Henry has been outside, day and night, for about a week now (May 7th) and is enjoying the run of the entire garden for the first time in around twenty years. We arrived here in the winter when Henry was in hibernation still and since then the whole garden has been “tortoise-proofed” so that he cannot get trapped in small spaces and it is surrounded by walls so he has no chance of escape, especially as he doesn’t have a motorbike.
The space to which he has access includes a small lawn with surrounding borders containing trees and shrubs, and an equal area of paving on various levels. It is amazing how many nooks and crannies are created by trees and shrubs and other features and when Henry couldn’t be found a few nights ago we were almost inclined to believe that he had discovered a way out, though we knew it was impossible. Sunshine the next day brought him out on to the lawn again, totally oblivious to our overnight anxiety – in fact I am sure that he was gazing around as we approached, whistling softly and with a “What me?” expression on his face.
We have discovered already that he has a talent for climbing and a fine sense of balance. Though the heights involved are not great, they are impressive in relation to Henry’s size but he seems less able to work out how to climb down again. So I have modified some features of the garden to allow him to climb safely while also providing an easy descent.
There are quite a lot of myths and misunderstandings about tortoises. Information is available on the web and the following links would be good places to start:
We are enjoying a particularly warm spell of weather at the moment with mild nights. However, this could change quite abruptly so the weather forecasts are being watched for any indications of sudden cooling, especially at night. Henry’s indoor accomodation remains on standby just in case there is any risk of frost over the next few weeks (unlikely as it may seem).