Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Knock Knock

Knock, knock! - Who's there?
Realtor. - Realtor who?
Real tortoises keep it slow and steady.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grazing in the Grass

Ooh baby, I love when the grass is long and cool on these hot summer days. I can hide a little and get tickled at the same time. Lawn time = fine time. What more can a turtle ask for? A daily scute shine?

scute (skyoot) n. a dermal bony plate, as on an armadillo, or a large horny plate, as on a turtle; a horny or chitinous plate that makes up part of the exoskeleton in armadillos, turtles, fishes, etc.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today's Favorite Spot: Chairshade

On these warm and sunny summer days you'll find me strategically positioned in the shade under a chair or table. I tricked mama the other night when she fell asleep on the porch swing and I clumped back indoors and hid behind the sofa (for the first time). She went into a mild panic, even searched the garden and the walkways quietly calling my name. After about an hour, I was kind enough to clump once to give her a clue where she could find me. But I secretly love when she panics and can't find me. Tricks like that really excite me.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Indoor and Dockside

I might be outgrowing my dock. I spend hours and sometimes days in this very spot, mostly pondering, and although I don't mind dangling my toes in the water, it sure would be nice to be able to spread out. Don't get me wrong, though. There is luxury in being indoors and lazing dockside for hours under a warm light. aaah, nice.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Just a Dot

Turtles have feelings, you know. Sometimes I feel like I'm just another dot on the rug. When she is busy and chooses to ignore me, even through the clump racket I make, it leaves me feeling like I don't matter. To settle me down, she'll toss me a few pellets, and if I'm still not happy, I won't eat them and let them cloud up my tank. I know how to work it. She'll have to let me out of the tank while she replaces the water. Ha, and some folks think turtles are stupid.

Note from Turtle Mama: I'm on to you, Hank. Get ready for some cloudy days!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Feeling Frisky

You know what I'm talking about. It's summertime and the living is easy. Cool grass on a balmy summer night, endless shrimp cocktail, shell polished nice and smooth - all afrodisiacs to my kind - and I say "afro"disiacs because this photo was taken back in early days when I wore a 'fro and hot terrapin sexy times flowed freely. Man, those were the good ol' days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Follow Me

I'm thinking about starting a cult. Would you join me if it was an interesting cult? What do you look for in a cult? How could we be successful in our group endeavors? Should we wear weird hats? Not sure how I want this to play out, but I'm liking the idea. I know of a bizarre cult in a shore town down the coast, where this group of humans gather on the beach almost every weekend to worship the sand and ocean. The humans sit in a circle in chairs that almost touch the sand and proceed to intoxicate themselves until the sun goes down. Some even turn 'nudie' after the lifeguards leave their posts. That's my kind of cult, but honestly, I would feel compelled to make a dash for the sea to visit my ocean-loving cousins. Let's work on this. Your suggestions will be carefully considered.

My followers call me HëNΦ

Monday, June 20, 2011

Petaluma Lucky

My turtle mama left her soul in the northern California wine country town of Petaluma, which also produced one of the best turtle stories to ever hit the press. Lucky is a turtle that takes the "slider" in his heritage to a whole new level. He was attacked and chewn by a raccoon and left without front legs. To see footage about Lucky's story, watch this awesome video, or to read more about Lucky, click here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm a Swinger

Is there anything as relaxing as a porch swing on a lovely Father's Day? She takes naps on that porch swing so it's hard to get time up there for myself. I love to relax as much as the next reptile but this swing is a little piece of heaven. No better way to spend a summer day, if you ask me. Even though I can't be sure how many 'lil Henry's I've produced over the years, I feel confident that the ones that survived are all successful members of nature. I can only wish for them a lavish life such as mine. OK, who am I kidding? I've been cooped up in a glass tank most of my adult life and the humping has been kept to a minimum. There, I've said it. But I still have my fantasies. And my luxurious life.

oh yeah, this is the life

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday is Spa Day!

What some kids call a ‘baby pool’ I get to call a ‘spa’! It’s free, it’s wet, and it feels good. What I don’t like about our garden spa are the slippery sides that won’t let me get a grip and hoist myself over the edge, and believe me, I’ve tried. Those occasional rocks placed in the pool are sometimes helpful for leverage but I think she is on to my scheme, and only uses the low, flat stones. Another spa feature is the “Turtle Waxing” – for real! I pretend I don’t really enjoy the creamy, waxy emollients that she rubs into my shell and over my scutes. That’s right – scutes. Look it up. She even goes all the way and gives me leg and arm massages with the goo. I think she likes the way my shell shines afterward. Once, when she didn’t know I was watching, I caught her rubbing my turtle wax goo on her human hands! Talk about strange.

