Thursday, June 03, 2010

Morning Rescue

Mr. Box Turtle in Tom's lawn on a kamikaze mission to Rt. 1

On my way out early this morning into the heavy, warm and humid morning to deposit my empty Corn Chex cereal box to my trash can, I saw a familiar object making its way toward my neighbor Tom's lawn.  Upon closer inspection I saw that it was a box turtle ON A MISSION.

I rushed back into the house to get my camera.  I had my own mission this morning and that was to save this box turtle from its single minded kamikaze mission to reach Route 1.

The Turtle Rescuer's House - turtle located on bottom right

In my previous life when I lived in Pennsylvania I saved many a box turtle that were crossing the road to find new mating grounds.  In fact I sometimes put myself in danger by stopping and pulling my car over to the side of the road while the morning commuters whizzed by me, putting myself in danger.  Morning commuter traffic would not be a problem this morning.

After getting my camera and my work gloves I rushed back outside and saw that Mr. Box Turtle had made good progress.  He was in Tom's deep grass (Tom needs to mow his lawn.)  I reached down with gloved hand and scooped him up.  As I did his he gave me a quick "WTF?" look and retreated his black and yellow head and legs into his shell.

I proceeded to carry him across the dividing strip of land between the development I live in and the Oyster Rocks development behind me.  Oyster Rocks contains a big retention pond which is very popular with the local birds and other marine and small animal wildlife.  It's a wonder what that small body of water attracts.  I pass the pond on my daily walks and always take special satisfaction in witnessing the wildlife activity around that pond.

Every few moments Mr. Box Turtle would poke his head out to see where I was taking him.

In about ten minutes I reached the cattail lined berm surrounding the retention pond.  As I stepped down the embankment I saw a quick  movement in the tall grass undergrowth.  Ah yes, a snake.  Uh huh.  I'm glad I didn't step on it.  I like and respect snakes but I have no desire to be bitten by one.  I left my penknife at home. You know, twice cuts at cross angles on the snake bite and suck the blood out.  Not this morning thank you.  The snake quickly slithered its way into the water.  It was probably more afraid of me than I of it.

I took a picture of Mr. Box Turtle surveying his new home and gently put him down in the tall grass near the pond's edge.  

Mr. Box Turtle surveying his new home - "Yes, this is definitely better than Rt. 1"

Almost immediately he poked his head out and seemed to realize he was in safe territory.  In no time flat he was hauling his brown and yellow turtle shell towards the water.  I tried to take a parting picture of him but he moved too fast for me.  So much for slow turtles.

Score:  Route 1 Roadkill                                     -1
            Retention Pond wildlife addition             +1

The Oyster Rocks retention pond, Mr. Box Turtle's new home - may he live a long life


  1. And there's me thinking you were going to strap your camcorder to him and have live "turtle-cam" updates on your blog :)

  2. Kim,

    Good idea! I could strap my Flip video camera on his back. Unfortunately he's deep into the bog now. I'll have to wait until the next turtle rescue.



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