It may only be mid-February, but it is time for me to begin planting my vegetable seeds if there is going to be any reasonable expectation of setting out plants in April. I’ve poured over the seed catalogues, made my vegetable choices for the summer garden, and I’m ready to start putting the little gems into their peat pots. I have pre-springtime routines and the time is NOW! But I’m in the throes of a minor space dilemma. I have some competition this year.
If you didn’t previously read my post on how he came to be mine, you might enjoy reading more about this once fifty-cent sized Sulcata Tortoise! Read this charmer’s brief
biography here. I’ll tease with a photo.
Housing him has been a problem! He long-ago outgrew even the largest glass reptile aquarium. Free-range time in the yard works well in good weather, but this guy needs a constant source of heat in cold. So, as soon as summer turned to autumn I gave him temporary housing in my greenhouse. Or at least it was supposed to be temporary–just until we built him his own home!
We thought he could just “winter” in the greenhouse with his side-kick Rocky, a much, much smaller box-tortoise. I didn’t think of giving it to him permanently! But this hulk of a guy has figured out how to move about freely. He has claimed his space. When the sun is high, out he goes, and with no prodding on our part he lurches over the raised threshold, finds a spot of sun and basks until he’s ready to exercise.
After a season of motoring about the yard he seems to watch the sun and before we can even note the changes he very quickly reverses course and heads home!
Remember my comment that he needs a constant heat source?
All photos, bright sunshine and rain, were taken this week. It’s not at all unusual for us to forget that rain may sweep in unexpectedly leaving this guy vulnerable, especially because he likes to burrow. So since it’s clear that the greenhouse is giving Darwin his ultimate independence as well as protection, I’ll be spending some time this weekend mucking out the floor and giving in to 50% less space than last season.
Protecting this little guy is important, but so is my pre-garden space. I may have to do some readjusting in the greenhouse for shared occupancy, but I’ll probably be sharing some of the vegetable yield with Darwin, too, so I might as well start thinking cooperation!
The well-being of our critters is important, too
Enjoy a peaceful weekend, my friends. Debra
- Frugal Friday | Grow your own (mike10613.wordpress.com)