Herding the Wild Gopher Tortoise

Sometimes a year or more will go by and we won’t see one of our gopher tortoise friends. It’s always a treat to see one of these ancient creatures. We saw one a few days ago out in the clearing when Buck was about to bush-hog.  He worried the tortoise might get hurt or killed by the tractor, so he picked up the critter and put it in a wood wildlife feeding trough for safe-keeping near a big spreading oak out back. The tortoise spit in Buck’s face and on his shirt, but at least he was safe during his half hour confinement.

I forgot to close the gate that surrounds a fenced yard area in back. It surrounds the swimming pool plus about an acre. It’s where Maggie used to patrol her territory. Buck and I had just finished a dish of pinto beans and cornbread for lunch today  when he noticed a guest coming in through the gate. It was the gopher tortoise.

We watched him a few minutes, then took his picture and herded him away from the pool and back out the gate. He looked annoyed. But then, every gopher tortoise I’ve ever seen up close looks annoyed.

Click on the photos and they’ll pop up into a full-sized gallery.

2 thoughts on “Herding the Wild Gopher Tortoise

  1. I had a good time watching one last January in Florida. He/she liked to sit at the mouth of his den and look out, taking the sun, I guess. We always had them as pets as kids, till they moved on—highly illegal now.

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