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Odin's playpen expansion

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Odin's Gma, Apr 18, 2016.

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  1. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    It's still early, but it has been unseasonably warm, so we have been outside almost every day for the last week, and my little rusty hamster wheel is spinning! I have also started seeding and planting things that can handle a bit of cool weather, SO EXCITED!


    And, naturally, Odin is SO hungry.
    027.JPG

    My son and I are still discussing the particulars, and over the weekend I moved a couple of the edgers back
    032.JPG

    But Odin gave me "the look", which told me to keep working on it. 036.JPG

    So, today, I tried this 050.JPG

    He told me he would consider my proposal and get back to me 051.JPG

    He also mentioned something about a new burrow...... 073.JPG

    I have got A LOT of work to do!
  2. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    The weather has been cooperating on and off, so we have been slowly picking away, adding a couple of bird feeders so the seeds can drop and sprout:
    079.JPG
    Adding more dirt in some of the lower areas and seeding and planting the things that can handle the still-low night temps (into the 40's)
    And added bonus, the mustard forest from last year dropped a BILLION seeds, so now we have a carpet of mustard seedlings!
    087.JPG 088.JPG

    Of course Odin is more interested in the dandelions for now

    025.JPG 026.JPG 027.JPG

    We filled in his old hide and covered it in pansies (on the right) 080.JPG
    And are working on a new, much larger one, in front of the grape vine fence. I am letting my son take the lead on the planning and building, so I honestly have no idea what it entails, but I know it involves a big hole (that will get bigger) and wood. :eek:
    084.JPG

    The juice bar across the yard is also filling out, this area won't be regularly accessible to the Mighty eating machine, but it will have plenty of edibles to add to the diet. There is a cherry tree, a raspberry bush, a large rose bush and two miniature roses, a blueberry bush, daylillies, mulberries and hopefully the hardy bananas come back (if not I have already ordered replacements. They were planted late in the year last year and I doubt they were established enough to come back) There were some other seed that I threw around there last year, but heck if I can remember what, so it will be a surprise to me too! 094.JPG

    A curious (and very handsome) young cardinal was curious as to why the Mighty Odin deserved such a glorious and tasty garden 118.JPG

    Odin replied "With these looks, I think it's obvious" 162.JPG

    :rolleyes:
  3. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Love it, Odin looks so good too.

    You should write a children's book.
    Tales of The Mighty Odin.
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  4. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Oh, he KNOWS he looks good, you saw that smug expression of his, didn't you? :D

    I do love writing, and Odin has certainly been inspirational! Hmm.....
    Oh, and speaking of inspirational, I work at a rehab and care facility, and our activities director has asked me to bring Odin in to meet the residents on world turtle and tortoise day later this month. She said that when they had their last resident council meeting that is what the residents were most excited about! He is already somewhat of a mini-celebrity at my workplace via pictures and Gma bragging. :oops:
    I was actually thinking of putting together a little presentation to discuss proper care and diet for sullys, with maybe a bit of info on other, more common types of turtles and torts. :tort::<3:
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  5. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Odin's Mom (my future daughter-in-law) just brought over a whole tray of Hosta sprouts (seriously, there were at least 30!) that her mom separated from her years-long pesticide-free plants! It's like Christmas! Planted them along the fence line between the tree and the stump. :)

    Oh, and my youngest sister is also a chemical-free hippy like myself and she has offered unlimited grazing rights in her yard as long as I bring Odin to visit her and her 4 boys!

    She may live to regret that....:p
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  6. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Odin wants to know why I haven't been posting adorable pics of him and awesome playpen updates, but Gma has to work to pay for all the tortoise food!
    I will be in town this weekend so I will get right on it. He is a slave driver! 003.JPG
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  7. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Home for the weekend, and naturally, it's cool and rainy today, BUT, that never stops Gma and the Mighty Odin!
    The day started off with an early trip to the garden center for a few things. The best part was when the young men working there asked if they could help me find anything and, of course, I nonchalantly said "Yes, vines that are safe for my tortoise", knowing full well I might as well have been speaking a foreign language. He looked confused and said, "Uh, umm...vines? Okay" and started naming off what they had. I would reply, "No, Toxic. No, toxic" Until he said honeysuckle and he pointed me in that direction. As I was walking away I could hear them quietly talking.
    "Did she say Tortoise?"
    "Dude, it sounded like she said tortoise. That can't be right!"
    "It sure sounded like she said tortoise"
    I just chuckled and shopped away.
    When I got the register about 30 minutes later I finally let them off the hook and said "yes, I did say tortoise" They laughed and said, "Well, we don't hear that every day...or ever..."
    I told them to get used to seeing a lot of me because he was very hungry.:D

