Thursday, October 6, 2011

Turtle Rescue

Today I walked in the woods by a favorite creek. The water was low and the creek muddy. I startled a red-tailed hawk and saw a flock of robins among the trees, but otherwise I saw no interesting wildlife.

Then, on the drive home, I spotted a small turtle walking across the road. The turtle was heading for the centerline and a car was approaching in the opposite direction. I stopped, got out and picked up the turtle and carried it to the other side of the road. 


Another car that had just passed also stopped on the side of the road and the driver called to me: "Got him?" I was happy to have rescued this small turtle and pleased that another driver had cared to stop as well. 

I think it may be an Eastern box turtle. Box turtles have highly individualized shells, from what I gathered online, so it's hard to say for sure. Do you know?

I wondered what the turtle thought about being carried to the side of the road by a large creature who appeared out of nowhere. Divine intervention? Busybody? 

Sometimes I think it would be easier to be a creature with no thoughts. 




18 comments :

HolleyGarden said...

A creature with no thoughts - might be nice sometimes! ;) We often stop for "frog crossings". A turtle, though is much more special! Good going. He had a good story to tell when he got home.

Indie said...

Yay for the animal rescue!
I feel like someone needs to come up with a 'why did the turtle cross the road' joke right about now..

PlantPostings said...

So kind of you to save the turtle. He's a pretty one, too!

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

Did you put him on the side of the road in which he was headed? Otherwise he would try to cross the road again. Turtles are funny creatures! So good of you to rescue him!

Sheila said...

HolleyGarden, I have seen flattened turtles before, so I was motivated to save him. I've never seen a frog crossing the road.

Indie, that turtle was determined to cross the road. He seemed to be moving as fast as his little turtle legs could carry him. But why?

Beth, I agree the turtle is very pretty with the orange markings.

Karin, I did put him on the side of the road in which he was headed. I didn't want to mess up his plan. I read later that box turtles (if it is a box turtle) have a strong homing instinct and like to stay within a 200-yard range.

linniew said...

Good work Sheila. Excellent karma. Once we stopped on the freeway and helped some French tourists whose rented car had stopped in the middle lane. They ended up as friends. Just about everyone needs a rescue now and then.

pumpkydine said...

Every act of kindness and every bit of love and compassion shown to others changes the future for the better. Mr. Box Turtle now lives to do what box turtles do in God's great plan. Very nice story. If we all exteneded a helping hand when we could what a great place it be.
Randy

Sheila said...

Linnie, You're so right. We all do need a rescue sometimes. The turtle and I didn't talk much, but I still consider him a friend :)

Randy, I think that act of kindness may have affected me more than the turtle. It's a great feeling to help a fellow creature.

Cat said...

Oh, thank goodness you stopped! In his own way, I'm sure he appreciated the assistance!!

Donna said...

I often worry about turtles because they are so slow and hard to avoid. So good of you to stop and help him out...lovely creatures...

greggo said...

looks like a box turtle to me. Did he wet when you picked him/her up?

Sheila Read said...

Cat, two days later, I still think stopping for the turtle was the most satisfying thing I did this week ...

Donna, yes, turtles do seem so helpless in the road. He is a lovely turtle. I hope he is now happily hanging out by the creek.

Greggo, so is wetting a positive id for box turtle :)

One said...

Sheila, What a coincidence! My kids rescued one from being crushed on the road 2 weeks ago. In fact, every year for the past 3 years, someone would rescue a turtle about this time of the year and bring it to me as they didn't know what to do with the turtle. I have posted about it in 2009 and 2010. I took some photos this year but didn't get around to posting. :)

Stacy said...

Thinking about being a creature with no thoughts, I started wondering if we would all need help in that case to cross a road, too: then it all started to get a little too metaphysical... :) It's really neat that you came across someone else who was also concerned for the turtle! And isn't that typical, to encounter wildlife on the road home, and not in the wilder places?

Carolyn ♥ said...

I love your thoughts, Sheila... a tender story. I would have done the same. I do believe that we are blessed to be stewards over this beautiful earth and all of its amazing creatures. Well done... post and act of kindness.

Sheila Read said...

One, I'm glad turtles are being rescued all over the world! I like small signs of hope :)

Stacy, I think that at some point in our lives, we all need to be carried to the other side of the road. Perhaps that is my vision of what God does for us ...

I had the thought, too, about how frequently we find wildlife in the road (too often flattened!) and not in the wild. On my walk along the creek, I heard several plops in the water as a I passed by. I presume they were turtles hiding from me. Then I find one in the road on the way home!

Carolyn, yes, we all are called to be stewards of God's creatures. Usually my stewardship is more indirect, by gardening organically, and trying to think through the environmental impact of daily choices. But it's nice to have the opportunity for more direct intervention on behalf of a fellow creature.

Cathy and Steve said...

It's refreshing that someone else stopped as well.

The Sage Butterfly said...

That was very thoughtful of you. I often wonder what small creatures think of me when I try to protect or save them. I like the idea of no thoughts...