Geronimo’s gone into hibernation, but before that, we had an impromptu professional-grade photoshoot! (Desert tortoise update!)

My friends, you know that I’m wont to take pics of Geronimo with my phone cam and then impose them on you. You’re very gracious about it. They are not good pics, but they’re the only ones I can offer… usually. Until today. Because today, I can show you some professional photos of my scalebaby, along with a few of us together!

And when I say “impromptu,” I do mean “totally unexpected.” I knew that these family friends were coming over, but I did not know that Kyle was bringing his camera. Thanks to him, you’ll finally be able to fathom the extent of Geronimo’s handsomeness and adorableness!!

May I present my darling majestic spectacular reptile kid:

Amber nebulas in his green eyes. I can lose myself in the wonders of them.

This next photo, now: If there’s a mother/son photo in existence that’s more adorable than this, it must exist on another plane of reality:

I mean, are you kidding me?! He’s looking at me and smiling!

Geronimo isn’t smiling in this next photo, though. This was several hundred shots later, and he’s over it. He wants to get down so he can resume eating and being loved on by everyone. He was such a good sport during the photo-shoot. He just loves company, this one.

Here he’s emerging from his burrow after I coaxed him out:

Then we have a vanity shot of Geronimo’s exquisite scale pattern.

His gorgeous shell:

Hibiscus blooms were no longer in season, but Geronimo loves hibiscus leaves, too!

This next pic is kind of strange and wonderful. We were trying to get my face closer to Geronimo’s, so my head was tilted down toward him as I tilted him up toward me, and the result is Geronimo looking like a cobra with his face appearing at the top of his under-shell. You can also see what a wide Humvee of a guy he is. My knees fit beneath him with his legs on either side. Haha!

Proud little dinosaur! Stately winsome cobra!

</photoshoot>

What makes this photoshoot especially meaningful is the fact that this day (October 3rd) was the last day that I got to spend time with Geronimo this year. I wasn’t able to catch him while he was out after that. Toward the end of the month, I assumed that Geronimo had gone into hibernation.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I received this text from my neighbor’s father (who was rebuilding the fence that divides our yards):

“I saw ur tortoise from 11:00-2:00. He was all over the yard foraging. It was hot that day… fast little guy”

The first thing I thought was, It’s not just me! Other people can see how fast Geronimo is, too. The second thing I thought was, Oh. He hasn’t been in hibernation all this time. I’ve just been missing him.

Thus, my neighbor’s father got to be the last person to see Geronimo this year. That would’ve been on Monday, October 25th. Perhaps that was actually Geronimo’s last day out.

Now begins the longest time of the year… the months spent waiting for Geronimo to emerge. I know it’s just 4-5 months, but that’s a long time under the circumstances. I’ll survive. [::flails helplessly::]

Happy Weekend Eve, my friends!

A timely post. (+Desert tortoise update! – sort of.)

I have nothing, and yet, I have everything. If I have nothing to write about, I have, at least, the means to write. I have this laptop. I have pens, pencils, paper. If I have “nothing to eat,” at least I do. If I have “nothing to wear,” well, same… I do. If I have “no time” to work out, I actually do. There’s a big difference between mismanaging time and actually having no time. I’ve found that there’s a bizarre little trick to this: If I pay attention to time and maintain motivation, I do have time. I can make anything happen! It’s like magic!

I’ve been motivated to get to bed earlier, so suddenly, I have time to do whatever I was doing or wanting to do… tomorrow.

In a few weeks, an annual project will start at work at the same time it did last year, mid-October. The project involves extended work hours for a couple of weeks. I was thinking “I won’t have time to work out,” but then I remembered my knack for mismanaging time and thought of a workaround: come home, eat dinner, work out before bed. I used to work out after dinner routinely. It wouldn’t be unheard of. It would be a temporary return to that schedule. I just have to be motivated to do it, right? (Last year, I worked out when I got home, I believe, and just ate dinner super late. I’m not doing late dinners anymore.)

