Thursday, July 21, 2011

Turtles Arrive at Czar of the Woods Farm or And Then There Were More!

Last year I had spoken to my good friend Eric about possibly adopting a few box turtles from a turtle rescue group that he worked with.  Knowing that this was going to be a possibility, last fall I had started to build an enclosure on our property.  The enclosure is located under a beautiful grove of willow trees, next to the back pasture.  When I first envisioned the enclosure I wanted to include the giant fallen limb of the willow tree that runs along the ground for at least 50 feet and has several baby willows growing out of it.  My Dad and I were able to do just that and I'm very happy with the results; all 144 sq feet of it.  What was started last fall was completed earlier this week, just in time for the arrival of the turtles.
Eric and his family are now moving to Iowa from Colorado and needed to find homes for 3 of their box turtles that they cannot keep, specifically Western Box turtles.  We would be adopting Tito, Esteban and Emmett.  Also, because they have 9 other turtles but still need time to build an enclosure at their new home in Iowa we would also be temporarily housing them as well, for a total of 12 turtles.  Their 9 will be leaving in August and we will keep the 3.  Here is my previous post from when I started to work on the enclosure last October:
Eric and his family visited the farm yesterday and brought the turtles with them.  We let them free in their enclosure, which I am proud to say that Eric told me it is the nicest turtle enclosure that he has ever seen, and within seconds they were off and exploring.  Each of them finding many new cozy places to explore.  Several of the turtles took time to snack on the fruits and veggies that we had provided for them.
Their habitat that we created for them is a natural mix of dirt, rocks, vegetation and the willow tree limb that provides a nice place for them to climb on and under.  It is pretty amazing what turtles can do and where they can go!  The enclosure is a bit like turtle prison with a buried cinder block perimeter and 12 inch wide boards that are buried almost half way up, and right up against the blocks.  They will not be digging out.
Our menagerie has grown yet again but these little guys are pretty low maintenance.  Perhaps we should start charging admission to our zoo!  Enjoy the photos and thanks to Eric and his family for trusting us to care for part of their family, and for letting us adopt 3 of them.

In this photo you can see how the turtles are transported.  The two in the center are wood turtles.

This photo was taken within seconds of release into the enclosure.  There are 6 turtles in this photo.  Can you spot them?  (click on photo to enlarge).  It is amazing to me how well their natural camouflage blends in no matter what the surrounding is.  As you can see the downed willow limb (but still alive and growing baby trees from it) is an incredibly important aspect of the habitat as it allows them to climb on it and under it.

Here is a photo of the enclosure.  Don't mind the leftover construction materials on the ground in front.

Here is a nice photo of the willow tree limb running through the back of the enclosure.

Look at how well he blends in...

Dusty here was digging a hole to keep cool in less than 24 hrs after his arrival.  A sure sign of happiness.

I believe this is Esteban.  Still learning the subtle difference between our 3.  I think I got it but they all look very similar.

1 comment:

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