….or Gopherus Polyphemus returns.
Yep, he’s back. Or, to be more accurate, still here. I’m the one who is back.
At least I think he is a he if my internet-based analysis is correct. He’s pretty old too given his size and the state of his carapace. Aw shucks, I’m just showing off now – that’s his shell I’m talking about.
His shell actually reminds me of a dog I once knew that lived in a garage/car recycling shop. The dog was so covered in grease and grime that we were never really sure of its actual colour – its coat was exactly the same colour as this shell. The tortoise’s face, however, reminds me a little of a woman who used to cut my hair. Not so much feature-wise, just the expression.
You’d probably look a little cranky too if your species was threatened. Or if you had to carry your home on your back. Actually it’s a bit of a myth to say its shell is its home. Gopher turtles dig deep burrows in which they nest. They are known to share their burrows with up to 360 different species. Not all at once I hope. That would really make me cranky. Now why does he look like he is judging me?
Looks downright prehistoric wouldn’t you say? The species is around 60 million years old after all. He’s not the only thing in my garden that looks prehistoric. Take a look at this ginger plant which is growing by the compost bin. The red rhizome is is about four inches high.
The alligators also look prehistoric but hopefully I’ll never see one up close crossing my front yard. And the palmetto beetles – well – let’s just say they are a little alarming when underfoot so I am not inclined to take friendly photographs of them. You never know what is going to crawl out of the woods down here.
© Judy Parsons 2018
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