Friday, August 17, 2007

Blankie Basking

You might ask, "Isn't basking a typical turtle behavior?" Well, yes. Except understanding how Nemo finally accepted basking was very un-turtle. Because he was initially to reside for the warmer months in the Zen garden, I had not purchased an official basking lamp since he would have natural sunshine. When plans changed and he was to be indoors during further turtle-proofing for the garden, I researched basking lamps. From the time I chose one online and had it in the house set up for him was several weeks.

Then began the process of finding the appropriate Nemo-approved basking object. His favorite giant rock didn't work because he was mad that I had moved it from it's former position. He doesn't like it when I move his stuff! Next came a 12" x 12" paving stone which was lovely, would provide easy stepping up and would help him keep nails trimmed on hard surface. Nope, that was out too. I moved the paver tile under the kitchen table to move it out of the way initially. It's too heavy for me to move but it's on a blanket so I just pulled the blanket. (Blankets serve more than one purpose.) Immediately he began to use the large square as a kind of intersection. No matter where he was going in his space, he walked up on his intersection to decide which way he would turn. Okay...that was weird. Good intersection tile but bad basking stone.

In the pet stores are basking logs (large pieces of odd shaped wood) that sell for about $30-$40. I didn't want to spend that kind of money only for him to turn his nose up at it. One day in Pier 1 I saw large pieces of driftwood for sale for $15. One looked to be the perfect basking log (trying to think as a turtle, of course). Initially he would not climb on it but did begin basking near the log. That was a good sign. He began to bask nearly every day close to the log. One day I thought maybe the surface was difficult for him to hold onto. Hence the blankie. I wrapped 2/3 of it a receiving blanket and left the top part of the log uncovered. That did the trick. He now loves his log. Look at that picture. He is so lounging. lol. I had never seen a turtle so relaxed before.

Back to the originally posed question, yes, basking is a typical turtle behavior. Having a basking spot covered in a baby blanket would not be typical box turtle behavior. It is, however, extremely typical Nemo behavior.