Buster the tortoise, goes cuckoo for two things: hibiscus blooms and the blossoms that a plant called the snail vine produces (no doubt because the little purple flowers have something of a resemblance to snail shells… personally I don’t see it).

When my mom lived in Sherman Oaks she had a snail vine plant growing all over the north fence of the backyard so whenever I was over there I’d always be sure to load up on the morsels to bring him for Buster to enjoy — and boy did she. But ever since my mom sold that house a couple years ago, the supply of snail vine blossoms tanked. So much so that last year Susan and I got a snail vine plant and tried to get it to grow in the north yard but it hasn’t been doing very well, producing only the occasional bloom. We planted a hibicus as well that’s put out some flowers, but they’re all over the neighborhood so supply isn’t at all an issue with them.

Leave it to my mom to find nearby a snail vine source while she was minding our animals during our vacation last month. No, not just a source. A mother lode that’s readily accessible from the sidewalk on Hyperion north of Sunset. I made a trip over there last weekend and plucked 50 blooms off in a matter of minutes and there were thousands left:


Taking the long way home I ended up stopped on Rowena and relieving the hibiscus plants lining the south sidewalk of some of their bounty as well:


The result is Buster has been in food heaven all week.