We stayed home all weekend–Darwin needed us!

Magical thinking hasn’t been working.

The last couple of months we’ve been enjoying weekends with friends and family, playing and avoiding responsibilities at home…

And apparently in our absence the garden maintenance genies have not been coming in and helping out.

It might be hard for you to imagine, but the first of the spring roses are already spent and need deadheading. And we won’t even mention the weeds!

So it was a weekend to take care of business.

And apparently someone else was also very glad to have us home.

While we worked in the front yard, quite a distance from Darwin’s backyard sanctuary, he managed to push open a rarely used side gate and came out to surprise us! He’s never done this before, but we think he heard voices and wanted to share our company.

Of course, after a few minutes of eating grass he tired of us and took off down the street.

After relocating him to the backyard, he hovered at the back door.

Darwin at the back door

Darwin has been on a diet. We recently learned that his shell should not have all those beautiful pyramids! Too much broccoli and protein rich greens have created a condition that is not good for his overall health.

He is not thrilled with his new diet of grass and timothy hay and begs for attention–pity is more like it–at the door. He is a persistent little fellow!

I think he really did miss us. Everywhere we went he followed us like a puppy. How big IS that little brain!

Aware he wasn’t getting his preferred goodies, he resorted to being underfoot while we weeded the succulent and cactus garden and then finally resigned, he grabbed a mouthful of grass and a few small pieces of discarded aloe.

Monday morning sends us out the door to work…I’m not sure what Darwin will be up to, but he’s a clever fellow. I hope he won’t go wandering away from home on a broccoli hunt!

I do wonder what mischief Darwin gets into when we’re at work.

58 thoughts on “We stayed home all weekend–Darwin needed us!

    • Isn’t Darwin a fascinating little creature? We honestly don’t think he’d do well with a dog, so we’ve held off, even though it’s been tempting. The more he acts like a dog, the more I think we made the right decision! LOL! :-)

    • I learned, a little late, I guess, that tortoises can’t absorb that much protein. So we’ve added in more calcium and had to cut back on the broccoli! Pets are a lot of responsibility–and I feel like a bad parent! :-(

    • I’m so glad I could make you smile with dear Darwin, Marie. He just amazes us. We are continually watching him do things we really don’t think a reptile should be capable of doing! When I can catch him in the act I try to capture it in print! :-)

    • I do think Darwin is somehow capable of planning, Fiona, so I have a feeling he will probably figure out how to get exactly what he wants! I wish the only food on my no-no list was broccoli! :-)

    • It’s so true, isn’t it? Poor Darwin. I have felt so sorry for him. I do wonder if he actually thinks we’re being mean! I hope I’m giving him entirely too much credit, but he seems to have a great capacity to think and even plan. LOL!

    • What we learned about Darwin’s diet, Andra, is that he is getting too much protein in the broccoli! Isn’t it good to know that broccoli is such a complete food! For us, I suppose, and not so good for a poor little tortoise! :-)

  1. So cute… So now you have a new puppy… strange looking dog, though.. :-)

    *Judy*

    *Judy Hutchinson, Ph.D.*

    *Executive Director* | Center for Academic Service-Learning & Research****

    Azusa Pacific University | P.O. Box 7000 | Azusa, CA 91702****

    ( 626.815.6000 x2824 | 7 626.815.2107 | * jhutchinson@apu.edu

    • Hi Janine! Yes, I think Darwin’s pyramids will eventually flatten. We were told that as he gets older and larger, they will eventually diminish. We are also giving him some calcium in his diet in a powdered form. The good thing is that a fellow blogger is the person who alerted me to the problem, or we’d not have known. I was so grateful! :-) Isn’t he pretty, though? I liked the look of the pyramids! Oh dear!

  2. I wondered about the pronounced nature of his pyramids. But I would never have thought, “Oh, he must be eating too much broccoli.”

    Glad you had some quality time together this weekend. Thanks for the smiles! :D

    • The funny thing about “too much broccoli” is that is just ME! If something is good, then more is better! Hahaha! It never once occurred to me that we were overdoing it. And as for his pyramids, I just thought they were pretty! Poor guy!

