It’s late April in the Longleaf woods of panhandle Florida. One day has the kind of crisp blue sky mornings that make you want to fling open all the doors and windows. Another, this morning for example, has you checking the calendar to see if maybe April morphed into August. Step outside and your hair begins to fatten and curl in the steam.

Buck and I are not the only critters in the woods contemplating new shelter. Wrens hop around under the cars and in the grass, snatching up shreds of nest-building material and chittering like garage-sale treasure hunters.

A resourceful gopher tortoise has repurposed an old slab of tin-covered wood into a roof for its den. It’s just out back a little ways from the fence. We can watch the tortoise emerge to graze on sunny afternoons. Two Sundays ago, a dry, bright day, he hung out on the “front porch” of his den for hours, not so different from the rest of us contented householders. P1010557 P1010555 P1010553 P1010552

I don’t know how a gopher tortoise processes information about the world. I wouldn’t imagine he chose this spot for a new den based on the idea that its tin roof would make a pleasant sound when it rains. Then again. I could swear I saw him smiling that Sunday afternoon.

2 thoughts on “Contemplating Shelter

  1. wallacejones says:

    The tortoise is used to hearing the rat-a-tat-tat of raindrops pelting his natural “roof” with a dullish thud. He was smiling at the different tune produced by his new dwelling covering.

    What a sweet discovery.

    (So how is one supposed to know when a new jewel-box full of pearls such as this has been put on display? I am soooo falling further behind in this social media maelstrom and have almost despaired of ever catching up.)

    I love you, Little Sister!

    Like

    1. Beth says:

      So sweet, my Big Brother. I love you, too. The tortoise sat on his front porch much of the day. If a tortoise can bask, he (she?) did.

      Like

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