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Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Artful Dodger

On one side of the VC outside, we have three desert tortoise habitats. 

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Digger, the 50 year old tortoise, lives in the first one.  Dozer lives in the third one way to the right of this pic.  Desert tortoises spent about 90% of their lives in their underground burrows.  For well over a year, there have only been two tortoises living here.  I’ve shown pictures of both Digger and Dozer in the past.  There was another tortoise in the middle habitat, but it disappeared quite some time ago.

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A couple of weeks ago, this little tortoise suddenly appeared in the middle habitat.  It’s shell is only about six inches from front to back.  Where did it come from?  It’s been a mystery to all of us.  Could it have not been seen for over a year?  All three habitats have a feeding dish that we fill with things like broccoli and other dark green fresh vegetables for the tortoises to eat.  No food has been put in the middle habitat for a year or more.

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A visitor was the first one to spot this tortoise, and thankfully she came in to tell us about it.  It was a surprise to everyone!  Poor little thing didn’t really have a name.  Since the other two tortoises had “D” names, I suggested Dodger.  It reminded me of Dickens's Artful Dodger in ‘Oliver Twist’.  After all, had it not avoided detection for over a year?  If not, it’s just one of life’s little mysteries.

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There is also a desert garden surrounding the VC, and the Beaver Tail Cacti have begun to bloom.  Their flowers are such a brilliant rose/pink color that all the blooms just hit you in the face as you walk down the entrance sidewalk.

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The ocotillos are also blooming even though there are no leaves on their stalks.  The plants here in the desert certainly have interesting adaptations to deal with the arid conditions.  The black-chinned hummingbirds have arrived and they are also enjoying the nectar from these blooms.

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This little cactus is only about five inches tall, but it’s blooming too.  Can you see how it got it’s name?  It’s a nipple cactus.

Today I drove to Yuma to meet Janna, from Montana.  When she read that I was uncomfortable going to Los Algodones, Mexico, by myself, she offered to go with me.  She wanted to get her teeth cleaned, and I wanted to get a filling fixed.  I chose not to go with their suggestion of treatment.  They wanted to do a crown, and I’m not ready to go there yet or return two more times to accomplish it.  I’m a chicken when it comes to dentists and going to Mexico.  It is what it is.  I guess I’ll just visit the dentist I’m sort of comfortable with in Minnesota next fall.  Going to a dentist makes me nervous enough that I didn’t even get a picture of meeting Janna.  I’d like to thank her though for making this trip so much less stressful for me.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy  

32 comments:

  1. Dodger probably decided to show himself because he's hungry and you haven't been feeding him. He's awful tiny but awful cute. Janna's a real sweetheart.

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  2. I hope they keep the name Dodger. He/she is so cute. Even though you chose not to have the dental work done in Algadones at least you can say you've been there now. Hope to see you sometime this summer.

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  3. That was so nice of Janna to go with you. I have traveled many places in the country and the world by myself, but I think I would like to go with someone if I ever get to visit Mexico. I can't even say why, because I have no fear of being in Mexico.

    Keep us posted on Dodger - I hope he is comfortable and will stay.

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  4. That tortoise is so beautiful...so glad that he is there!

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  5. Nice post, I love Dodger, I'd like to have one!

    http://latravelera.blogspot.com

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  6. Sounds like a great name. You'll leave your mark on this refuge too. Very nice of Jana. I'd want a second opinion on filling vs crown too.

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  7. We don't go to Mexico anymore. Just to scary for us. The last time we went there was the Mexican army set up with machine guns. Didn't like the looks of it all. That was across from Texas. Can't recall the name of the town. We have some tortoises here in Florida and they have homes dug into the sandy soil up to 30 feet long. Interesting little guys. Great photo's as usual.

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  8. How exciting to see Dodger! It won't be long now and all the beauty of the desert blooms will be in full swing! My Mom and Aunt and Uncle still go to Mexico often for dentist, glasses and such. Never had a problem going from Yuma!

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  9. It was a pleasure meeting you yesterday Judy!

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  10. You have to go where you are comfortable. Craig has had pretty good results in Mexico. A few years ago I needed a new bridge. I knew I could save a bundle in Mexico, but got it in California instead. I am willing to get cleanings there however and we will be doing that in April.

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  11. Glad you made it back across the border to the USA all safe and sound and with all teeth intact, Judy. Like you, I was very wary of going to Mexico for dental work but I didn't have much choice given the cost savings. I was very impressed with both the professionalism of the specialists at Sani Dental and the fact that their diagnosis of the work that needed to be done was right in line with what dentists in both Canada and the US had already told me. For me, it just came down to spending $8,500 in Mexico vs $35,000 in Canada or the USA - a real no-brainer to me.

