Saturday, July 10, 2010

It's a girl...TURTLE!!!!

As Erika teasingly alluded earlier, there is a new member of the Petersen household - Lechuga, the painted turtle. Lechuga is a Spanish word that means, "lettuce." We chose it for several reasons: 1) it sounds cool 2) it was the first Spanish word I ever learned thanks to my food-serving mother and 3) it rhymes with the Spanish word for turtle (tortuga). So yes, we have Lechuga la tortuga (Lettuce the turtle).

She is a Western painted turtle. A turtle of the aquatic variety, Lechuga spends most of her time swimming in her new (and bigger) aquarium home. Occasionally she will climb up on her artificial dock or natural rock to bask under the lamp, as reptiles need provided warmth to maintain their energy. She will only do it when a) we don't move for a long time or b) we're not home. She's a shy turtle and feels safe in the water. To make sure she gets enough heat, we take her outside every few days or so to get some natural sunlight and wander around in the grass.

She has improved immensely, though. She no longer hides in her little cave if we approach the tank, because she knows odds are we're feeding her. Knowing this, she's comfortable keeping her head above water.

Erika loves watching Lechuga swim and is always on the lookout for random cute things she does (basking, getting startled by the filter's waterfall, etc). She talks and feeds Lechuga, and not surprisingly our turtle seems more comfortable around Erika than me. I'm fully confident this isnot a foreshadowing of how things will go our actual future children.

An aerial shot of Lechuga the Tortuga.

A painted turtle, Lechuga is quite colorful, especially on her underside.

"Please, no pictures."

She's never boring, always swimming, and quite cute to look at.

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