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Turtles all the way down

The turtles are on the move. This little, muddy, and just-emerged snapper was almost stepped on by some neighbor ladies out for a walk this morning.

I was outside on my sunken patio, hidden from view to anyone passing by. I was enjoying a pleasant cup of tea (green, Dragonwell: the only way to go in my experience) when I heard a cry. 

a shriek

“Don’t step on it!” one of them shrieked.

I was pretty sure what the “it” was, given the time of year in late spring. 

no way home

A week or so earlier, I’d come home one late afternoon to find a painted turtle hatchling at my front door. Its instincts were telling it to get to the lake some 50 yards away–50 yards the way a crow flies, that is. Problem was, my condo building and a long row of others were in its path. Plus, while it had somehow made it down my steps, it would never–could never–make it back up the steps to get around the buildings and to the lakes. It was facing imminent death without rescue.

Lucky for this turtle, I came home while it was still alive, and I had time right then and there to walk it down to the nearby lake. I gently put it in a plastic container and brought it about 10 feet from the water’s edge, and let it crawl the final distance into the cool lake. 

to the rescue

When I heard the shriek this morning, I immediately popped up out of my chair, sprinted up the steps and saw that, indeed, the ladies were looking down at a little snapping turtle, muddy and clearly just emerged. 

So we picked it up with a leaf (avoiding cross-species germ spreading), and I offered to take it down near the lake, as close to its prior trajectory as I could manage and, as with the other just-hatched turtle, allowed it to crawl the final 10-15 feet or so to the lake.

I hope they both made it to the water and lived to see another day …


a most excellent read, and reading

And, yes, I did just listen to Turtles All the Way Down, by John Green and read by Kate Rudd. Mesmerizing.


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