Thursday, April 8, 2010
A Springtime Visitor
This afternoon about 2:00, I was sitting at the table, which I'd recently cleaned of pollen, paint, beads, and other such assorted items, having a little lunch of tuna and crackers (I'm not up to eating much yet) as Abby and Empi were outside on the deck surveying the grounds. The door was open, so I could hear and see them. All of a sudden, Abby sat up, ears alert, and focused on a spot in the far yard beyond the garden plots and started barking with gusto. Empi was not barking, so I knew there were no deer or other wayward dogs about. I couldn't see a thing out of the ordinary, and I thought maybe Abby heard something scurrying around in the woods. But the barking continued, enough to bring John from his office where he'd been preparing to teach his class this evening, and he stepped onto the deck to see what the fuss was about. He said, "There's something in the grass moving very slowly. Might be a hurt pigeon. I'm gonna go check it out." So I stood up and looked and squealed, "Oh my gosh... that's a HUGE turtle!" I went upstairs for my camera and hustled out there as fast as my still-recuperating body would let me... which was about as fast as the turtle was moving.
As I approached, John said, "Don't get too close. This is a snapping turtle and he'll tear you up." I wondered what on earth it was doing crawling through our yard, but we have a pond just below us through the woods and so he's probably had a pretty good life there, by the size of him! John wanted to get a stick to demonstrate just what such a turtle can do, but I wouldn't let him... no sense in making him angry or fearful. All I wanted was a few photos and then I'd let him be on his way.
His shell was about a foot long, and the spikes on his tail! Holy smokes! This guy was made for fighting. His legs were huge and muscular with long curved claws on his feet. He was amazing! And after I walked away, he lumbered along and headed into the woods where I hope he is safe and sound and happy.