Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Henry...he's a cool dude

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter we went fishing at a this little pond. My friend (and now my sisters husband) Mitch saw a little turtle floating on a piece of wood and he caught it. It was adorable, about the size of a quarter…I fell in love with him instantly. I took him home and named him Henry. I don’t know why, he just looked like a Henry to me. Animals have always been a weakness of mine..

I have him in a large tub now. He has lots of room to swim around and we built a little island out of rocks for him to “bask” on. They like sitting in the sun.. If you’ve ever walked up to a pond on a summer day you more than likely saw a lot of turtles on logs.

Henry is a red eared slider. He has distinctive red stripes down the side of his head, hence the first half of the name. The second half comes from their ability to slide quickly off whatever they are basking on and into the water.

I got Henry in 1989 so he’ll be 20 in a couple of months. It’s kind of amazing to me to think he is just now middle aged. They generally live about 40 years…sometimes longer if they are taken care of well.

He is actually a terrapin which means he is semi-aquatic. He spends most of his time under water and has to eat underwater. They have a fixed tongue which makes it impossible for them to swallow if they are not underwater so they couldn’t snap a fly out of the air but they can snap them off the surface of the water. I like to give Henry bugs.. I like watching the hunt and the kill… maybe that makes me morbid but I do like watching it…


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