As a proud new leopard gecko momma, I’m taking many photos of Adler. And like a proud new parent, I feel an unstoppable urge to share these photos. And you are the patiently resigned coworker who I caught at the watercooler, nodding politely as I point out minuscule changes in a nearly identical expression that has been captured in what seems like twenty thousand different prints.
But it’s not that bad. First of all, there aren’t as many photos as I thought there would be; Adler’s awfully good at hiding in her tree for the majority of my waking hours. Second, Adler’s way cuter than some newborn human baby, right? I know.
So here we go!
At Twin Cities Reptiles last Friday – coming home day.
Selfie of me in the store with Adler. Look – it says “On hold for Brianne”!
Adler – the first few minutes in her cage. After checking things out she retreated to a hollow tree and hid for a good, long while.
After leaving her alone for about 24 hours, I picked Adler up for the first time. I’m pretty sure this is her “Okay” face.
I did some learnin’ in the first 24 hours, mostly about how horribly nasty crickets are. It all started when I saw a cricket crawl into the meal worm bowl. I’m sitting there watching it and I suddenly realized that the asshole was eating the meal worm! I called The Hubby out to the living room with a “Hey! Honey! Want to see something super gross?” We watched in horrified fascination as the cricket held the meal worm and proceeded to eat it from tail to head, with the damned worm trying to squirm away the entire time. Well…we didn’t see the cricket eat the entire worm; we only hung out for about 30 seconds before the circle of life became a little too morbid to continue watching.
Poor, doomed meal worms.
Asshole cricket nibbling on an orange meal cube (cricket food) before finding a more succulent and entertaining feast.
And yes, of course the meal worms were going to be eaten by Adler. But Adler’s a much more efficient eater – one gulp and the worm is gone. She doesn’t deconstruct the worms segment by segment! She did get her meal worm in the end:
Ommm nom nom! Tastes like cricket AND meal worm!
Later I decided to google “Why are crickets eating my meal worm?” and I learned that crickets are omnivores, and holy shit what do you mean they can even go after a weak, ill or young gecko??? For the rest of the afternoon I kept coming back to that cricket-eating-geckos thought. Turns out that if there are no other food sources, or if there are too many crickets in the cage, it’s not unheard of for larger crickets to nibble on geckos. I knew that I had released too many crickets during my first every try of getting them from their container into the cage (nine escaped while I was trying to shake out “just a few”), but my fellow gecko-owning friend assured me that Adler would take care of them over time. But I just couldn’t get the image of crickets-eating-Adler out of my head, so I did my first absolutely ridiculous, overprotective gecko momma act (I’m sure there will be more): I made my friend help me catch all of the extra crickets. After we removed Adler and the cage decorations, she herded the crickets into a cup – one at a time – slapped a lid over the cup and then transferred them into a secondary container that I was holding. We removed six of the nine crickets.
It was absolutely ridiculous. Adler soooo would have taken care of that situation. But crickets can EAT GECKOS. So yeah…we did that. I have the most tolerant friends ever. Later that evening, the dog shit on the carpet and the cat barfed up her dinner. All in all, we’re gonna call that night a less than awesome animal experience.
Finally, here are a few photos that I took with my Nikon f2.8 50mm lens. Adler comes out of her tree hollow a few minutes after the heat lamp and the nearby room lights are turned off. I turned the IR lamp back on to snap these photos.
Adler crawls down out of her tree and between her humidity chamber and meal worms bowl.
Adler cautiously making her way onto a low, flat rock.
Adler just followed a cricket into her rock hide. Two animals enter, only one animal leaves!
Wheeee! She’s so freaking awesome. So far, so good with the whole owning a leopard gecko thing.