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  12. We have had our dental work done in Algodones for the last 3 years. After hearing several personal recommendations for the same dentist, we scheduled our appts. It was just great. I am a "white knuckler", and they could not be more solicitous of my comfort and state of anxiety. The first visit involved 3 crowns (for my husband and me) ... prep one day and finish 2 days later. Excellent work, perfect color match and still fine 3 years later. Cost for all 3??? $530. We and our friends have had root canals at the Endodontist next door, and the work has been pain free and excellent, as well. A root canal was $220 through an existing crown. The Endodontist, Dr Gaspar, had better equipment than my old dentist in Pennsylvania! Our Dentist, Dr. Luis Miguel Escobar, is open, skilled, caring and professional. I am sorry that you did not have a great experience. We also go to Algodones for Optical exams and for medications. We feel lucky to have the option!

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  13. From what I have heard many people go to Mexico for their crowns...and medications too. I think a crown is about 1,000 up here. Those blooms are all beautiful, what fun to see the blooms. We are going to be 50 to 60 degrees today:)

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  14. Always the teacher! I had no idea a tortoise spent so much time in their burrow. No wonder they live so long. Wait, I think I would have died of boredom.

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  15. Great to see all of the cactus blooms. Not to mention your "missing" tortoise showing itself. A good day!

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  16. ah. . .thank you for clarifying the "nipple" cactus. We saw a couple of them on a hike the other day, and had no idea those protrusions were actually their blooms. Very, very interesting. . .and I think cactus blooms rate right up there with all the most beautiful flowers. We haven't seen an ocotillo blooming quite that profusely yet, although we have seen them loaded with leaves. I'm finding new things in the desert to be totally fascinating. . .

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  17. Love the blooming cacti.

    I just had a crown with no root canal. It seems I had a very tiny crack on the tooth and it was causing me a lot of pain. My cost was over $400 WITH good dental insurance! I am a coward too and I made sure the dentist knew that. Before we started, we discussed how she was going to administer the novocaine (slowly or it hurts) and I made sure she understood I was going to be a wuss. She was excellent. I had absolutely no pain, or really discomfort. It was pretty quick and the only pain was when I had to pay the bill. I was sure glad I had the problem before we left Tampa.

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  18. I've never seen a nipple cactus...very interesting!
    We went to Algondones as well...but not for dental work, just a margarita!

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  19. Completely understand your feelings about being uncomfortable with Mexican dentists. We were the same way but after Jim had a couple bad experiences with American dentists we figured it was worth taking a chance. In fact I just finished up may last root canal appointment this morning in Algodones.

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  20. That's what friends are for....

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  21. That is quite a mystery on how that little tortoise appeared out of nowhere. I'm waiting to see you use your keen investigative talents to solve this mystery. :c)

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  22. That is very weird that the little tortoise just showed up and lives in the middle presumably empty space. But kinda cool too. Going to Mexico to see a dentist would freak me out too. Glad you had someone to go with you to show you the ropes. I'm sure it's a story all unto itself!

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  23. Lovely photos of the cacti. We live in the high desert and the cacti here are not even budding yet. I have heard nothing but good things about the dentists in Mexico, yet am sure I will be very nervous of using them when the time comes.

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  24. Lovely photos of the cacti. We live in the high desert and the cacti here are not even budding yet. I have heard nothing but good things about the dentists in Mexico, yet am sure I will be very nervous of using them when the time comes.

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  25. Dentist are dentist the world over. I have visited many different ones in the Good 'ol US of A. I also had my first wisdom tooth pulled by an Army dentist in a tent office while in the Dominican Republic (one hell of a dental experience story). Have also had dental work done in Bulgaria, Japan and Mexico and as I said dentist are dentist!

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  26. So cool that you have a new turtle! Is there a reason for keeping them separated?

    We are heading your way the end of this week and hope to see you at the VC. If you are up to it, we plan to go to Algodones while in the area. We have our dentist appointment on the 25th.

    Do not be concerned about a crown. A crown enables you to keep your teeth and to be able to chew normally. Since we had to wait weeks to visit our chosen dentist, I am sure that we will be satisfied with her work.

    And that nipple cactus! That is a new one for me. Is it native to AZ?

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  27. Nice! I guess you ought to take a step back and truly look at dental treatment from all angles. One shouldn't really hurriedly take that trip to Mexico, either. What's more important than price is the quality of service, and if you can get something that more than delivers at the nearest place possible, and for the most reasonable fee, then I figure you should pursue that. It's a win-win situation wherever you look at. Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Karen Perry @ Brookside Dental Center

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  28. I lived in the border of Algodones in Holtville, CA for many years. Algodones is the safest place in all of Mexico. I go there to get all my major dental work done. Dr. Luis Escobar is the absolute best! I trust him whole heartedly. He referred to me Dr. Ivan Gaspar for four root canals. The USA dentists have confirmed what a great job these two dentists did. Dr. Luis Escobar will always be my first choice and I trust his recommendations if he sends me to a specialist.

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  29. I agree there are good and bad dentist's everywhere. You have to do your homework. United States wanted to charge me $14,500. I flew coast to coast for $250, rental car $140, Hacienda hotel in Los Algodones $50 per night (amazing, sage, secure hotel with great food). I paid less than $3000 for the flight, car, hotel, and all dental work. I also got a top notch dentist I'd trust before many in the United States. It's really a no brainer if you can't afford the thousands of dollars and want quality work. Just do your homework.

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  30. Nice Post. Thank you for sharing this in Your blog

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