I’ll link to the original posts because I’ll forget where they are, but since I’m really hoping to have bebe ornate box turtles, I’m going to give them their own page.

(Original post, “Roxettes”, here)

June 30th, we were mowing the lawn, late because of the heat, when P pointed Roxy out. I knew she was back for 2018 (third year at Parview!), and I’m accustomed to her hole-digging habits, but I thought it odd she was so close to the house; literally less than 1′ from the edge of the patio. I took this at around 9PM. I just left the grass (weeds, whatever) alone in that area, thinking I’d just get it next week.

I was late getting to bed, so it was well after 11; I went to see how large a hole she’d made this time…and she was still in it. Well, halfway in it. At first, I wondered whether something was wrong, so I posted on R, but after I while, I began to wonder. I decided to just wait and see in the morning.

When I woke up, the first thing I did was check Roxy’s excavation site. She was still there, but this time, standing beside a little spot of dirt, neatly tamped down by turtle-toes. We had a turtle nest, and not only that, the nest of a near-threatened species, and a specific individual that has come back to us every June for three years.

I didn’t have any boards wide/long enough to make an enclosure so the potential Roxettes wouldn’t be dug up by hungry predators, so I improvised with some of the sandstone slabs that still haven’t made it to be edging along the fence flowerbed. Looks kind of trashy, but all it needed to do was protect them until I got to the lumber store. The flag marked the actual nest site. I told R that since the eggs were laid after midnight on July 1st, the babies get honourary Canadian citizenship.

(Original post, Turtle Nursery, here)

Materials, waiting beside Onje’s straw grooming table. Yes, you read that correctly, and no, it’s not my idea to have a bale of straw right on the patio.

Basic frame is finished. No awards from Woodworking Monthly coming my way, but it’ll be serviceable.

Corner braces installed, and ready for hardware cloth.

Wearing gloves to work with hardware cloth when the heat index is over 100F isn’t half as much fun as it sounds.

All trimmed, edges smashed down, and brazillions of staples because I know raccoons!

In place, and flags all around the nest because once the grass (weeds, whatever) grow back in, I won’t know exactly where the nest is.

Escape openings are 2″ high, placed in the directions I want the little dudes to go when they leave because it’s the safest.

I put some sandstone slabs on top of it, because this is new, and raccoons are curious. They could lift the wood frame, but not with the sandstone on top. Doesn’t look beautiful, but it’s our back yard, visible to virtually no one but us, and the operative word being, “our”.

Initially, I thought it was complete, but then I decided that a turtle nursery couldn’t be complete without something found in virtually all nurseries…a mobile.

My apologies to the person whose artwork I “borrowed” for this. I had to make it baby ninja turtles, though. I’m not sure they’ll grow up to be ninjas–for that matter, I’m not sure they’ll hatch–but they might!