I am on a quest to prove that a person can find something wonderful every day in a 10 X 25 foot garden plot, and today’s wonderful thing was a visit from Lord Tortlaroy.
Lord Tortlaroy is a local gopher tortoise who either knows it is illegal to bother him or just possesses a whole lot of self-esteem. I say this because last year, when I caught him eating my tomatoes, I told him to go away, but he just blinked and chonked, tomato juice running down his gray, wrinkly neck as he lifted his nose high in the air like the aristocratic dinosaur that he surely is.
A gopher tortoise digs a long underground burrow where he spends most of the day and this burrow is used by 360 other animal species who take advantage of his labors. But Lord Tortlaroy is too classy to complain, “You didn’t build that!”
I imagine Lord Tortlaroy pays the other animals about as much attention as he pays me. Since gopher tortoises are so important in the circle of wildlife, they are protected by law.
In fact, the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff was about Mr. Bundy grazing his cattle on government land inhabited by gopher tortoises and the grazing fee, which Mr. Bundy refused to pay, was set aside to protect them. This incident was hotly debated in the news and social media, but the gopher tortoise issue was either mocked or ignored, which is maybe all right because I suspect that the gopher tortoises either mocked or ignored all the silly humans.
Lord Tortlaroy, finding no ripe tomatoes, moved on with great dignity to check out the neighbor’s garden.
Carry on, dinosaur. Your tribe was here long before my tribe arrived.