    So, I bought a trellis for the honeysuckle and the grapes I already have that will go in front of and over the entrance to his new, "super-sized" burrow, along with a couple more daylilies for the juice-bar.
    You can see the trellis and behind/ next to it, is the wood lid my son built so we can access him when he is being difficult, or should I say, being himself. :rolleyes:
    Obviously, the on and off rain and my busy schedule has turned his playpen into quite the jungle!
    003.JPG

    Mr. Nosy pants had to approve all the new stuff. 006.JPG 008.JPG

    He was nervous, and cautious... 011.JPG

    so he watched from the safety of his burrow for a while 017.JPG

    Until I went to plant the daylilies, then he had to patrol the other side of the yard.... 020.JPG

    And keep Gma safe... 022.JPG

    From the likes of this guy! 028.JPG

    Then we moved back to the other side of the yard, where I moved the tiny grapevine (that my son weedwhacked a couple weeks ago! :eek: )to the front corner of the new trellis, putting the honeysuckle on the southside of it, and turned the little fence into a corner so the slightly larger grapevine can work its way over.
    This time my hubby weed whacked only the approved areas under my watchful eye, while I hand trimmed around the plants. 029.JPG 030.JPG 031.JPG

    Then the rain started and being that it is only in the mid-sixties, we were only out for a couple of hours, so now Odin is pretty angry. 035.JPG

    If we get any breaks in the weather today we will go back out, but it looks unlikely, fortunately, tomorrow should be warmer and drier.
    It better be, I doubt Mother Nature wants to anger the Mighty one!
    Oxalis, Carol S, Anyfoot and 4 others like this.
  8. Pearly

    Pearly Well-Known Member

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    Very very nice!!!! Odin is so handsome and I love your in and outdoor enclosure works. Awesome job.
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  9. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Sun came out! Live shot!
    image.jpeg
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  10. MPRC

    MPRC Well-Known Member

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    I love your gnome!
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  11. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    It was a surprise gift from my son. I thought it suited Odin as much as it suits me. :D
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  12. Carol S

    Carol S Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Odin is sure getting big. He is very handsome. I am sure Odin is very happy in his garden and new hide. Isn't it amazing all the time and effort we put into making sure are tortoises are spoiled, LOL? :)
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  13. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    A couple more hours, this time with sun and no rain!

    Really? Is this sun?
    043.JPG
    Is this food?
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    I fit here. cool. 050.JPG

    What THAT? 071.JPG

    I don't know those guys! 073.JPG

    But that guy looks familiar! 095.JPG

    Hm. I remember him being bigger 101.JPG

    Seriously? 107.JPG

    NOT impressed 111.JPG

    Did you redecorate in here too? 129.JPG

    You're lucky 130.JPG

    VERY lucky 132.JPG

    Are you looking at me? 142.JPG

    Are you looking at me? You must be! 143.JPG

    I'm the only one here! 144.JPG

    You asked for it, human! 145.JPG

    AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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  14. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    First pumpkin flower of the year!
    unnamed (1).jpg unnamed (2).jpg unnamed (3).jpg unnamed (4).jpg

    Nevermind.......:oops:
  15. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Quick update! The Playpen is once again growing out of control! 011.JPG
    012.JPG

    And Odin is thrilled with everything, except apparently his new burrow, so he is working on his own expansion.:eek: 009.JPG
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  16. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Here is the Mighty one basking in his new, 16 inch water dish. 047.JPG

    The juice bar is filling out 123.JPG

    and the northside of his garden is, once again, turning into a jungle paradise! 127.JPG

    He is still hungry 151.JPG

    And grumpy 152.JPG

    but he has been known to give tiny baby toads a ride to the burrow 182.JPG

    <3

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  17. Oxalis

    Oxalis Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Very cute! The garden is really looking great. Amazing how fast it can grow when our summers look so short compared to Florida? :rolleyes: Such lovely photos! I just love little Odin. :) Reading your posts always makes me laugh (which I've needed a lot recently)!! I can see by that tortoise sculpture just how big Odin's getting (since we have the same sculpture in our front yard). Impressive!
    How did the tortoise visit go? Did you end up bringing in the little guy? :)
    Have you seen my tortoise jungle? I think Odin could certainly come visit if he's ever in Michigan! :p The evening primrose is out of control again and ready for the tortoise lawnmower!
    Haha, oh my goodness!! The employees at Lowe's are getting to know us! One lady saw us up there 2 days in a row one weekend and even called us out on it! I'm pretty sure I mentioned building and improving the tortoise garden and she thought that was really neat but I'm too tired to remember now...

