Sorry I haven’t been posting much this week – much of my time and energy has been taken up by pregnant turtles. (Never thought I’d say anything even CLOSE to that – LOL.) We were sure that at least two of the three turtles that John re-inherited from his brother had eggs to lay, particularly the one that kept trying to climb out of the turtle pen. The week started when I went outside mid-morning and only counted TWO turtles in the pen. I yelled for John and we started hunting around, not seeing her anywhere. Then, I got an idea – ran inside to get my dowsing rods – heh. I’d get a direction, move forward about ten feet and then check again. A few rounds of doing this and I found her on the other side of the pasture – worked like a charm.
Meanwhile, the other egg-laden turtle decided that the extra layer of dirt we put in the pen would be just FINE for her. She dug a few test holes, but then found a good spot. A few hours later, she was done, and back in the pond, no problem. The next day, we gently dug up her eggs to keep them inside, buried in dirt in an old fish tank. Keeping them where they were wasn’t an option – too many moles, voles, ground squirrels, gophers, toads, etc., plus, this is no climate for a baby red eared slider to find themselves wandering around in in August! (takes about two months to hatch.)
The other turtle… we put her back in the turtle pond for the moment, but then later decided the best thing to do would be to take her out and supervise her. Otherwise she’d hurt herself trying to climb the chicken wire and then falling down onto her back all the time. Although, the other morning, I caught her trying to right herself again, and then, as she was in the middle of it, a huge toad climbed out from underneath her like she had landed right on him – a real cartoon moment. *grin*
So, we let the turtle go for a walk, but the area’s mostly dry grass and hard-packed soil, so her first few tries (that lasted a few HOURS each) only netted a small indentation in the hard earth – poor turtle! Today, after she’d found ‘the spot’, we got smart, and while she was digging, we kept wetting the area down with water to soften and loosen it all up. It worked! She FINALLY (turtles can hold eggs inside up to THREE YEARS apparently) got her hole dug and plooped her five eggs into it, and then covered them up – a three hour process, but at least it was OVER. I’ve learned a few things… turtle eggs are oblong, and about an inch and a half long – they’re HUGE, turtle-wise. Now we have ten turtle eggs staying cozy inside, and we’ll see what happens in about two months!
Oh! And I have a little video of the turtle stamping down dirt over the egg hole – it was like a funny little dance – LOL – I’ll try to get that up later today. (Sorry, no egg-laying photos – I was just too glad she was finally getting it over with to think of it at the time!)