Tuesday, April 26, 2011

To serve turtles

Something we've done regularly over the years is to rescue turtles who are misguidedly attempting to cross roads. We're up to about (?) 7 or 8 of them now. Usually, the errant turtle is leaving one piece of habitat for another, and if there's a decent lagoon or patch of marshy wood nearby, we simply relocate him/her to it.

Sometimes the turtle isn't misguided at all, merely desperate. Today's was leaving his now-destroyed home, a former wood on our route to the post office. It's now been flattened for development. I guess the economy is picking up. The turtle did not seem very excited by that. S/he was crossing in hope of finding a new home, but the other side was also no place to be. It used to be a delightful goat farm and orchard. It's now Orchard Acres, or some such development name.

So we placed the turtle carefully in the passenger-side foot-well, where he had little choice but to wait with skeptical patience while we mailed packages, and grocery shopped. At home, the milk did wait in the car while Larry walked the turtle to the edge of the woods, fairly far from the road.

Scooter can be counted on to supervise all activities in his territory.

What the bleep are these people doing now?!

An hour later, no sign of Turtle of the Day, so we will hope he likes it in our local wood.


ronnie said...

Oh, bless you for doing this! I am grateful for every soul who rescues the littlest among us. I'm reminded of the people here in NB a couple of years ago who risked olfactory attack to get a coffee cup off of a skunk's head (all turned out well) or the Halifax firefighter who risked life and limb to rescue a seagull who had a wing impaled on a church weather vane.

The post was a relief, actually. When I saw the title on my RSS feed I was afraid you were making turtle soup for supper. (Kidding! I'm kidding1)

Mike said...

Having (illegally!) fostered a very small snapper some years ago, I retain a warm spot for turtles. I'm a little reluctant to physically assist the mama snappers who come out this time of year to lay their eggs, since they are in the 30 pound, take off your hand, size range, but have been known to flag down traffic until the ill-tempered army helmet has found her way across the asphalt.

And habitat is an issue not only for them but also for salamanders and other little wriggly things that are an important part of the cycle. There are under-highway crossings installed for them in some places, but they don't all use them, alas.

Catherine said...

I used to rescue errant turtles when I lived in NJ. Alas, we don't see them on the roads here at all.

My (former) assistant once came to work in NJ with a small snapper on the floor of her car. She'd rescued it from the middle of a road and had no idea that it was a dangerous creature to be friendly with. We named it Daisy and (oh so carefully) put it in a nearby pond as quickly as we could.

Good on you for taking the time to care for the little guy/gal!

Sherwood Harrington said...

@Mike: I wonder how Howard's doing.