Darwin

CooperDragon

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He is used to being free range a lot at home. There aren't any other pets, floors are cleaned of small things for him to eat, inaccessible areas closed off etc. He has been to the cabin several times before as well. They do pretty well in free range (in my experience anyway) when they have a variety of lighting options available. There really wasn't anywhere for him to get into trouble easily and I had an eye on him most of the time. Everyone's mileage may vary =)
 

saraho

Hatchling Member
I'd let Charlie be free range in the library, but it's too huge, with too many opportunities for trouble. I love that Darwin has that life though. He looks so majestic in the woods! Charlie loves to walk outside but I've never had the option to take him anywhere with so much foliage, he'd be so excited!
 

CooperDragon

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Yeah a library would probably have too many hiding spots to make it very safe for free range (without supervision anyway). I was surprised how much Darwin seemed to like the woods. It was a cool day (mid 50s maybe) and the trail was damp with cool rocks but he'd wiggle in my hands to be let down and wanted to investigate a bit and sit on one of the rocks or a branch etc. Bright orange beard the whole time, he seemed to love it.
 

CooperDragon

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Decided to take a road trip and camp in Dinosaur Park on the CO/UT border for a few days. Had a very relaxing time and Darwin LOVED it. I think being in an environment so close to his natural habitat kicked something into gear because he ran around like a crazy man and was head bobbing and basking and really enjoying himself. He is darting all over the house now that we're back home too. It was fun to watch his behavior kick into a sort of natural rhythm. I tried not to interfere aside from when I needed to keep him safe from something and he covered a TON of territory over the course of the day. I was surprised how much area he started defending and exploring. He enjoyed slithering around in dirt, searched out tall grasses and shrubs, basked on rocks etc. Since the nights were cold I put one of the 72hr heat packs in under his blanket and then covered his carrier with fleece. Spot checks throughout the night showed that the carrier stayed in the high 70s which is much better than I expected in 25-30 degree weather at night. It was in the 70s during the day with intense sunshine which was perfect. UVI stayed around 4-5 at the height of the day and surface temps got up into the 90s-100s in direct sun. He spent more time in the direct sun than I expected and just changed his colors throughout the day as needed. Added a few more states to his travel list as well. He's been through NE, WY, CO, UT, KS, and MO now in addition to IA, MN, WI, IL, IN, OH, NY, VT, NH. I should make a little passport for him =)

Basking at the campsite.
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Hanging out at the campsite at sunset.
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Hike along the green river bed.
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Hike up along the canyon wall along the river.
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Betty53218

Hatchling Member
Looks like he was having a great time! My guy loves his outside time too. We live on a gravel pit so lots of rock, grass and woods to explore. He hates coming back in the house! So glad Darwin gets to have such great experiences. Smaug is out for the count at the moment.
 

CooperDragon

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Hi Betty, it's good to hear from you! I'm glad Smaug enjoys outside time too. Is this his normal brumation time? Darwin is usually sound asleep now too, but he went down early this year (starting late May) and I just let him sleep so now he has January energy levels (boosted by the recent trip, I think).
 

Betty53218

Hatchling Member
He tried to go down in a July this year, but I kept him up so he could enjoy the warm weather. He used to go down early, but the last couple years he at least waited until September. I don’t know why he got so sleepy earlier this time around. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma at the beginning of September and was pretty sick. Had to be in the hospital for a few days. That’s when I was thankful that I could just let him go into his brumation. I still get him up every couple of weeks to get some water into him. Feeling better now that I’m on treatment, but still worry about his care if I’m ever too sick to take care of him. He is hand fed, and I’m the only one who knows how to feed him. We just have a special bond. ?
 

CooperDragon

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I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I'm glad you are feeling better with treatment though. Hopefully that will go dormant and remain that way for a long time. If it ever comes to it, please let me know if you need help caring for him and I will do whatever I can to help.
 

CooperDragon

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Darwin had a pretty good visit from Santa this year. I removed the tile from his enclosure and replaced it with shelf liner since his nails don't grow. He doesn't really use his enclosure except to sleep, but I figured it wouldn't hurt. Gave me an excuse to deep clean the whole thing anyway.

He got a container of hornworms and some BSFL too. The BSFL got delayed in transit so I wound up throwing a bunch of them out since they were mushy and stinky. Was able to save the rest though. Hornworms are fine and growing to edible size now. He also got a hand knit blanket =)

For lighting he got a replacement lamp stand as well as a 100w PowerSun (mostly so I can test it's output) and the european Arcadia 100w MVB with a step up converter which is his new kitchen light. I haven't done much testing yet, but initial observation is that UVB output from both of them is strong with a nice wide beam from both of them. The PowerSun isn't as bright as the Arcadia or MegaRay. It puts out a nice spread of heat though. The Arcadia is incredibly powerful in terms of UVB output, but it doesn't produce much heat. It doesn't get the basking surface warm enough on it's own without putting it close enough to produce 14UVI which is ovbiously no go. I'll wind up installing a second lamp next to it for him, but will wait a few weeks to see how it goes after burn-in. He seems to enjoy basking under all of them so far. I'll have some time to do more detailed output testing soon, which will give UVI and temperature details for the PowerSun and Arcadia MVBs.

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CooperDragon

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Has been a while since I updated. Darwin went through his usual hyper phase and then calmed down. Interestingly, he decided to go back into brumation a few weeks ago. He's had one awake day but has mostly been sleeping. This is an unusual time of year for him to do this, but he is OK & healthy. Maybe he'll be more active and energetic than usual over this summer because of it. :dontknow:

I did have some time to give his new bulbs a good run. His Arcadia MVB from LYR has taken his morning spot in the kitchen. He loves it and it produces a really bright light and a ton of UVB. It's an excellent setup and is still strong after burn-in. His PowerSun was good at first, but quickly dropped off. Started reading around 1.5-2UVI at 12'' and the visible light is noticeably dimmer and more yellow than the others. The temps were just fine at 95-105 but the UVB output is disappointing. Darwin tended to avoid it too. I need to take time to do more actual testing with it, but I may need to start giving a thumbs down to a PowerSun. I wound up removing it and putting a halogen bulb in that fixture instead. I set his old MegaRay up in a corner of the room that gives him walls on 3 sides along with a log and his rock souvenir from dinosaur park. He spent most of his time under that light and seems to love the cozy space. The MegaRay is several years old but is still producing 3-3.5UVI at 12'' and producing proper temps. The beam is still narrower than I'd like, but he doesn't seem to care at all.
 

CooperDragon

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Darwin woke up from his second sleep a few weeks ago now and is hyper, eating and pooping daily again, and back to his usual self. We are in the middle of a move, so he's been back and forth a lot between the old and new places. Lots of travel but he's handled it really well and seems to like the new space. No news is good news, I suppose!
 

CooperDragon

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Darwin is still very active and alert. He has handled the move well and seems to like the new place. He has a corner of the living room all to himself with his lights and bed. I still have his enclosure set up in the living room, but never use it except when the movers were unloading. He stood very still with a jet black beard and glared at me the whole time. "How dare you lock me up like this!".

He is usually starting to bunker down for brumation around this time, but he went down for two cycles last year so perhaps the schedule has shifted, we'll see.

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lol i feel like i ask so many questions on this site but i just love it here!
so many questions & not enough days
I'm painting Devlyn's house while she brumates. You can message me to hold me accountable because I procrastinate >_<

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