Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

May 28, 2014

Harriet Is Home~

Harriet our wandering, resident 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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