The annual project, though, means that I truly will not have time – here we’ve arrived at the Geronimo part – to see Geronimo during the week. I simply won’t be here during his weekday waking hours! The sun will have gone down by the time I get home, and Geronimo will be tucked away for the night. I realized the other day that this was the reason why I missed the last part of his pre-hibernation last year. By the time the project was over, he was already hibernating, and I didn’t even know it. I missed it completely.

Geronimo is so social and affectionate; he so looks forward to spending time with me. Through the window and the sliding-glass door, I’ve seen him going around the yard and the patio looking for me. I’m guessing that he went into hibernation in October last year instead of in November, as he’d done in previous years, because he had no interaction with me or with anyone at all in those mid-fall days. It was like he figured there was no point in staying out. I wasn’t there and I kept not being there and so he had nothing to look forward to.

I remember checking the weather forecast (after the project ended last year) as I looked around the yard for Geronimo, thinking it hasn’t dropped below 56 degrees three nights in a row yet, so he can’t be hibernating already! I just keep missing him.

But it didn’t matter that nighttime temps were still above 56 degrees three consecutive nights. What mattered was that Geronimo was alone for five consecutive days. He’d aligned his hibernation schedule with a social interaction barometer, not a weather one. And realizing this made me sad, because the same thing could happen again this year. I won’t see him for days on end… except for the weekends. I’ll be here on the weekends.

I know that I spent weekend time with him during the project last year, but I can’t remember whether I spent every possible weekend moment with him. So this year, I’m going to try to do that. And I’m going to ask him to please wait for me while the project is in progress.

A few pics from last Saturday:

Cuddles!
On the path home.
(Imagining that this is his last return home until spring and feel strongly motivated to basically live outside with him during the weekends)

All of this winding around to say that this year, I’m going to be keenly aware of time this entire upcoming month and throughout the duration of the extended work project. I’m going to manage my weekend time to the fullest extent possible to spend many moments with Geronimo, and I’m going to plead with him to understand that Mommy will be home on the weekends.

I just want to be able to tuck him in this year, as I’ve done every year before last year. I want to know that he’s gone in to settle for the winter, and I want to be able to wish him a good night.

On that note, good night, my friends. It’s past my new getting-ready-for-bed time!

Geronimo’s milk mustache. (Desert tortoise update!)

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you’ll have guessed that with such satisfying days of rain in our desert this summer, SOMEONE outside has been very happy, indeed.

Geronimo closes his eyes when he’s happy. We have this new thing where I kiss my fingertip and put it on his nose. He loves it when I touch the tip of his nose!

Fingertip-to-nose kisses after the rain.

He’s been blessed with plenty of opportunity to drink rainwater this summer. I love to watch him drink from cracks in the walkway, but my favorite thing about this pic is HIS SWEET LITTLE TOES.

Drinking in the rain!
Rain time is the best time!
SNACKS.

It wouldn’t be a Geronimo post without a hibiscus pic, now, would it?

I’m full. I’ll just have 5,000 more.
(Must not forget to patrol back here.)
All clean from the rain!

And after the rains, the weeds go wild, the backyard alive with various types in patches on the gravel and in the lawn. They’re an important part of Geronimo’s diet, and he loves most of them. It’s been a grazing party out there!

His favorite weeds are the soft, delicate, milky ones, like these:

GOT MILK??

He keeps his head down as he chomps on them, then comes up with a milk mustache. Geronimo loves plant milk as much as I do. (Like mother, like son, as they say.)

Why hello.
Milky weeds all day!
Hello.
More is not enough.

And then he goes around the yard with weeds, milk, and flowers plastered all over his face.

TIRED NOW.

Going home.

It’s grown hotter again as of late, so I still only see Geronimo very early in the morning and late afternoon/dusk. We’re fast approaching the time he’ll be out more during the day, though. Pre-hibernation season is afoot, and Geronimo will be out there chowing down in preparation for his long winter nap. I can’t believe it’s this time of year again already!

