Thursday, January 27, 2005

Snake Oil

Joseph finally shed today. I was expecting it to be more like the first time. It seemed to take a little longer but at the same time he seemed to handle the whole process with greater ease.

Late this afternoon he started crawling around under the substrate ( wood chips) by the time he did so, I was wondering if maybe something was wrong.

This was my first upclose observation of the process. The whole thing took about two hours as he moved around rubbing up against rough surfaces in the tank to begin removing the layer of skin. There are oils or creams that one may use to assist them in shedding I didn't apply any.

After the first thirty minutes of doing so, I looked in on him to see why the sudden interest in being underneath the substrate. By then the skin from his head had peeled back and it was easier to see how the process happens. He continued to slide around until the skin was down by his stomach, he seemed to sense his own progress without much concern. Toward the end he bathed in his water dish to loosen the peeling skin. It wrinkled up around mid "torso" and clung to itself. After he had soaked, he was then able to move directly from the remaining shell of skin by simply sliding full length across the tank. This made me aware of why the tank must be long enough for them as during shedding they must be able to remove that dead layer of skin by contorting muscles while moving.

Once he had walked out. I had a great look at the shell he had moved so carefully and with such grace that the entire length of his shell remained one long intact piece.

It was like a work of art watching this painstaking effort result in total success.

Because they only drink a little bit of water, and do not eat during the 3 to 5 day process, they are usually quite hungry and thirsty afterward.

I cleaned and replaced the water in the dish that he bathed in so that he would feel good about drinking it ( and me too).

Tomorrow I am certain his appetite will return with a great vengence. I will have to go buy more fish as he will most likely eat all weekend.

I was greatful for this chance to see nature undisturbed. It was better than poetry. Even my poetry..:)

I still miss Sophia; but I feel like she only shed in a more profound way. I feel like she left her body behind for a greater journey of the nature of the spirit.

If it better to see life move on than wonder what if..

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