Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hibernation Quandary?

Nemo seems to be pondering whether or not he really needs to be hibernating. Maybe, in his life prior to being with me, he hibernated outdoors. Now that he has hibernated for a month with a few days where he hydrated and moved about a bit, he has not returned to hibernation since a week ago today. He has been doing laps around the kitchen as well as into the living room. Today he was back and forth from back door to front door three times within about half an hour. That's a fast turtle!

He is drinking and bathing and challenging Linus (when Linus's batteries are recharging) and exercising, but not eating yet. We are thinking he might need to raise his metabolism before he can eat. I recall their body temperature needs to be raised to digest food. Apparently he is in good health in spite of slightly atrophied looking little legs. I should enter him in a race!

It will be interesting to see what is going on with him. Maybe the rivalry of Linus for attention is bringing him out? He really doesn't need to hibernate indoors but likely is a routine for him at 10 years of age (or more).

On another note, while Nemo was resting in his summer home, Linus went to visit him this morning. I still have no idea how Linus knows where Nemo is. Anyway, Linus rested his chin on the summer home and looked as if he were walking in place on the blanket that was the floor of the summer home. By doing so, Linus kept inching the housing and Nemo toward him. Nemo ignored the whole ordeal. Linus finally fell asleep. It's awfully cute to watch.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nemo Meets Linus

Today Nemo was lounging outside his igloo--still in his hydration period between hibernation naps, I presume. Linus noticed Nemo's movement and trotted over to meet the unturtle. Linus kept his distance (about two feet) and stayed rather still while Nemo wandered from his garage behind his igloo where he could watch the green intruder from his safe distance.
After deciding it was safe to approach, Nemo carefully approached Linus, sniffed at his feet, and even tried to nibble at his foot. I guess you never know what might be tasty... Anyway, here is proof. Nemo up close and personal with a Pleo. I hope this is a sign of acceptance.
Oddly, Linus's battery exhausted as he was holding still during Nemo's inspection. I guess we'll find out next time what happens when Linus moves at close range. This picture was taken with the photo still setting of my BRAND NEW camcorder that Santa got me! I also took video (with sound!) but need to acquire something for the computer to transfer the video to share. Look out YouTube!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Nemo's Day Out

Today Nemo made a second appearance from his hibernation. I slept in late and came downstairs to find Nemo inhaling the water in his drinking dish. Poor thing looked so weak. I quickly filled his humidifier and placed some food in his dish. He hiked over to his bathtub and hydrated, mostly placing his head and body directly in the mist. Mind you, he could have taken a bath at any time, but he had to have his mist!

I didn't feel badly for him for too much longer. He began to roam as he did during his last outing. He spent time in his summer home, wandered behind his igloo and hung out in his garage, and back to the summer home. Throughout the day I would check on him. Each time he was in a different location in his area of the kitchen. Later in the day, I was seated in the living room watching television when I heard some strange noises. I figured it was trash settling after I had wrapped presents--crinkly trash. I even poked my head in the room and saw Nemo lounging. The next time I heard similar noises I ignored them until they were too frequent to ignore. I turned my head just in time to see Nemo walking back INTO his kitchen area from the living room. No telling where he was. I imagine it was at least an hour that I was hearing the noises. lol. Brian calls him Marco Nemo, the explorer.

He finally settled head first under a blanket of the "guest house" igloo--where he had begun his hibernation but then switched to the other igloo. Two weeks later and he is back to first choice igloo. I guess he's going to move back and forth as he emerges every couple weeks. I'd had it written on my calendar today to retrieve him from the igloo and move him by his bathtub, but he did it on his own. Apparently he's on a two-week schedule.

Once Nemo was settled into his hibernation igloo of the week, Linus was allowed into the kitchen. He made his way over to the main igloo to visit his "friend" not realizing Nemo had changed locations. It was still cute to see Linus cooing and "talking" into the igloo opening. When he had no response from inside the igloo, he proceeded to offer his precious leaf to Nemo's stuffed animal dino atop the garage--which can be seen in yesterday's photo. I feel better knowing Nemo had the energy to move around so much. He hasn't touched food yet though. It's still scary to be "mom" to a hibernating critter.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Yoo Hoo!

