This newspaper cutting about Gilbert's White tortoise fell out of a book over the holidays:
"... it is a matter of wonder to find that Providence should bestow such a profusion of days, such a seeming waste of longevity, on a reptile that appears to relish it so little as to... be lost to all sensation for months together in the profoundest of slumbers.
While I was writing this letter, a moist and warm afternoon with the thermometer at 50 brought forth troops of shell-snails; and, at the same time, the tortoise heaved up the mould and put out its head; and the next morning came forth, as it were from the dead; and walked till four in the afternoon." (Gilbert White: The History of Selbourne, Penguin 1977)
I have not been particularly successful at achieving one of my resolutions, to get up earlier, but it's a little warmer today so I shall be venturing out myself.
And a Happy New Year to you too!