Friday, June 17, 2011


When she's at her desk, I like to chill at the bottom of the tank and watch her type. It’s that terrapin self-hypnosis thing. I’m addicted. What else do I have to do? Sometimes I just lay on my dock for days, not because I’m depressed or antisocial, I just get exhausted thinking about things. I get in the zone. But don’t misjudge me because I can bring on the pep when I need it. Like when I make a >>>dash for the pile of cords under the desk, or for the lawn after a fresh cut. Just try to catch me. I will admit, unfortunately, that I’m a major clumper. Nobody said I would make a quiet pet. If I’m on the loose, you’ll know it. Sometimes it gets on her nerves but it’s not easy being quiet when you have to carry your house with you everywhere.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Will You Brake for Turtles?

My family breaks for turtles. Does yours? I am happy to report that family members are breaking for turtles on the open road and even stopping traffic behind them in order to protect my species! Thanks to all my peeps that care.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Have Friends

Believe it or not, I have friends. They may come and go, just like human friends, but I enjoy a little variation from time to time. Visitors are not frequent but they are always curious, very curious about the fella in the tank. Inevitably, I get pulled out of my turtle self-hypnosis session and dried off with a towel while the humans wait for a little song and dance to begin. When the weather is nice and the door is open, I have the option of hanging inside or outside. Not a bad life for this turtle. Outside is a wooden deck with obstacles like chair legs and tables but they also provide good shade when I need to cool off. I do get exhausted easily. I try to behave and stay on the deck but occasionally I am lured by fresh mown lawns and I make a dash for it! One fine beach day, my friends Kody (the Golden) and Tuttles (the rescued box turtle) had a good time romping on the lawn as the sun started to set. I think Kody could tolerate hanging out with any type of critter. My mama sent Tuttles to live at Sue and Kody’s lake in the Pennsyltucky countryside, where she seemed to thrive, since other little Tuttles’s were soon seen on the property.

Friends Tuttles and Kody

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Turtle Mama

My turtle mama turned out to be the best keeper I could have. You could say that I trained her in the Art of Terrapinia. She had no idea what she was in for when decided to 'foster' a prehistoric creature, but I think she respects me as a pet. Some humans feel if it isn't warm and furry, it's not a real pet. But she is different. She leaves me alone during the day so we don’t get on each other’s nerves. She keeps my tank pretty clean and that is no easy task, considering turtle turds cause cloudiness, and I’ve been squeezing out some jumbos lately. She can read my moods pretty well and knows when I get antsy and need to get out of the soup. She calls it ‘the soup’ in the winter because she will pour a kettle of boiled water in to help take the chill off. The warm rush actually feels nice. She provides a variety of food so I don’t get bored – I don't know if she realizes how much I appreciate that. Especially the tasty little shrimps she serves up as a treat, and the big boy food – big nuggets – which are tasty and organic but the crumbs make a cloudy tank. I don’t eat outside of the tank although I have let turtle mama feed me by hand a few times. She seems to get real excited about that. We make a good team. She even brought home a blue plastic pool just for me that I can enjoy on sunny weekend afternoons in the garden. And don't think I haven't noticed the little terrapin-themed trinkets strewn about the house. I think she likes me.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I Wasn't Always a Looker

When I was brought back to The Shore in 2008, I was tossed in a fishing bucket and hauled off along with my tank and its fixings, headed to the home of my new temporary turtle mama. At first she handled me like I was a Big Mac and had no experience with my kind. She may have been afraid to hold me but she got over that quickly. After looking around my new digs, I noticed there were no other pets so naturally I became concerned for my welfare. There are people that actually enjoy turtle soup and I prayed she wasn't one of them. Turns out she wasn't. She had the tank set up, cleaned, filled with fresh water and in a good spot (with a view) near the door and right off the bat, she slaps on rubber gloves and used a dish sponge to gently scrub my back and remove the algae crusted on my shell. Boy that felt good. Damn good. How did she know I would enjoy that? I knew right then we were going to get along just fine. But it took some time before she was able to get my shell smooth and shiny. But hey, I'm not complaining... it wasn't like I was being abused, I just wasn't being pampered. Pampered enough to live life lavishly. Ugh, look at me. Looking a little rough around the edges. Boy, do I need a spa day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where Lavish Begins

It begins at home, and home can be anywhere. I admit it, my lavish life started early. I’m a fifteen year old Red-Eared Slider named Henry and even though I'm not terribly handsome, I do polish up nicely, and I command a certain 'winsome-ness' that is alluring to both my kind (the slippery and wet) and to humans (the sweaty and pasty). My luxurious life continues today but I do still have fond memories as a youth summering at the Jersey Shore in Ocean City (à la Grace Kelly) in my favorite man-made koi pond (that man being Mr. Ulrick, my keeper and turtle-daddy). For many years, I enjoyed summers in the luxury of backyard shade on Asbury Avenue with the Ulrick family, friends and fishy fellas of the Koi variety. Good friends and pond-mates. Ah, good times. So I have returned to this oceanside terrapin community for my retirement and to amuse my turtle-mama and the local residents. More good times ahead.