*PHOTOS TO FOLLOW* I am having trouble uploading the photos for this post from my phone, but will add them tomorrow.
Now summer is finally showing signs of arriving, Izzy is very happy. She has been into the garden a few times now when the weather has been good enough, where she hunts for dandelions and tries to eat pebbles.
The photo at the top was taken after a meal of three dandelions, and as you can see she is a very messy eater and still has leaves hanging from her mouth. This next photo is Izzy cuddling up on her woolly hat. It is her favourite place to sleep, and she gets very upset if I take it away to wash after she has got it dirty.
As I mentioned in the last post about Izzy, she sometimes climbs on top of her tunnel to try and climb out of her house for an adventure. I have still not been able to film her doing it, as she never seems to do it when I am watching, but here is a photo of her once she has managed to climb on top of it.
She is also very strong, and has recently started pushing the bathroom door open. I really want to catch this on camera to show you all, as it is very funny to see her pushing at the door with all her strength.
As I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks, Izzy will also be going on her own adventure. She is going to stay with one of my friends and his family while I am away, and will be able to play with their son. Being a tortoise, she will be a little nervous for a few days about being in a new place, but she will soon settle in and enjoy having new places to explore.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about Izzy, and I will post more about her in the future.
This time of year is funny for a tortoise that is still awake, because most are hibernating. So Izzy is a little sleepy at the moment and doesn’t move far from her heat lamp, and when she does she goes to take little naps by the radiator. But she is still eating a lot, and I have to be careful not to over feed her, because she will eat everything I put in front of her.
She has now grown to 12cm long, and weighs 440 grams. Her nails have also grown quite a lot, so I will have to take her to the vet soon to get them cut, as they are sharp enough to cut skin. I will also get the vet to give her a quick health check to make sure she is ok, and to tell me for sure if she is a boy or a girl. That’s because it is very hard to tell the gender of a tortoise when they are small; and though I think she is a girl, she is my first ever tortoise so I could have got it wrong (either way, she will still be called Izzy).
She is also a very clever tortoise; she has been climbing on top of her tunnel in an attempt to use it as a stepping stone to climb out of her house, only it is too far from the side of the house to do so. But now she has started moving the tunnel towards the wall, so I will have to figure out a way to fix it into place so that she can’t escape. It’s not that she isn’t allowed out, it’s more that there is a large drop to the ground on the other side, and I don’t want her to hurt herself.
For Christmas Izzy got a new heat lamp to keep her warm and healthy, and she had sprouts, cabbage, and kale for her Christmas dinner.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this little update about Izzy, and if you ever want to ask anything just ask.
“We live in a culture full of hares; but the tortoise always wins.” Dave Ramsey.
Izzy quite enjoys being a celebrity here on this blog, so it seems about time that I posted another instalment of her Tortoise Diaries.
She is still growing well, and won’t reach full size potentially until she is around 7 or 8 years old. I weighed and measured her a few days ago, and she is now 11.2cm long (that is the length of her belly), and weighs 375gms.
Since I first brought Izzy home, I have started to collect tortoise and turtle ornaments, some of which I have posted pictures of. The last one I brought was from Barcelona, and it is very colourful. When I got home I even put it inside Izzy’s house for Izzy to play with, but she wasn’t really interested. I did take a couple funny photos to show you though.
“May this house stand until an ant drinks the ocean and a tortoise circles the world.” Jonathan Carroll.
Izzy’s 2nd birthday is approaching very quickly, and it still only seems like a five minutes ago that I first got her. She will turn 2 on the 12th September, which is on Monday, so there will be an all day party in the chat room for her on Tuesday (I have a very long day at work on Monday, so I won’t be online much that day). She has written the following wish list for gifts:
- Ravenclaw Robes.
- Sonic Screwdriver.
- Light Sabre.
- Ice skates (2 pairs as she has 4 legs).
- And More Dandelions.
As I’ve said before, Izzy is very adventurous for a tortoise, and she hates being kept in her house for too long. She is also very clever, so when she wants to go on an adventure she will climb on top of her tunnel to use it as a stepping stone to climb the wall and get out. Luckily it is too far away from the wall for her to reach, but she keeps trying anyway. Here is a photo:
And this is her using her tunnel for what it is supposed to be for:
This is the new tunnel that I had to buy for her, as she could no longer fit through the original one that I brought for her.
So don’t forget; there will be an all day party on Tuesday in the chat to celebrate. I’m not sure 100% what time I will be there, but I am hoping it will be at 12 noon and 17:00 (UK time) at the very least, but hope to be there more.
As of today, I have a YouTube Channel. I will post lots of Harry Potter related videos that I’ve found or been sent from you guys. I will also post videos of Izzy, and other things that I thing you all will find interesting. The channel is called ‘Thestrals Books’, and I hope you guys like it. The first video will be of Izzy doing her Spider-Man impression, as she tries to climb out of her house to go for an adventure.
Izzy is doing well, and quite happy that summer has arrived, because it means more hot sunny weather and in the garden. She is more active this time of year because of the good weather, and over the last few weeks I have found her trying to climb out of her house quite a lot in order to go exploring, but don’t worry she can’t get out. When she does this she always reminds me of Spider Man trying to climb up a wall, so I took this picture to show you:
Another thing that has been making her happy recently is the abundance of dandelions that are around. They are her favourite thing to eat, and she will go straight to her food bowl as soon as I put them down. My whole family will collect them when we take the dog for a walk (the dog still doesn’t like Izzy), and my dad collects them on his walk home from work. Her record is to eat six large dandelions in one go.
Izzy loves to climb, so much so that she will try to climb over anything in her way rather than walking around it, even my shoes. Though maybe they were a bit smelly for her, because she turned around and climbed down pretty quickly.
I brought this little fridge magnet a few days ago; when I saw it I just had to buy it:
I have made a Facebook page for her, where I am posting photos and videos of her, so if we are friends on Facebook please send me a request to join if you would like. For those who don’t use Facebook I’ll soon be making a YouTube channel for the blog, which will include some videos of Izzy.
Monday 23rd May will be World Tortoise Day, so I thought it would be nice to share a few interesting and funny facts I’ve heard found out since having Izzy.
- All tortoises are turtles, but not all turtles are tortoises. This is because tortoises are a sub species. In general turtles live in water, and tortoises live on land (though there is at least one exception, which is the box turtle who lives on land). Their feet and shells also look different.
- A group or tortoises is called a ‘Creep’.
- The Roman army used something called a Testudo Formation; testudo is Latin for tortoise.
- Turtles are great swimmers, but tortoises aren’t very good at all. Though both can hold their breath for a very long time (I am talking hours), and when a tortoise hides their head inside it shell, they are holding their breath, as they have to exhale all the air out of their lungs in order to make space for their head.
- Charles Darwin and Steve Irwin both cared for the same tortoise, a Galapagous named Harriet, who he collected in 1835, she died in 2006.
- They can smell with their throats.
- The first animal to successfully circle the moon and return safely was a tortoise, sent by the Soviet Union in 1968.
- In 2006 a tortoise proved better (though maybe not faster) at navigating a maze than a rat in lab tests. It used landmarks to navigate, and never visited the same area twice.
Finally, here’s a link to a great YouTube video of some funny tortoise antics: www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuJyfWvCGQ4
“Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.” Mark Twain.