Do Flowers Bloom in Winter? — 30 January 2001

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“Flower” – Eastern Box Turtle Hatchling

Tiny Flower, the box turtle hatchling found cold-stunned and dropped on my doorstep on 14 November, has become quite active this last week.  In her makeshift terrarium with a beautiful southern exposure to the Fresh Brook marsh from my garage lab, she had settled into a slow but sure rhythm through December and January.  She would hunker down beneath her pile of oak leaves for a couple of days, then lumber over to her wading pool (a converted sushi bowl) where she’d lounge for a few hours, stopping and grazing at her food pile en route to the pool and back to her hiding place.

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Eastern  Box Turtle Hatchling

For the last week or so, she’s begun daily power walks, active on and off from dawn to dusk.  She spends a lot more time in her two pools and almost no time hiding under the leaves.  If she’s reacting to the new sun angle in anticipation of spring, she seems a bit premature.  But on the other hand, when you live in a temperature-controlled, humidity-controlled habitat with a nice heat lamp to keep life warm and toasty, spring may simply be a state of mind.

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