I recently visited my parents in Lubbock, Texas and what do you think they do for entertainment there?  Watch turtles, that’s right – turtles.  Their backyard has become a turtle sanctuary of sorts. Apparently box turtles are pretty common around there, although I don’t remember them roaming around when I was growing up.  I would go searching for salamanders and horny toads, but never came across a turtle.

After being at my folks house a couple of days, I quickly understood why it was so captivating to watch the turtles.  They were almost always hiding, the hunt was part of the fun – then when you spotted one, everyone was alerted and came over to watch- it was exhilarating!

We were successful in luring them out of their hiding places with a slice of watermelon, as “Whitie” is munching on here.

When the first turtle wandered into their yard a few years ago, my parents thought it was just passing through.  Another one showed up, and the other one stayed – their backyard suddenly became known to their friends as the “safe place” for turtles. Soon, my parents found themselves with 3 or 4 turtles and they wanted a way to determine who was who.

Here’s the tie-in to YOLO Colorhouse – they painted a little dab of YOLO paint, left-overs from painting their house, on the turtle’s shells. They used different colors so they could tell them apart.  They were confident that the paint wouldn’t harm the turtles because YOLO is an eco-friendly paint. The first one was named “yellow dot” because they had some GRAIN .02 left over from the kitchen, which is painted on her left side, as you can see below.   Another one was named “hot stuff” and he got a red dot (CLAY .05 from the den), and so on.

I didn’t previously know this about turtles, but they burrow themselves into the earth when it starts getting cold, and spend all winter underground.  Each spring when the temperature gets warm enough, the turtles begin emerging.  You can imagine how exciting it is when the first one of the season is spotted!  The thing is, the paint that’s painted on their shells to tell them apart is still there!

It has been 4 years now and my parents have 5 turtles, a baby was born on their watch. Each one has a little paint on his or her shell, and the paint is still there after going in and out of the earth year after year.  Sure, they touch it up from time to time, but if that doesn’t speak to the durability of YOLO paint, I don’t know what does!!  The turtle test is better than any scrub test I know!

Here’s “Baby” hiding in the ivy, baby doesn’t have a paint dot yet – we can determine who she is by her size. I wonder what color she’ll be when she gets big enough?