  3. Oh poor Darwin. Diets are no fun, when you’ve been used to eating your favourites all the time. ;-( He does look pleased to have your company though. The thought of having to deadhead your roses in April is making my British mind boggle, especially this year. :-)

    • You know, Perpetua, I didn’t even take photos of the cut roses because I was just not going to rub your nose in that! :-) It is just crazy…we had a local forest fire this weekend in the heat. I think the climate worldwide has really entered into a state of rebellion. And I don’t think it previously occurred to me that Darwin might miss us when we aren’t home. I now think it’s true. I may need to hire a human companion. LOL!

  4. How great you have a tortoise! I have the pleasure of knowing a California Desert Tortoise, his name if Gulliver and he lives with my friend Rachael. He likes to travel too.

    • How fun to know Gulliver–and what a great name for a California Desert Tortoise! Years ago one found us, even in our rather urban setting. He obviously belonged to someone, but we couldn’t find the owner. We tried to keep him, building him a nice pen and providing for him, but we couldn’t keep him in the yard. That tortoise could really get around. Darwin isn’t nearly as aggressive as the Tortoise was! I think these creatures are so fascinating, and they give me a little sense of having a prehistoric animal in our lives! If Rachael would allow, I’d love it if you blogged about Gulliver at some point. I’d like to see him! :-) Darwin is from Africa…I’d love to have a California tortoise!

  5. Darwin is such a gorgeous little pet. Amazing how much effort has to go into looking after something so small. Who would have known he could over-eat on greens! I would have thought those could only do him good. He’s so gorgeous xx

    • I was shocked to learn that we’d been overfeeding him on greens and broccoli. But it was good to learn how much protein is in those veggies. I had no idea! :-) He does require more care than I would have guessed when he was tiny. We actually arrange for a house-sitter when we are out of town–the very reason I was reluctant to get a dog! LOL!

    • I didn’t realize you hadn’t met Darwin before CCU! He is a wonderfully interesting pet. From time to time I share about him because I think at this point he has a little fan club. LOL! I’m glad you like him, too! :-)

  6. You know I love your Darwin posts, Debra. Good catch noticing that his shell markings are indicative of a flawed diet.I seriously doubt he could have found himself a better home. You really do take good care if the little guy. :)

    • I can thank someone in the blogosphere for telling me about Darwin’s pyramids. We really had no idea it was a problem. Someone found one of the Darwin blogposts through tagging, I suppose, and very kindly pointed out what I should research about his diet and gave us the warning. I was very appreciative. It ca be a very helpful community! :-) I’m glad you also like the little guy, John. He’s a character, that’s for sure!

  7. Darwin seems to be a smart little fellow. I would also reject a diet of gras and timothy hay. I enjoyed seeing Darwin again, it’s been some time – or maybe I have just not come upon the posts about him recently?

  8. He really is a handsome fellow, isn’t he? I love those close up shots you have of him, Debra. The colors and textures. Nature is so very lovely, especially with Darwin.

    An old phrase comes to mind. “When the cat’s away, the mice come out to play”. You may need to set up one of the nanny-cams to see what the chap is up to when you are away from home. It was fun to see Darwin again, and all his adventures, roaming the neighborhood, knocking on the door, begging for food. A most delightful post, Debra.

  9. A friend of mine saw a tortoise with a shell like that today. The lights went on for me! The information you’ve shared in this post will improve the life of at least one tortoise here in Washington.
    You never know what ripples a blog post may create out there in the world. Thanks as always…

    • I am so glad to hear that we could share about Darwin’s shell and perhaps affect others. I learned about the problem because someone anonymously wrote to me on the blog alerting me to the problem. Otherwise, I’m sure we would never have known it was a dietary deficiency! We thought we were being such good parents giving him all the broccoli he could eat! It is wonderful how much I learn from other bloggers and the whole community of sharing is just so unique to anything I’ve ever previously experienced. Hope you’re doing well!!

    • We learned that broccoli is very high in protein, and the protein is affecting Darwin’s calcium supply. You’re right about moderation…that’s not always my forest response to much of anything. lOL!

    • Darwin could really have his own blog! He does something funny or at least interesting almost every day. And those are just the things I catch…I still don’t know what he does when we’re at work. :-) Yep! No broccoli! He does get into my garden and make a mess sometimes.

  10. I think I have enough trouble keeping collies contained – a travelling tortoise Houdini would be TOO much!
    We would probably be amazed if we knew what activity actually does go on within those little brains.

    • Thank you, Rexlin. Isn’t Darwin’s shell beautiful? It was a surprise to us to learn that those pyramids aren’t a sign of good shell health. So we’re working on that. But he is a sweetie! :-)

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