Merry new week to you, my friends!

Mini Dinosaur in Candyland. (Desert tortoise update!)

‘Tis the time of year my ankles are covered in angry, itchy ant bites and stings, because Arizona Monsoon 2021 is well underway, which means that Geronimo is out quite a bit at dawn and dusk, and I’m out with him (at dusk). Desert fire ants nest here and there in my yard, particularly along the fencing where the hibiscus are lined up. Nuisance they may be, I’m fine with the ants. Fire ant season means Geronimo season, stone fruit season, long-day season, monsoon season, all of the seasons I adore!

I’m filled with gratitude that I can spend so much time with my sweet, scaly baby. Geronimo has taught me to recognize, respect, and cherish the seasons of the desert. I think of them as: hibernation season (no Geronimo), post-hibernation season (lots of Geronimo), heat-sheltering season (scarce Geronimo), monsoon season (lots of Geronimo, depending), and pre-hibernation season (lots of Geronimo).

One thing he does starting in the middle of a good monsoon season is he sleeps outdoors at night, tucked away beneath a hibiscus bush. We’re having such a season this year. Pre-hibernation season will begin in another few weeks, and Geronimo will be even more active!

So I’ve got a plethora of pics that I’ve taken since April, and I’ve narrowed the collection down to around 30. Some of these were taken on weekend late-mornings, and some were taken just after a rain.

Enjoy! As always, Geronimo says HELLO!

Geronimo playtime!

Dirty jeans mean that Geronimo’s already crawled over my legs from both directions multiple times. It’s one of his (our!) favorite games.

Little lap tortoise

Geronimo’s favorite summer treat: cool, crisp, juicy lettuce.

Romaine!
Geronimo blowing bubbles through his nostrils in the water

Where are we going, Geronimo?

Inseparable!
Weeds hanging out the side of his mouth like a cigarette
My beautiful boy
He just loves to be hand-fed!

Geronimo loves to eat of the abundance growing in the yard, but he loves it best when it’s fed to him by hand.

Hibiscus buds
Buds!
Hibiscus in bloom!
Second variety of hibiscus!
Hibiscus drenched in rainwater is the best
He loves to eat from the vines if I hold them down for him to reach!
Flowers and leaves in the same bite, oh yes.
I don’t release the branch until he’s gnawed off all of the leaves. He loves that!
oh HELLO.
Hello Hello Hello
Hello.
Those Geronimo moves!
Hello, yummy grass.
Hello.
Hello!
Hello, yummy weeds.
Hello.
Hello.
Hello.
Helllloo!
Hello.
Hello!
Hello.
Heading in for a nap….
Good-
-bye.

Merry day to you, my friends. Until next time!

He’s got the look. (Desert tortoise update!)

There was a morning a few years ago on which I gushed about my scale-baby to a small audience of friends and friendly acquaintances. One of the latter (warmly) asked me how a tortoise could be cute. I thought about it for a quick second and then replied, I guess it’s a face only a mother could love! But I’m here to refute my answer, because I never believed it, even when I said it. Geronimo and all tortoises are cute. I have pics to present as evidence that Geronimo is adorable by anyone’s standards.

Onwards with the exhibits!

Resting in the weeds.

G: This is where my face belongs… in the camera.
I’m not sleepy. You’re sleepy.

Going in for the kill!
Heheh.
This is my sultry look.
This is my sultry look in the grass.
Legs up to my neck!
Trademark look: hibiscus petal stuck to mouth
Dance moves.
MOMMY’S LEGS FAVORITE CLIMB EVER
Just going to sit here for a minute to make sure that Mommy notices me.
Camouflaged.
Hey guys! As you can see I have here a new backdrop for my filming room….
I can do neckshots AND headshots.
(Run to Mommy!)
Welcome to my sweet, sweet digs.
I can do profiles AND neckshots AND headshots.
This is my good side.

The End, and Happy Friday from both of us!