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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Partying it up with the tortoises again

Long-time readers will remember that we like to celebrate Gus the Galapagos tortoise’s hatchday (bday). We’ve been lucky enough to be invited to his 2009 and 2010 parties (we were out of town in 2011), and were among the grinning attendees again this year, when he turned 27. Seeing that Galapagos tortoises generally live 100-150 years, he’s still a spring chicken.

It really is a treat to see this immense backyard converted to a sanctuary for a herd of massive reptiles. Happy hatchday Gus, we hope you enjoyed all the veggies everyone brought for you and your buddies:DSC_1514LR

Tortoise rides were the name of the game today, and I think Cousin Anna (along with all of the kids, really) was pretty thrilled to get thisclose to these gentle giants:

Ro and Ree fed as many tortoises as they could, and thought this “little” gal was pretty cute. I think they wanted to take her home:DSC_1521LRDSC_1528LR

I appreciated the safety of their straight-arm-distance-feeding techniques, and also appreciated that none of the tortoises bumped against me this year while I was taking pictures (happened last time and I nearly passed out):DSC_1548LRDSC_1550LRDSC_1591LRDSC_1576LRDSC_1564LR-2DSC_1618LR

This little dude (or dudette?) is one year old. Awwww:DSC_1475LRDSC_1481LR

I brought my nailpen to give turtle nail emblems to the family and ended up giving them to everyone at the party, it was funny:DSC_1560LRDSC_1578LR

Hm, do you think the cousins were expecting to party with massive reptiles when they booked flights out here?:

Grabbed a quick shot of TubaDad and his girls:

And even got one of me! Notice I was wearing my turtle shirt!:DSC_1653LR

Happy hatchday again Gus. I’m happy to report that (as far as I know) no fingers went missing at the party. :DSC_1628LR


  1. What a great annual tradition! Gus looks amazing and may I say not a day over 26! Adorable little emblems.

    Happy Hatch Day Gus!

    1. Thanks! I'll practice up and next visit I can do perfect little turtles on our toes.

  2. I have a friend with a tortoise that is 80 years. Good grief! She is 90 so who gets the tortoise next no one knows. She has had it herself for 40 of those years. By the way your girls are getting big girl faces. Getting bigger by the day.

    1. Crazy isn't it? You have to put these guys in your will because they are guaranteed to outlast you. These pics were all taken with the D800 by the way.

    2. Yes, I figured as much because full frame cameras render much creamier skin tones. Not that tortoises have skin tones! 8-)

  3. Always looks like so much fun.

  4. This always looks SO neat. You can tell that Ro and Ree are seasoned tortoise feeders! Maybe Ro and Ree will take their kids to Gus' hatchday parties someday. Very cool tradition.

  5. That is very cool. The last time we were at the zoo we saw some turtles "making babies" - that was very interesting and thank goodness none of the kids understood what they were doing!

  6. Anonymous8/05/2012

    Looks like they had a blast. Guess mom gets to go to petstore to buy them turtles. But I dont think the turtles will like be dressed up as princesses as well as a dog or cat. ;)


  7. How fun! I've never seen a turtle-feeding party--what a great idea.

  8. I love that last photo of the turtle eating the carrot. It looks like the hand might be next...

  9. That is so awesome!