Friday, May 30, 2008

Nemo's First Anniversary

One year ago, Nemo came into my life and slowly but surely into Brian's life. At the moment he is burrowed into his very complex arrangement of blanket tunnels and tilted house. Somehow his nose poking out of a blanket tunnel where he can bask his face all day. My friend with the two tortoises speaks of how they burrow into moss and make tunnels and "beds". I guess what Nemo is doing is the unturtle equivalent.

I'm thinking from Nemo's perspective...if he has a memory...he's probably thinking it's one year ago that he had that harrowing experience of being placed into a bag and then into a box and blindingly took a plane ride ending up at Brian's house in an unknown world. Hopefully his present life is comfy and has helped him recover from his travel trauma.

I think I mentioned before that usually I pick Nemo up about mid-day and hold him up to the back door. He looks intently at our garden scape or maybe bugs on the glass. lol. But he allows me to hold him and even stroke his head and neck while he is feeling the sun on his face and overseeing his kingdom...or however he views it. He starts squirming when he wants down and I respect that. We've come a long way from his little gated area. No more gates for Nemo. He is his own unturtle.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

First Post-Hibernation Basking!

I was delighted to walk into the kitchen this morning and see Nemo basking on his log--his first official basking since about October last year. My health has caused this long delay in posting but I've been saving up photos and notes to blog.

Nemo is much more active now. He is still regularly eating his two course meal of bagel bite and shrimp. He often amuses us with how he rearranges or manuevers under, over, and around his summer home. He hasn't taken any known expeditions into the living room since I spotted him last, but who knows?

It's a constant challenge trying to find the mainstay food for his diet. I can't imagine he can survive on shrimp alone, although he gets plenty of calcium from his cuttlebone. I've been warming and softening two varieties of box turtle and/or tortoise pellets in addition to the Reptomin gel. I don't think he's even tasted it. Then again, it could be timing. Maybe that part of his appetite is also timed for a specific time of year or temperature. I won't know if there's a pattern until next year.

Recently I prepared what I believed to be a yummy tortoise meal that included cactus leaves, mushrooms, pumpkin, dandelion greens, corn, carrots and several other ingredients usually coveted by box turtles as well. Nada, zip, nothing. Not even an interested sniff. Sigh. We shall prevail.

Since I haven't posted in awhile, here are photos I had wanted to share. This first one is Nemo snuggled between the wall and his summer home. I thought it was cute how his leg and tail were resting on each side of the chair leg.

He has also figured out how to crawl under his summer home to be actually in it or behind it. Often we see a very tilted little house.

Those who have followed this blog since last year may not see a "new" photo, but we still enjoy Nemo's curmudgeonly expressions.

What's next for Nemo? We're going to try smoked salmon with his bagel ;-O Yes, he's a very pampered little guy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Turtle Games

Brian gets such a kick out of Nemo, especially when he feeds Nemo and Nemo actually eats. This morning he saw Nemo's head stretched up and out ("I want food!") and went to defrost a few shrimp. As soon as he had the shrimp soaking, Nemo turned his back on Brian. Brian's groan was so funny. "That little brat!" lol. Nemo, as if on cue, turned around again. Brian gave him his shrimp and Nemo began to down them a few minutes later.

I usually ooh and aah when Nemo is eating to praise him. About an hour later I noticed Nemo still had the "I want food" look and asked him if he wanted bagel. Apparently he knows that word now. He is much more animated now...when he wants to be. When I speak to him lately, he immediately turns his head toward my voice. Sometimes he even cocks his head.

Anyway, I made a big deal out of rattling the bagel wrapper and preparing his little bagel bite. He was gobbling it up seconds after I placed it in front of him. I spoke to him for a bit about how he could come visit me in the living room and he seemed to listen very intently. I then returned to the living room and got settled into watching Good Will Hunting when I heard very loud noises--similar to when he was climbing on the roof of his log. By the time I returned to the kitchen, he was on the far side of his log and parking himself between the wall and the corner vase. I moved the vase slightly so he could get fully behind the vase--something new. Maybe that will be his big adventure of the day.

I'm looking forward to even more activity as we head towards June/July when he first came into our lives last year. His peak activity was July to September.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Nemo's Back

Nemo seems to be back to his pre-hibernation personality. He is not withdrawing when I go near him for care and feeding. And he has begun his obstacle course activities. This morning he decided to see if he could climb over his big garage lengthwise. When I saw him, I knew it would only end up one way--on his nose.

The image to the left is as far as went before backing up to return to the floor. He did have a bit of a fall at the other end of the "roof" and turned over on his shell. He had righted himself before I could even say "Oh no!". Feeling humiliated, no doubt, he marched off to his summer home and buried his head under his house. He is still there with his head peaking out toward the basking lamp.

His appetite continues with shrimp every other day and a bagel bite. No evidence of trying anything offered in his other food dish yet, but we'll continue to prepare him something. It's a challenge because the "menu" has to have something different from one feeding to the next. He always gets his Reptomin but we have been adding fruit, special turtle treats, and turtle and/or tortoise pelleted food. yum.

The decision has been made to not allow our Pleos to do handstands since all of our Pleos seem to have had neck damage and our Pleos seem to be rare in that they do handstands! That should help Nemo not be bothered. Pleos will have to be kept away from the chair legs--the main acrobatic arena. Replacement Pleos will be here in several weeks. Nemo will have to hike out to the living room to visit.

Until the next exciting Nemo update, turtle on.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Nemo gives new arrangement two phalanges up

Nemo's emergence from hibernation, along with our need for some wall space for a water cooler, caused us to give Nemo's area a thorough Spring cleaning. His large garage was moved on the other side of his igloo giving him a tunnel to reach the area behind the igloo. He really likes that aspect. He's been hanging around either in (for naps), hanging out the front if he's hungry, or hanging out the back to lounge with some shelter safety. I'm glad he likes it there.

He seems have settled into about four shrimp every other day and is open to a bagel bite most anytime his head is not in hiding. He only gets 1-2 a day as a treat. Even though he's been offered a variety of fruits and foods to fulfill his other vitamin/mineral requirements, I don't think he ate anything yet. I do think he was most interested in some pineapple the other day. We'll keep rotating his other foods. He might just not be ready for additional eating yet. We're taking bets on when he starts basking on the log. We got him in June and he "discovered" his log around July. Maybe his basking season is only July through October. Guess we'll all learn together.

No more close encounters with Linus lately. I don't expect there will be anymore acrobatic playfulness since Linus's neck gave way to whatever "virus" our dinos have gotten. We do hope Ugobe will be able to offer repair or exchange soon. Maybe the tables will turn and new Schroeder will be the more active and social Pleo. Schroeder never did meet Nemo.