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April 3, 2013 / viewsfromasmallisland

Tortoise with attitude

Tortoise with attitude

That look says it all.  This is one very grumpy tortoise with serious attitude problems.  Actually she is entitled to be in a bad mood as she has been hibernating for months, wakes up and it’s still too cold to go out and is stuck indoors looking out of the window.  In fairness, even when the sun shines and it’s boiling hot, she’s still grumpy but that’s tortoises for you.

She was presented as a gift 32 years ago and is still going strong.  She was mature then so she’s getting on.  She still has a glint in her eye though but she’s probably wondering if I’m edible and could she move quickly enough anyway.  By the summer she will move into her summer quarters, (the compost heap) and be free to roam the garden as she pleases.  In the meantime I have to get her warm enough to start eating and put some weight on.



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  1. kenneth mcmillan / Apr 3 2013 8:50 pm

    Great photo. How big is she and where does she hibernate?

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 3 2013 8:58 pm

      Thank you. She’s about the size of a small dinner plate but quite heavy. She roams free in the garden all summer and sleeps in the pile of grass cuttings, which gets very warm. In the autumn she will dig herself in quite deep and then I know she’s ready. I then prepare the winter quarters, which is a large cardboard box with shredded newspaper and she comes indoors to an enclosed but unheated storage area attached to the house. That way she stays at just about the right temperature but she’s monitored closely in case it gets too cold.

  2. Jo Ann Brown-Scott / Apr 3 2013 9:11 pm

    She looks just like someone I know….permanently disgruntled! HA!

  3. Bubbly Tee / Apr 3 2013 9:15 pm

    awww, i Love her,, and I love you for taking such good care of her. She is beautiful!! I love turtles; they are my totem.

    You are really a dear ~

    Great foto also! 🙂

  4. Touring NH / Apr 3 2013 9:25 pm

    Very neat family member (aka pet)

  5. offthehookbykeke / Apr 3 2013 11:52 pm

    Awesome! Both the story and the photo.

  6. RMW / Apr 4 2013 1:22 am

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww… she is so lucky to have you as her guardian.

  7. kiwiskan / Apr 4 2013 3:44 am

    I always wake up grumpy to, so I sympathize with her

  8. Mary Strong-Spaid / Apr 4 2013 4:11 am

    I can almost hear the turtle thinking, “Don’t you have anything else to do?”

  9. Gallivanta / Apr 4 2013 5:59 am

    A fascinating member of the family. How does she get on with the dogs?

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 4 2013 8:34 am

      I am cautious about one of the dogs as they are both rescued racers and one came to us in the autumn after we lost one to cancer. That means she didn’t get to know the tortoise before hibernation. I will just have to watch very closely. They will learn though.

  10. A New Path / Apr 4 2013 6:13 am

    I love her, too. Turtles and tortoises are some of my favorite animals. It’s amazing you’ve had her 32 years. Very cool that she gets to roam the yard all summer.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 4 2013 8:36 am

      We try to give her as natural a life as possible. I have to check throughout the day where she is and she has her favourite spots, so I can usually find her quite easily.

  11. colorfulifeblogger / Apr 4 2013 6:56 am

    A Very Big LIKE for this Post !!

  12. LaVagabonde / Apr 4 2013 9:30 am

    Even surly tortoises are cute.

  13. ricecakeann / Apr 4 2013 2:57 pm

    Amazing she is just too cute! Love animals and wish I could have one too but I don’t have a backyard and its so great you allow her to hang outside in the summer. Animals in captivity breaks my heart.

    • viewsfromasmallisland / Apr 4 2013 5:41 pm

      Thank you. Yes, she is cute in a grumpy sort of way. I love her independent attitude and she is quite a character. I must have the only tortoise that has bitten a dog. I once had a very greedy Basset Hound that would try to lick any food off the tortoise’s face, (tortoises are very messy eaters). One day the Basset stuck its tongue in her shell and gave a very loud yelp. I can only assume the tortoise bit her tongue as she never did it again.

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