Are You Sleeping, Are You Sleeping, Turtle Dear?

by Sherry Riter in Family,Turtle

painted turtle sleeping eyes closed

You know that I sing like a dying cow, so come on and help me out with this childhood song…

Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

Now let’s sing it in English!

Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

As you are well aware, Turtle, my Western Painted Turtle, has many unique characteristics for a turtle. For example, Turtle is quite animated. He will look at me in the morning and blink those big eyes while staring straight into mine as if he can actually speak. I know that turtles don’t talk with human language, but his non-verbals are loud.

One of the characteristics about Turtle that is always intriguing to me is his shell. Turtle’s shell is very rugged and yet very smooth like a piece of glass. Upon close inspection, I can see the different parts of his shell. I’m always so excited when I find one of them in the tank because they are cloudy clear, hard and shaped like a puzzle piece. Most of the time I don’t see Turtle shed his shell pieces, but every once in a while I will see a loose piece that is barely connected as he swims around the tank. Eventually it will just fall right off. The whole process of living in a shell that is constantly renewing just excites and intrigues me.

painted turtle sleeping rugged shell

Another feature of Turtle that actually helped to determine his gender is his claws. Long, sharp claws on the rear feet indicate that the Western Painted Turtle is a male and that’s exactly what we determined by looking at my turtle’s rear feet and claws. So in a home full of estrogen (daughter, mother and dog), there is a little bit of testosterone with our turtle. I also just love the pink webbing between his toes.

painted turtle sleeping sharp claws

Turtle is a very easy going guy. He likes to eat, play, swim, read, dance, bask in the warmth of the sun lamp, and sleep. I don’t know why I have this thing with sleeping people, animals or other creatures, but I just love to watch everything sleep. Most of the time I have to observe Turtle sleeping from a distance. I guess he was really tired when I took these pictures because he didn’t budge as I snapped one photo after the next of him. I’m assuming if turtles could snore, he would have definitely been snoring like Fred Flintstone.

I just love seeing his little front claws pulled up close to his shelled body, his long neck sticking way out to soak in as much heat from the lamp as possible and his eyelids tightly closed over his round eyeballs. The yellow stripes that extend the length of his head and neck are so pretty and bright. His wrinkled skin is also just amazing. But really, I just love watching him peacefully sleep on his landing rock, completely contented in his big fifty five gallon tank. How could anyone not love such an adorable little creature?

cute painted turtle sleeping

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Peter Spenser December 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I double checked this before responding. (I know. I’m way behind, but I have been busy writing.) You should go to this website and read. Your turtle is probably a “her.” (Wow! More estrogen in the house!)


2 Peter Spenser December 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm

It would probably be helpful if I actually included the link, wouldn’t it?


3 Sherry Riter December 16, 2013 at 7:14 am

I’m pretty sure Turtle is a boy. Check out his long claws! 😀


4 Peter Spenser December 17, 2013 at 8:22 am

Did you read the article at the link? It’s the *front* claws that indicate the gender, not the rear ones. Either way, she’s a cutie. (I’m very much a turtle guy. I have 5 of my own.)


5 Sherry Riter December 19, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Yes, I read the article. I’m assuming you think that because the photo was of the back feet of Turtle that I was judging his gender that way. Turtle’s front claws are even longer than the back claws! 🙂 I’m sure Turtle is male.

You have 5 turtles? Cool!!! Do you have pictures of them?


6 Peter Spenser January 7, 2014 at 12:00 am

Yes, I assumed that you were using the rear claws to judge its gender, because that’s what you said you were doing: “Long, sharp claws on the rear feet indicate that the Western Painted Turtle is a male and that’s exactly what we determined by looking at my turtle’s rear feet and claws.” That’s the quote from your post above. What else am I supposed to think?


7 Sherry Riter January 14, 2014 at 10:26 am

I wasn’t sure if you read that part. I’m sorry if I have offended you.


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: