About Me



Our back yard is home to a few pet critters and to many wild ones. 

Eastern Box Turtle:  Lady lives outdoors in the pond enclosure during warm months (US midwest--Chicagoland area) and hibernates indoors from about November to April.  She has her own shelter in the outdoor enclosure and full access to the pond with sunbathing rocks, her own strawberry patch and a sandy beach.  She has been living with us for 10 years and is really quite a beautiful critter.

The Pond Fish:  Ten years ago we bought 3 goldfish for $0.25 each:  Rex was all gold; Tiger was gold and white; Mayo was all white.  Now, several years later we have over a dozen 4-8 in. fish that rival any expensive pond fish.  They winter in the pond and are happy, happy, happy!  Tiger, Rex and Mayo are long gone, but their offspring inherited their variety and are quite colorful critters in our pond.

Frogs:  Three American bullfrogs (unnamed) make our pond their home.  They are free to come and go and they do.  We find them at quiet, sunny times, sitting on a sunbathing rock near the water.  They don't like people though.  If they see us, they slip into the water quickly and hide.  We introduced these three as tadpoles last year. 

Painted Turtles, Myrtle and Bert:  These were our two aquatic turtles going into this year.  They have been living indoors in our 55 gallon tank with a spectacular plecostamus (unnamed) and several guppies and red minnows for the last two years.  We thought they were an excellent pair.  But Myrtle was too aggressive and attacked Bert, injuring him beyond repair.  Now we only have Myrtle and we are very sad.  Interesting is the relationship between the plecostamus and Myrtle.  The plecostamus sucks Myrtle's shell, keeping her clean.  She puts up with it; maybe she likes it.  She in turn never bothers the plecostamus, who is bigger than she is (> 6 in.) and has lived much longer in this tank.  I understand, though, from other turtler's forums that this may be a dangerous relationship.  We are debating whether or not to put Myrtle in the pond enclosure, but are concerned about her escaping.  We have lost aquatics to escape in that enclosure in the past.  What to do............More discussion to come.