Rosemary Desert Willow (named by Emmett because says that “Rosemary is a “good name”, and she loves to eat Desert Willow flowers”) came to use this spring from the Joshua Tree Tortoise Rescue. Her domain in the fairly large cinderblock enclosed patio area which she patrols multiple times a day. When we first got her she spent about a week digging under a bushy sage bush which I assumed was an attempt to make a burrow. However about a few days ago a teeny tiny tortoise appeared in the yard looking like a miniature prehistoric creature. And the following day another one appeared. Careful excavation with a wisk-broom revealed that Rosemary Desert Willow had laid three eggs under the sage – two of them had hatched and the third turned out to be unfertilized.
Both baby tortoises had the embedded texture of sand all over them for a few days after they hatched – I think that they must have had a hard time digging through the sun baked decomposed granite. Hard to imagine being born buried underground and having to claw your way out first thing in life.
Baby tortoises are sort of like caviar to Road Runners and the non-indigenous ravens. We have both hanging out in the back yard every afternoon waiting to pillage Rosemary Desert Willows food plate – so babies are now living inside in a huge terrarium on my desk until they are big enough to not be bird food. At last count Emmett informed me that we now have eight pets. Which including humans that makes a household of ten. I think we’ve officially hit capacity.