Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gopher Tortoise

It is a little difficult to see the hole where our friend comes and goes but it is the opening behind the stake. First I must tell you, it is NOT our turtle. It was here when we moved in a few years ago. It does not bother much since I put the little fence up around some of my flowers and we do not bother it. They were probably named Gopher as a reference to the pocket gopher, a small mammal which also creates lengthy burrows. This turtle is famous for digging underground burrows 10 to 35 feet long with bedrooms at the ends. The burrows are found in sandy, well
drained areas. Over 70 other kinds of animals have been found using Gopher Tortoise burrows in various ways. These include burrowing owls, raccoons, opossums, gopher frogs, spiders, insects, cotton rats, indigo snakes, coachwhips, and rattlesnakes. Now this last one is the one that concerns me, however we have been here 5 years this
June and we have not seen one anywhere near our property.
This is the first time we have seen it this spring. Two years ago I found about 10 babies running around in my flower bed, I'm not sure where they came from and I do not know where they went. We have not named it since it is not a pet and besides what kind of a name do you give a turtle? Do you have any suggestions?

7 comments:

Janet said...

A turtle....how cool! But I wouldn't want to see any of those other things you mentioned!! You know me....I freak out at the mere mention of snakes!

Cat said...

Oh he looks old by the condition of the shell - like he's spent a lot of time burrowing out tunnels!

I think "Mr. Turtle" is a fine name.

Cat said...

Oh he looks old by the condition of the shell - like he's spent a lot of time burrowing out tunnels!

I think "Mr. Turtle" is a fine name.

Shop girl said...

He looks very content...and now he has his own sign...kinda like a address. Does he like Watermelon...my Mom had one when she lived in the high desert of California...and he loved melons.
Thank you for sharing your little friend. No telling how old he is...
Hugs, Mary

Susie said...

He does look quite at home. My son found a tortoise (turtle maybe) crossing a busy road. He named him Columbus (for the road and because he was so adventurous) We took him to live at my Grandma's as we were afraid our cats would bother him.
xo

Sue "Sioux" Seibert said...

Wow, how interesting. My grandson John will love reading this, so I'm sending a link to him. Hope all is well.

Betzie said...

Love these pics and your sign is too cute. Once I saw a turtle dig a hole and lay eggs in it. Amazing! I wish I'd videotaped it, wasn't into doing that stuff back then.
Anyway, how about Pokey for your turtle...how original..ha ha.