Sunday, March 8, 2009


Well I have been looking forward to 'H' in ABC Wednesday ever since I started. It was a no brainer for me, it had to be.... H is for Harrison. For those of you that have followed my blog for a while, you will have already been introduced to him, but for more recent readers, I hope you will become as hooked on this hilarious character as the rest of us have.
Harrison is an Eastern Box Turtle Terrapene carolina carolina. He lives at the Museum where I work and his home is in my Lab. He is a hard working turtle and he takes his duties very seriously. He is used for public programs, introducing city children to live animals, up close and personal. He also goes out to schools for special programs and partakes in classes at the Museum for home schooled children. He is also rather a celebrity, he has been on TV a number of times and he is a shameless poser whenever a camera is around!

We also have four female box turtles all of whom Harrison adores, however the feeling isn't mutual so his conjugal visits are limited in order to preserve the ladies sanity! Lets just say Harrison isn't exactly subtle in his advances! Harrison has a half log tunnel in his cage which turtles usually use to hide under, but not Harrison, he sits on top of his and watches everything that goes on in the Lab as you can see from the picture above.
When we clean out his cage we let him free range around the Lab. In order to make sure he doesn't get tripped over, he has his own special sign.

When he is wandering around the Lab he usually comes round to check out my desk and then goes to the windows of the Lab which reach down to the ground, because if there is one thing that Harrison likes to look at, it is his reflection! Not that I am suggesting he is vain or anything like that!! Lets just say he knows just how handsome we all think he is!!
In the summer when it is nice and warm outside I take him out into the park for a little R & R.

He really seems to enjoy these changes of routine. He likes to ramble off across the grass and he is surprisingly quick for a turtle.

When he has done with stretching his legs, he likes to explore a bit

He also likes to stare down the local Squirrels and Canada Geese and they always loose courage because they can't work out why there is a little rock walking towards them.
Of course there is always time to stop and pose for the camera too

He is very good at posing. We recently had a camera man at the Museum who was working to put together a video for our annual charity event and I was asked to bring out an animal. Of course I chose Harrison and he had the cameraman hooting with laughter because every time he put the camera down, Harrison would walk straight up to it and stare into the lens!

I suspect that Harrison has a slight identity crisis and thinks he is a dog! He seems to really love interacting with people, especially ladies!! He loves having his head rubbed and weirdest of all he cuddles with me! Yes really! He will see me walk past his cage and come running to the front of it and start banging on the door so that I don't ignore him. When I open the door he climbs out onto me and stands on my chest with his head tucked under my chin - now I find that a little odd for a turtle. Don't get me wrong, I love it but it just doesn't strike me as turtle type behavior! He is very entertaining though. We have all fallen for the charms of this funny character!

For many more 'G' posts, check out ABC Wednesday.

Photo Credits - CJT


Mara said...

What a lovely story about Harrison.

onangelwings said...

What a sweet story and I love the photos of Harrison. My kids need a pet like this.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Sounds like Harrison is a happy ham! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I thought you would write about Harrison..I love him, he's so cute. I think his behavior toward you shows that we underestimate or write off so much animal behavior to just instinct and obviously there is so much more. I loved the story I read about the mimic octopus opening a faucet and flooding the aquarium. Smart I think... Michelle

Carol said...

What a cute have some great shots of Harrison...

Tumblewords: said...

Ohmigosh, Harrison is a hoot. Love the human attributes he pushes and the love he shows. What fun! Great post.

Jay said...

Oh, what a sweet thing Harrison is! I love that first shot, and all of the close-ups. He is a very handsome fellow!

On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday - such an interesting and amusing post, too!

Becky said...

Harrison is so cute. What a charmer. I have three corn snakes that get to go for "walks" out in the grasswhen its warm enough here. They each have their own distinct personality.

Harrison seems like a very special little man. Give him a hug and a scratch on the head from me.

PS. I love the pic of his rear sticin' out of the tree lol!

Louise said...

Harrison IS handsome,and quite photogenic! His personality screams through the camera. And it seems not turtle-like to me, too, but it's wonderful!