Extended the Basking Log

The New Basking Log

Martha peaks out of the new basking log.

On a more up beat note, I finally extended the basking log with the great log I found recently.  I wanted to put the log perpendicular with the existing basking log, but I decided it would look and probably work better if it extended straight off the existing log.

The new log is completely hollow.  I was able to slip it over the end of the existing log and the screw it in place with a few 3″ deck screws.  The first time it was used (at least that I witnessed was the picture to the left.  Martha found one of the several underwater openings in the log.

The New Basking Log

Sweeney and Pascal are the first to bask.

The hope is they’ll be able to use it as an additional hiding spot which will hopefully keep any tension between the two little guys down.  So far I’ve seen all 3 of them peaking out like Martha is doing in the first picture.  The little guys fit completely in the opening, but I haven’t been able to get a picture of them in it yet.

Pascal still uses the original basking log, but Sweeney and Martha seem to only use the new log.  Today I watched Pascal as he investigated the basking area in the same manner that Martha did a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch what he was doing.  Any time he noticed me watching him, he’d scamper off back to the water.  He investigated it at least 4 times while I was watching him.

The New Basking Log

Martha and Sweeney give it a try.

I spotted one of the frogs out and about today, just a short time before Pascal went investigating, so I’m curious if he was looking for the frog.   Probably not since they don’t eat out of the water, but they can drag prey back to the water for a meal.  I still find it so funny that it has taken them so long to discover the basking area.



The New Basking Log

All three sharing the new log

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I Hate to Have to Say Goodbye…

Lonesome George

Lonesome George

To a dear turtle.  One of the most beautiful turtles passed away on Sunday, Lonesome George.  Lonesome George died Sunday at the Galapagos National Park.  With the passing of George, we have witnessed the end of a subspecies of Galapagos Tortoise.

Lonesome George was the last of the Pinta Island Tortoise.  Every island in the Galapagos Archipelago has a different subspecies of giant Tortoise.  The Pinta Island Tortoise was believed to be extinct until George was discovered in 1972.

No other Pinta Tortoise has been found since and George was not able to successfully mate with other turtles to extend his lineage.  I cannot imagine what his long time caretaker, Fausto Llerena, must have felt when he found George Sunday morning.  Fausto was George’s caretaker for 40 years.

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I Think We are Going to Need a Bigger Boat

I think we're going to need a bigger log!

Sweeney, Pascal and Martha try to share the basking log for the first time.

I mean, a bigger log!  This past Sunday, mid-afternoon, I took Sweeney and Pascal outside to get some sun.  Sweeney kind of scampered around a little and then he noticed the pond and bolted right for it.  I wish I had my camera at the ready, because it was a funny sight.  He was off in a flash.  I’ve never seen him move that quick.  He was very tentative when he got to the edge of the paver stone.  He peered down into the water, moved around a little and peered some more.  He did that for about 30 seconds before finally taking the plunge.

I think we're going to need a bigger log!

Hmm, that looks awkward! Leave it to Pascal to try to go up the opposite side.

Pascal wasn’t so quick to hop in.  He didn’t seem to care about the pond at all.  He walked around a little, but didn’t seem too interested in being outside.  He just sat in the sun.  I moved him to one of the pavers and he finally reacted.  He dove right in, not peering, not thinking, he just slipped into the water.

I hadn’t planned on putting them in with Martha yet, but I also hadn’t expected Sweeney to make a mad dash for the pond when I took him out.  He’s only done that one other time.  I’m keeping a pretty close eye on them and I am going to extend their basking log a good 2 feet.

I think we're going to need a bigger log!

Looks like they finally figured it out!

I found this great log in the woods.  It is almost completely hollowed out with large knots that even Martha can swim through.  There’s a huge not around the middle that will be below the water giving the turtles another hiding spot.  I am expecting the fish will love it too.

So far the turtles have been playing nice, but I get nervous when the three of them are basking at the same time.  Often times they all try to get up at the same time.  They are so awkward trying to climb up, I’m worried one of them might get hurt.  I think the additional log should make it easier and safer for them!

I’m soaking the log in water to remove any unwanted guests (like fire ants, carpenter ants and termites).  Then I’ll attach it.  I’m torn over whether I should just keep it parallel with the currently log, making it longer or making it perpendicular to the log so it creates an L shape.

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