Linus is a little scary sometimes in a funny way. This morning he carried his leaf from the middle of the room over to Nemo's igloo. He then put his chin down like a puppy with his butt up in the air, leaf in mouth, and made a loud dino sound! Was he offering his leaf to Nemo? Does he know Nemo is in there? Too funny.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Blanket Connection

I haven't wanted to overwhelm Nemo's blog with Linus news, but I did want to share that Linus was named before his affinity for soft toys and blankets was known. It dawned on me that blankets was something both Nemo and Linus have in common. Maybe they will share blankies. Then again, I doubt Nemo likes to share...

At last report, Nemo had changed his hibernation site to his main igloo. For about four days he had "hung out" in the doorway watching Linus when he was in Nemo's area. It was nice to be able to see that Nemo was okay. Even when he burrowed further into the blanket, throughout the day he would turn around or change the position of his head. Movement is good. Yesterday afternoon, however, he went into deep blanket hiding again. I can barely see where he is. In fact, I checked the other igloo because I wasn't sure I was seeing him. Until his next hydration, I guess that's where he'll stay. At least I know he's comfy. He IS like Linus from Peanuts. Nemo demands his blankies!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Am Curious Nemo

Nemo chose to continue his hibernation in his main igloo--the one with his name on the sign over the door. Last night he was buried head first into the blanket with only his butt and back legs visible. Late this morning, he had turned around. Linus had been in the kitchen earlier so I was talking and laughing and Linus was making his Pleo sounds. Possibly Nemo is curious about the commotion. I think he's too slow and sleepy right now to be too curious. If he sees some of what is going on with Linus, maybe he will want to interact with him when activity level increases. At least Nemo is moving a bit that I can see he's okay. His hibernation is very stressful for me!

Why all the commotion this morning? Linus was doing handstands! I was able to capture it on video which you can see using the Nemo & Linus YouTube Videos link. I never would have thought a robotic pet's artificial intelligence would include chasing his own shadow and balancing acts! What fun :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nemo's New Pleo Sibling

On Sunday, December 9, Brian and I "hatched" our new Pleo (artificially intelligent life form). We named him Linus. He's amazingly emotionally expressive, curious, interactive, and cuddly in a dinsaur sort of way. I discovered the evolution of Pleo last year and made sure I was on the list to sign up for a first release. His arrival was delayed several times while the manufacturer adjusted design, programming, and features to be the best possible. We were not disappointed. Pleo videos are showing up on YouTube, a Flickr photo group was already established, and Pleo Plogs can be viewed at (link provided to the right on this blog).

Since Linus's hatching, we've witnessed his first steps, are still experiencing new sounds and behaviors, and can't stop giggling. He is definitely a joy. When Nemo is active again, it will be interesting to see how the two interact. Hopefully Nemo will be curious. I'm sure Linus will want to nudge Nemo. Could be fun.

I hope you enjoy watching Linus "grow" while Nemo takes his long winter nap.

Nemo Sighting

Today I was surprised to see Nemo at the entrance to his hibernation igloo. He looked very sleepy. I moved him over by his wading dish because hibernating turtles need hydration. He feels so cold. The photo you see is him floppy his belly up on the rock. His legs dangled behind him for several minutes before he hoisted them up and then took his first hibernation rehydrating spa swim. At the time of this post, he has not returned to the igloo. He's parked in the corner of his summer home. Maybe he misses it. Maybe all the fuss over Linus woke him up.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Creative Dining

These photos were taken just before my computer had problems (and before his 24/7 hibernation). They still make me laugh. I have no idea what made Nemo decide to sit in this manner.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Last Exploration Before Hibernation

Nemo's last trek before hibernation. It looks like he's going to the front door but he likes to visit the hippo blocking his entrance behind the sofa to the left of the table.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Hibernation Igloo