    Nice pumpkin flower. Are the pumpkins really growing now? I will see if I can find a cucumber or squash flower and then watch as Stevie refuses it. XD I wonder if Mr. Picky will like it...

    You inspired me to investigate native honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), and I found that the "black twinberry" (Lonicera involucrata) is threatened in Michigan. A lot of the native honeysuckles I saw on the USDA Plants database were endangered or had some other protected status. :( Bummer. Maybe I will see about locating some. ;)

    Very nice gnome, indeed! Here is the one my hubby found for his dad. Thought you might enjoy it too.

    upload_2016-8-10_21-37-52.png
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  18. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    Well, the summer got insanely busy, and suddenly it was over! Crazy how time flies when you're getting old :(
    We never did enclose the expansion, in fact we took down most of the borders and moved them along the chain link fence and just gave him run of the yard, under strict supervision of course. He seemed to prefer the open grassy areas to the deep jungles of the twining squash and grape vines, so why fight it?
    The juice bar has done beautifully and I am hoping the banana and mulberry had time to get established enough to come back on the spring. I will be certain to mulch heavily when the time comes. 003.JPG

    Many of the pumpkin and squash plants are starting to die back now (along with being heavily pruned by SOMEONE, but you can see how overgrown they got.
    And, despite the Migthy Odin's best efforts at eating every single flower he encountered, we ended up with FOUR pumpkins and over a dozen squash! 013.JPG

    Nothing sweeter than a grumpy boy and his grumpy tortoise. :D
    My son is 6'3" 215 pounds if that gives you a size reference. Odin is not impressed. 014.JPG
    017.JPG

    I am also trying a few cactus outside (which are cordoned off from the Mighty beak, i'm sure you can see why)
    Two of them are hardy, but tiny (you can't see them in this pic) and I threw in a non-hardy one just to see if it makes it. My Mom has had some success with opuntia in the yard further north than we are, so I have to try. 005.JPG

    In the shadows you gave see that the grape and pumpkin have almost completely taken over the chain link fence on the east side of the yard, which is just what I had hoped for 007.JPG

    And interspersed amongst the pumpkin, squash and cucumber vines the mint is growing wild and scrub corn is popping up with the plantain, mallow and nasturtium. I don't know who has enjoyed it more, the tortoise or the bees! 009.JPG

    And yesterday Odin got a tiny sliver of watermelon rind with a bit of flesh attached. It was love at first munch. 018.JPG

    The evening lows are now in the 40's more often than not, so it's time to start moving everything we can indoors, but as we did last year, every moderately sunny day we are still getting outside for as long as we can. Nothing like a tortoise in the sunshine. :)
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  19. Oxalis

    Oxalis Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Very nice! I just love the "juice bar." Next year, a tiki bar? ;) Yup, we are trying to get all the sunshine here while we can too. I now have 2 sunlight bulbs inside so I am anticipating a "warmer" winter in our house... we'll see. ;) Way to go on the pumpkins! How did you save them from the Mighty Odin?? Hubby tried for some watermelon this year but it just didn't work out. I think the squash and cucumber seeds somehow mixed and it didn't end up going so well, but we did get two nice squashes that made it. Steve enjoyed a baby squash right off the vine, a special treat this year. We also found out that he's rather fond of broccoli leaves!
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  20. Odin's Gma

    Odin's Gma Well-Known Member

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    The juice bar is my favorite just because long after The Mighty one and my son move out, I will still have tasty treats and pretty plants! I am already looking forward to collecting all the rosehips when it is time, just for me! Jelly? Tea? Who knows!
    The pumpkins were mostly luck. Three of them developed on the fence, far out of reach of the Mighty Beak, that 4th one though (in the pics), that is crazy. I don't know how he missed it! Oh, I also found two more yesterday, so we are up to 6! I really think it was largely because of the abundance. I planted 2 kinds of squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, cucumbers and watermelon. He ate the cantaloupe and watermelon plants to the ground as soon as he found them, but the pumpkin, cucumber and squash all started climbing the trellises and fence and did it so quickly with all out rain and sun this year that even Odin couldn't stop them. (We have had dozens of cucumbers, more than we could eat). Plus, when everything started to get big he was less inclined to push through the jungle, so everything in the center got to flourish. I am going to see how the leaves and vines dry and add them to hay and other dried goodies for the winter, and of course I will cut up and freeze a pumpkin and a squash for treats. And I will be saving all the seeds I collect for the greenhouse and spring planting. I have already started collecting mallow and squash. It's going to be quit a haul!
    Oxalis likes this.
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