This is the first time I have joined Ramblingwoods for her weekly meme about nature.
I have written about some of the wildlife in the garden from time to time; I gardenin an environmentally friendly way; I don’t use any chemicals in the garden to allow beneficial insects to do any pest control for me. I leave plant debris for creatures to hide, hibernate and nest.
I had no idea what I would share with you today until I went outside to put the washing line away and saw a creature I’d never seen in the garden before! I had seen them in other people’s gardens but never, never here, quickly I dashed inside to get the camera; I know they are famous for not moving very quickly but that isn’t actually always true. So what was my visiting creature?
A tortoise, Hermann’s tortoise to be precise (Testudo hermanni).
Described in my ID book of Mediterranean Wildlife: Has yellowish, domed shell, comprising horny plates. Head and legs are retractable. Viewed from the rear end, tail shows large scale at tip; two symmetrical plates lie above the tail base on shell margin. Locally common in warm dry areas including meadows and scrub-covered slopes. Occurs around coastal regions of Italy and Greece; also on Balearics, Corsica, Sardinia, and Ionian Islands.
After I had taken the photograph I returned to where I had seen it with some nice crisp cucumber (as if it needs food!) and it was nowhere to be seen.
I think one reason I was so pleased to see a tortoise was that, when I was a child, I had one as a pet; my first pet, I know it is frowned on now to capture this ancient species from the wild, and quite right too, but it used to be common for a child to have these extraordinary reptiles as a pet.
Do you have any reptiles in your garden?