Saturday 14 April 2012: Tank
This is our family tortoise "Tank".
I don't know where to start; he is not quite what you'd imagine...
I'll start with the positives: he is a beautiful creature and about as easy a pet as one ever could hope for (he pretty much fends for himself, & entirely sorts himself out for hibernation).
He is like a beautiful (peripatetic) lawn ornament.
BUT, he is a savage little beast, and incredibly aggressive!
If you go out into the garden (well, as soon as he notices you) he immediately initiates his attack. Almost all of my photos are of his front end, because he is always approaching to attack. He head-butts and bites (with his sharp "beak", or rhamphotheca).
He is also surprisingly fast when the weather is warm.
One of the disadvantages of him fending for himself is that if a plant in the garden takes his fancy, he tends to eat it all at tortoise-head height, which means the stem will be gone at ground level (after which it is obviously tricky for the plant to remain alive...).
I wish I could say he is beautiful and charming, but he is only one of those; hardly a gentleman...
I took quite a few photos of him today (charging towards me...), but like this one because he looks so prehistoric. He had stopped, momentarily, because he had reached the step at the end of our lawn, and was trying to work out his next move (i.e. how to reach and attack me down the step). His shell is dirty because he only quite recently unearthed himself after hibernation. I shall take another photograph of him tomorrow after he has had his ritual spring-time shell cleaning.
(NOT my job, thank heavens).
There are quite a few Tank stories, so I imagine he'll feature in a few more blips.