Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Kiss of the Turtle

Rock formation in the Seychelle Islands - a nice place to start a new year, eh?

Let's go.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Meeting with the Man

My new pal, Goombah, and I making big plans. Escape eminent.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lapis Lady

A treat from a museum in Mexico, carved from lapis lazuli (the funnest words around!):

Love the little babies all over her!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Healing Vibes for Colonel Meow

Feline World Leader Col. Meow has taken ill and all terps are required to slow down and meditate on well wishes for our feline commander-in-chief.

Visit Colonel Meow and wish him well.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Cousin: The Leopard Tortoise

 The Leopard tortoise is a large and attractively marked tortoise found in the savannas of eastern and southern Africa, from Sudan to the southern Cape. This chelonian is a grazing species of tortoise that favors semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats, although some leopard tortoises have been found in rainier areas. In both very hot and very cold weather they may dwell in abandoned fox, jackal, or anteater holes. Leopard tortoises do not dig other than to make nests in which to lay eggs. It grazes extensively upon mixed grasses as well as succulents and thistles, and (in captivity) the fruit and pads of the prickly pear cactus. The African Leopard Tortoise typically lives 80 to 100 years.

The leopard tortoise is the fourth largest species of tortoise in the world, with typical adults reaching 18-inch and weighing 40-pound An adult's maximum shell length can reach 24-inches in diameter. The giant Ethiopian form might reach 39-in in rare cases. Also, in much rarer cases in countries such as Sudan with their high humidity rainforests this type of tortoise can reach up to lengths of 45 inches.

All tucked in!

It is a large and attractively marked tortoise. The carapace is high and domed, and pyramid shaped scutes are not uncommon. The skin and background color is cream to yellow, and the carapace is marked with black blotches, spots or even dashes or stripes. Each individual is marked uniquely.

Leopard tortoises are herbivorous. They are more defensive than offensive, retracting feet and head into their shell for protection. This often results in a hissing sound, probably due to the squeezing of air from the lungs as the limbs and head are retracted.

This is the most widely distributed tortoise in Southern Africa. Leopard tortoises are increasingly being bred in captivity. This is a positive development, as it should lead to a gradual reduction in demand for animals caught in the wild.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Believe I Can Fly!

If not I'll just float on the deck and let the breeze take me away!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Henrí - Cat Literature

Henrí wishes a less depressing birthday to our friend Brooks.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sunset Treat

Nothing sweeter than a lovely sunset with a little sweet treat. This Mama is good to me and yes, life is pretty darn lavish.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Soupy Embroidery

not quite sure what to think about this handicraft...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

And I'm Off!

Open the door after a fresh rain shower, and I am gone!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

My Cousin: The Diamondback Terrapin

The Diamondback Terrapin can be found in brackish waters from Cape Cod to Texas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, including the Floriday Keys.

Named for the diamond patterns on its top shell, with scutes that bear deep, diamond-shaped growth rings. The top shell is light brown, gray, or black; the bottom shell ranges from yellow to olive. Black spots and wiggly marks, in a pattern unique to each turtle, appear on the reptile's whitish skin. The shell size of the male averages 5 inches. The female is larger than the male, with shell size averaging 7.5 inches.

In the summer, they move from marsh creeks onto beaches and dunes to lay their pinkish-white eggs in 6-inch-deep nests in the sand. After 60 - 120 days, the inch-long hatchlings emerge from the nest and enter the nearest water.

While the diamondback terrapin eats snails, clams, crabs, and some marsh plants, the reptile's population was decimated in the 1700s and 1800s because its meat was considered such a delicacy - the chief ingredient in terrapin soup. While protective legislation is now in place, the terrapin's population has a long way to go to rebound from previous overharvesting.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Call Me Handsome

There is something to be said for a good turtle-waxing! Look how handsome I polish up!