Chow time!

These are ornate desert box turtles.  I have 7 or 8 in my backyard.  Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are feeding times (if I’m home).  They come to the back door and climb between the grates to get my attention.  I feed them a dry food specially made for box turtles, which I soften for them.   They usually come one at a time, and I can’t remember ever having four show up at the same time.  Generally, they don’t like to share their food.  You can see the one is sitting on top of the food to keep the other one from eating. 

The largest on the right is Mama.  I haven’t seen her in a week or more, so she has probably been busy laying eggs.  In late August I might be lucky to find a new baby, a little larger than a half-dollar.    Since number 3 wouldn’t let number 2 eat, he came over for a toe nibble.  I snapped this one quickly, and then moved my toes out of harm’s way.  Many, many years ago I was bitten by a box turtle — his beak almost took a hunk out of my finger.  My BIL had to hold a lighter under his chin to get him to let go!!

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