Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Babies

In the spring of the year, we begin to see the box turtles crossing the lawn.  On the rainiest of days they start to cross the highways.  Many of us on FaceBook post warnings to friends and relatives to be careful in their driving to avoid that lump in the road that may very well be a turtle and not a pile of mud from the back of a truck.

I find them hiding near my flower pots and husband finds them in his garden and his mulch pile.  They are docile and easy to pick up and observe although they usually pull in their heads and you have be very patient if you really want to see them.


They come in various sizes but ours usually look like this one in the photo below crossing the lawn this summer.


We have had some luck in feeding them tomatoes and strawberries.  We had one fellow who was missing the claw from his front leg, perhaps in a battle with a raccoon or fox?  We named him stumpy as he hung around most of the summer and even returned the next year.  He loved our apple slices.

Yesterday we had some men helping with the mowing in the yard who came across this...


It does not look like much.  The black at the bottom of the photo is the edge of our driveway.  The hole itself is about 2 inches deep and 4 inches wide.  An anomaly in the surface of our yard that would be missed by a less discerning eye.  The young man who edges the driveway knew immediately what it was and call my husband over.  Perhaps you will remember our finding a snapping turtle digging a nest at the side of another road out in West Virginia.  Clearly that loose gravel is just the terrain they look for.

Soon they found this fellow in the dirt nearby.


Then when they moved the soil away in the hole they found THREE more little ones.


About the size of a half dollar and hatched into the world without a clue.  They had to depend on their instincts and their camouflage for survival.  I set them loose in my flower garden (the soaker hoses can provide some water) but I am sure they are on a journey out of my yard.  Within hours they were all gone, hidden in some foliage or even on their way down into the ravine.  I should have put a dab of fingernail polish on them to see if they return!

8 comments:

joeh said...

Next year! That fingernail polish is a good idea.

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images, the last shot looks like they were chatting. Brill photos.

messymimi said...

The turtles tend to stay near the creek here, up by the house we get the tiny frogs and have to watch where we step. They are all so beautiful.

Celia said...

Are they discussing which way to go. Best of luck to all those migrating critters. We saw a few painted turtles along a stream bed this August. "Scurrying" away, one tiny slow foot at a time.

Red said...

We don't have turtles here so this is a neat story.

Linda Reeder said...

What fun little guys! We have no turtles here.

Daniel LaFrance said...

Many turtles are on the endangered species list. Fortunate for your turtles, they have you and your hubby as stewards.

Great post!

Brian Miller said...

awww....what a cute little one you found...so cool to see creation in those little moments....