Small but Significant

Through a series of events starting from a tragedy and moving onto an educational matter and doing what is right, I found myself an adoptive owner of a truly captivating crested gecko, Eddie. She had been with a mate for a couple years prior to crawling in what I refer to as the “bog-log” and being placed, log and all, by a friend into a bin for me to take home. A surprise awaited me upon opening the bin at home: an egg. Fertile.

Eddie continued to lay eggs following this, three clutches of two each, and one final egg in March of 2020. This space will not be used to retell the fine details of the first three babies, but due to Eddie’s condition they were deprived of important developmental nutrients and passed.

On April 16th, the second clutch hatched. Given the experience I had, and was still going through, I had not picked names for them. I expected to deal with another round of suffering and passing.

It feels incredibly significant, then, that today those two babies hit six months old; even more significant is their good health.

Eddie is an astonishingly beautiful gecko — sometimes I take her out and let her try new food flavors while she sits on my knee so I can stare at her adoringly. Her children, similarly, are developing some of her gorgeous features (although I admit they are all going through funny disproportionate stages).

Art holding a mealworm in the back of his mouth.

Art was first. Art Trevor Nira Toews Bigfoot was the full crowdsourced name. I later renamed him Arcturus, but just call him Art or Arc. He is extremely comfortable with handling and was marvelous to work with when stuck shed threatened the tip of his tail. It took a concerted effort to save it, and while he bears a small scar, he retains the lovely sticky spoon at the end of it, just as healthy as the rest of him. He demands an unending treadmill of hands to exercise with until he has tired himself enough to take a nap on me. It is a true delight and this little being holds my entire heart in his tiny hands.

Ripley processing the massive amount of mealworms she managed to get me to feed her.

Ripley hatched a short while later. Ripley George, not as many were willing to play the naming game for whatever reason. She had exploded out of her egg, leaving a gory mess of egg-stuffs all over the incubation tray — not all that different from a specific xeno-type critter bursting forth. Ripley’s growth has been substantial, far exceeding any expectation I could have going into this. There was a 24 day period where she grew from 5.2 grams to 8.7, then in 40 days from 8.7 to 11.8. Soon she will be large enough to devour the house…perhaps she can Godzilla her way through Chicago later?

I love them terribly. Their health, their age, their beauty, and their comfort with me makes me feel tremendously lucky after a tremendously awful time.

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Ovata, Acronicta

Ovata, Acronicta

Someone told me I was a good writer, so now I’m proving…something. Tend to one’s own flame, and do not extinguish the flames of others.