We dragged a few more things up from where we had found the turtle trap. A second turtle trap, two more rolls of (rusty) chicken wire, another round wire thing (will be used as a tomato or other plant cage), a bunch of hard plastic tubing, some kind of pull wagon thing in pieces, a chunk of mesh fencing wire, and a nice critter cage. The cage is about 4-5 feet long, has four doors, four tiny feeders, three lava chews screwed in (too damaged to use now), and two slots for hay. It's all one cage (not separated) and looks to be largely in usable condition. I cleaned it off and hope to use it for bunnies in the future.
Today I finally got the big 55-gallon tank set up for Minnow (our red ear slider turtle). She's been relegated to a plastic storage tote for a year now since the old basement flooded. Unfortunately, her old turtle dock was not in the tank, and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Tony was supposed to have this weekend off, but one of the employees from his department of the store is out sick, so he's working this weekend too. Yay for bonus weekend pay, I guess. He left early today to stop at the pet store before work to buy a new turtle dock, and some StressZyme to put some good bacteria in the tank. I got the tank all set up and put Minnow in to feed her. She seems happy to be able to swim again. The tote only really allowed her to submerge herself partially. It's been 14 months since she was in the big tank. I'm so glad it's all set up and she can have her space again! Tony did set up the floating dock as soon as he got home from work and Minnow is still over by the filter. I picked her up and set her on the dock, I know she is aware it's there. I think she's missed having good swimming water for far too long and is simply refusing to get out. I don't blame her at all.
I was thinking today about Minnow. We got her from my brother-in-law when he decided he no longer wanted the responsibility of cleaning her cage all the time. We've had her for about nine years now. If he had her for a couple years, and she came from a pet store, so she was probably a couple years old already... I wonder how old she actually is. Red ear slider turtles can live anywhere from 45 to 90 years depending where you get your information from. I joke with the kids that they'll have to take care of her when I die. She's really a neat pet; more decorative than hands-on. Aside from feeding her and cleaning her cage, she's pretty low maintenance. Or perhaps we've just become so accustomed to being her slaves that it's not a hassle anymore. She is our oldest pet. Do I recommend pet turtles for normal folks though? Absolutely not. They're a lot more expensive and do require a knowledgeable care-taker and a larger space than most people think. They also are a lot longer of a commitment than a cat or a dog (average lifespan of 15 and 12 respectively compared to a turtle who can outlive you). But if you are willing to do the research, and commit to the time and financial investment in regular maintenance, then maybe a turtle is a good pet for you. I know we enjoy watching Minnow chase feeder fish and swim around. She's actually kind of relaxing to observe. She's definitely a hands-off pet though. I think today moving her into the big tank, and then showing her the dock was more handling than she's had outside of cage cleaning days for a long time. She doesn't like to be touched, and we try to respect that.
Excuse the cloudy water below. I need to clean the glass and add StressZyme to the tank and it should look better soon.
Today #3 managed to get all eleven D'Anjou pear tree seedlings replanted into little plastic cups. Perhaps the 30+ apple seedlings will be worked on tomorrow. Doubtful at this point because she's made plans to go tubing with a friend. She's earned it though. She's been very helpful these past several days.
While looking through the last box we haven't unpacked yet, #5 found a slender blue glass vase. I told him he should go out and find a flower with a long stem that he could put in it to decorate the table. He went out and came back with a stem of Black Eyed Susan flowers. Good selection! I figured he'd come back with clover or dandelion, but this is pretty and I love that he picked them himself.
Tony was finally able to pick up some food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE). I want to add some to the colony in the building so they can have little dust baths and perhaps keep ants and such at bay. I want to add some to the barn too for the chickens as well. I did add a scoop of it to their preferred dust bath place. Really though it was bought to go in the side garden (currently has cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, one tomato and one squash plant) to try to combat the ants, though I haven't seen as many since asking for the DE. Regardless, it's something that is nice to have on hand.