Harriet, our wayward, wandering Gopher Tortoise
Picture credit: Walkingfox
Yesterday was a very long and busy day.
We made the long trek from the Ocala Forest up to Gainesville, for Breanna’s visit with her Doctor at the UF Vet Hospital.
It is one hundred miles, so we left early before 9 AM.
It was the last of three trips up there, for her regular required immunizations, including Rabies.
We stretched these shot visits out to three this year for her safety, not wishing to have more than one injection per visit, which was an Airedale Club suggestion many years ago, when we adopted our sweet Sabrina.
So, anyway, when we finally got home about 3 PM after a quick stop for groceries, I sat down, put my feet up and looked out the front window, as I have done every day for weeks now, wondering where our wayward, wandering female Gopher Tortoise was and why she wasn’t coming up or out, for the summer season, as she has always done by now.
In fact, for the past few weeks, we have both worried that she may have been killed on one of her last sojourns, just before the beginning of the cold season, when they all go down into their holes or tunnels and hibernate until it gets warm.
Usually, she comes back up and out sometime in early April.
But not this year.
We were both afraid to think too much about this.
Then yesterday, glory be, there she was, right at her hole in the front yard, ( she has one in the back as well ) attempting to reclaim the area that she calls home.
For over an hour, she worked feverishly, the sand flying in all directions, as she cleaned up the mess that the long winter had made of her home.
Can I tell you that we both looked at each other and said, ” thank God, she is safe, she is home.”
After nearly 8 years, she has become a family member, just like Breanna.
Now today, Harriet is out in the yard, munching on all of her favorite “weeds”.
We use no poisons, no pesticides, or toxins, anywhere near her two areas on the property, absolutely nothing that could harm her, or her food.
We also do not wish to poison the foods of our resident green treefrogs, green lizards and all the others who live here with us in the Forest.
So, the sun is shining, Harriet is out in ” her yard” eating and our world finally once again, is just as it should be.
Harriet is HOME~
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What a relief for you. Happy, happy 🙂
That is a serious understatement. We were getting quite concerned.
Reblogged this on sachemspeaks and commented:
Harriet is HOME
Thank you for sharing her story~
Yeah, good news! I am very happy to hear this 🙂
We were absolutely overjoyed.
We were afraid we had lost her!
Wonderful! I actually feel like a part of the family excited about a loved one coming home after a long trip.
You are awesome. Thank you!!!!
We had a snapper friend, Shelley, whom i tried to protect as she layed her eggs each year in our driveway. Then the guy next door drained his pond. Shelley moved on. We found her the next year in a better pond. We have frogs, lots of them, so we don’t use poisons either on weeds, etc. Vinegar is the way to go for us.
We are still waiting to be grandparents.
Harriet has not had any babies yet.
They need to be at least 10-12 years old.
We are not sure how old she is, but we have had her here for nearly 8 years.
We are hoping that because she was so late this year, it may be her time~
The Gopher Tortoise that lives in my yard just showed up again as well. We also have Painted Turtles with a baby, so I guess we are grandparents! The Greyhounds are fascinated by them.
Oh joy! Thank you!
Sounds like the species has their own day of arrival already in mind~
We Human parents have so much to learn!
Hooray for Harriet!! 🙂
We feel the same!!
Thanks for the likes, GW.
Love your Blog~
How wonderful for you to care so much for this beautiful animal and all the others who share your forest home. I love this post — I share your joy and peace of mind when all is well with our animal friends. Glad you made it back home, dear Harriet! Best, Susan
You are so kind!
It is impossible not to care.
They Bless us each day with their presence and we are grateful for that.
We share our home with them as we should, they were all here first~
Congratulations that she is back. Hugs, Barbara
Thank you Barbara.
We were getting really nervous, she was way overdue~
Reblogged this on THE HOTSPOT ORLANDO and commented:
Thank you so very much for sharing Harriet’s story with your faithful following.
She is our treasure~
Very sweet story! ❤
Thank you, we love her and our Breanna and of course all
of the many creatures who live here with us in the Forest.