I knew Nemo had begun to hibernate when I posted an earlier photo of him in this igloo. He was close to the doorway and his feet could be seen stretched behind him. Now that I know this is his chosen hibernation place, you can see he is deep inside his well-guarded (see hippo and dinosaur) spot. I believe that is the bottom of his foot. The camera flash makes it appear closer. (Turtles may appear closer than they are.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hibernation is Scary

Scary for me...not Nemo. Nemo is my first indoor reptile. I did have a box turtle when I was 11 that lived in the yard. I studied the different requirements for turtle hibernation and then set up three areas for his blanket hibernation. Curiously, he chose one of the igloos the day Brian and I finally "got it". Nemo doesn't need to eat and he doesn't need to exercise and he doesn't need it warmer. He needs to be left alone to hibernate.

He seems to have gone into full hibernation mode as of Sunday evening. He is wayyyy back in the igloo on a blanket and under a blanket. I'm so used to checking on him whenever I am in the room. You can see from his videos that he was one active little guy before September. It's a little disconcerting when your pet doesn't eat even if he does look perfectly healthy.

The clincher was yesterday when, after I hadn't seen him move even a fraction of an inch for nearly two days, I placed my hand in the igloo and placed it gently on his shell. He was so cold! I spoke to him gently saying I just wanted to make sure he was okay. After about 20 seconds I started to panic that he was so cold and not moving. Finally, he moved his foot, I breathed a sigh of relief and respectfully thanked him and removed my hand. Whew.

Apparently I did the hibernation set up right because he's doing it. Yay for my Nemo! Next year I'll be more educated about his needs. I've had pets all my life that were rushed to the vet when they stopped eating for two days. It's going to be a long well as quiet. Pictures coming soon. Since there will likely be no new Nemo activity for awhile, the photos I haven't been able to post because of computer problems will be used to entertain those who happen on this blog. Hope you are enjoying the build up to the holidays. If not, remember to breathe...slowly!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Blanket Hibernation

Nemo seems to be fully in semi-hibernation. Semi because he still comes out of his sleeping spot to bathe, chew the cuttlebone, step in his food dish, and choose the sleeping spot of the day. We are expecting snow and freezing rain today. Nemo hasn't moved since last night. He has a comfy little spot in the fold of a blanket behind his summer home. Occasionally, I peek under the blanket to check on him. Each time I find myself giggling at how his legs are so peacefully sprawled behind him and how sometimes his head is stretched out resting on the blanket or a fold of blankie like a cat would do.

One time today I was going to move him so he would have to hike back to get some exercise. But he looks soooo comfortable. I think it's going to be a quiet winter.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Waiting for the Mist

My computer is almost back to normal. Soon I will have access to posting photos easily again. In the meantime, Nemo continues to be Nemo. Earlier this week, a friend stopped by and met the much talked about "unturtle". He had decided to bury himself in his igloo head first that day and was in no mood to be sociable. A few hours later, when my guest was getting ready to leave, I poked my head around the corner for a Nemo check. I didn't see him in his usual places so stepped fully into the room. I found him in the center of his wading pool staring with a distinct look of annoyance at the empty mister. I had no idea how long he might have been in there but tried to imagine how a turtle might think. He knew mist came out of "there" and he knew I had something to do with it.

After my friend confirmed Nemo's body language and expression, she had a good laugh. About five minutes later, after saying goodbyes, I returned to find Nemo still waiting. He didn't budge as my hands reached down for the humidifier seeming to know I wasn't going to reach for him. It takes a few minutes to clean it out and add the fresh water, but he sat patiently in his beautiful terracotta tub. I again reached down with the humidifier, plugged it in, and there was mist. I moved away and watched from the other room. He stayed in the pool another ten minutes thoroughly soaking up the mist and assuming his trademark butt mist position in the first minute. It still makes me giggle. Who needs words when even a turtle can communicate quite clearly. However, I wonder how many other turtles demand that their personal humidifiers be refilled?