief to remedy. All you have to do is wait until your largeContinue reading “Day 74: Slow and Speedy”

Day 71: Everyone Wants a Shell

Being born with a shell on your back is pretty much the best. All you have to do is look around you to see that everyone else wants one of their own. There are so many shell-shaped structures in the world! Your large shell-less assistant even brings some of them home and puts them intoContinue reading “Day 71: Everyone Wants a Shell”

Day 68: The Constant (Shelled) Gardener

Being born with a shell on your back can mean no one takes your gardening skills seriously. You might even be a master craftsmen where landscaping is concerned, but the only way anyone will ever know is if you show them. The arrival of spring when your mommy replants your habitat (on account of howContinue reading “Day 68: The Constant (Shelled) Gardener”

Day 65: A Small Shelled Ostrich

According to the internet, the average adult ostrich weighs approximately 220 pounds. But when the ostrich is still an egg, it weighs about 3.1 pounds. At this moment in time, Malti weighs in at 3.5 pounds. This feels relevant because of what I saw when I walked into my (her) closet today.  

Day 62: Breakfast in Bed

Shelled beings are very resourceful and self-sufficient by nature. You really have to be, if you come from a species where the moment you exit your little white escape pod, you are totally on your own! Snacks, shelter, sleep – whatever you need, you better figure out quickly where to get it and how toContinue reading “Day 62: Breakfast in Bed”

Day 59: Snoozy with a Shell

The large shell-less being here…. Not all coldblooded pets hibernate when winter comes. This is especially true of shelled beings – such as a certain young redfoot tortoise, for example. What is really interesting in our little flock is that we have one shelled being who does hibernate and one shelled being who does notContinue reading “Day 59: Snoozy with a Shell”

Day 56: Brunching with Tortoises

Shelled beings are very smart. Shelled beings who are born with red dots all over their feet, necks, head and tail are particularly intelligent. If you happen to cohabitate with one of these small shelled geniuses, you might even get to see their smarts at work….for the right motivation, of course. Here is an example.Continue reading “Day 56: Brunching with Tortoises”


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