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August 31, 2020

It’s the last day of August and fall is around the corner. That means Lawrence will be going into hibernation by the second week in October (she wakes up the first week in March). Like clockwork. As the temperature drops, so does the metabolism of tortoises, which slows down their digestion.

From spring until summer, Lawrence meanders around the natural habitat we created for her, chomping away on flowers, weeds, dandelion and lots more. She also has a den to which she retreats for afternoon naps and for her overnight slumber.

In September, her food intake reduces drastically, but we hydrate her a lot, which helps to empty her bowels before she goes to sleep for the next five months. If food is left in her tummy, it could rot. Lawrence knows Mother Nature’s time clock. She naturally starts to eat less – her reminder to me that “it’s almost time.” Sure enough, I’ve been peeking out the window and have noticed that she’s not rushing to eat as early in the morning, and she leaves behind leftovers.

Lawrence the tortoise eating rose petals

I often wonder if humans can benefit from hibernating, too. Imagine being in isolation completely detached from human interaction for months – no eating, no cell phones, no computers, no shopping, no politics, no nothing. Some might call it prison. But come spring, we would be so itching to “reconnect,” we just might forget all our woes, savor the sunlight -- and appreciate our fellow man or woman.

Friends - Lawrence the tortoise and Lola the golden retriever

It’s not a bad idea in this time of coronavirus. “Ultimate Quarantining” could be the answer to controlling the spread. No masks required.

In short, Wikipedia defines hibernation: “Hibernation is a way animals conserve energy to survive adverse weather conditions or lack of food. It involves physiological changes such as a drop in body temperature and slowed metabolism. Research into the processes involved in hibernation could result in medical benefits for people.”

Wow, what about mental benefits?

That would be Mother Nature’s call.

Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives

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