Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Introducing: Monday the Turtle

On our way to buy more dirt (it never ends) we keep an eye open for a turtle crossing the road. Sooner or later we will find one, we tell ourselves and finally we have. He is small enough not to be scary to pick up, so when we saw him it was all screeching brakes, turning around at the first opportunity and then driving like mad back to where he first appeared.
We needn't have hurried, he was still taking the first steps into the road.
We were in La Bamba, which has a big center console just made for a turtle, and we weren't that far from home so it wouldn't be too traumatic a ride for the little guy.
Here he is about to be launched into our pond. Ah, such a sweet moment.

He swam like a trooper, and we haven't seen him since. The pond is quite high after torrential rains all day Sunday, and the mud has been stirred up. This makes for easy hiding for a little turtle. The frogs, all five of them are floating about the surface, doing their lazy best to lord over the pond. I know this new turtle will have a banquet on the 7000 tadpoles. Just leave our remaining 5 goldfish alone, please.

Speaking of rain, Dave planted five euonymus alatus (Burning Bushes) on Saturday and then
it rained all day Sunday and by Monday morning two of them were laying on the ground having been uprooted by the groundwater. This is one of the holes, which still has not drained 12 hours later. So we are going to build another raised bed and plant the bushes in it instead of the ground. The same thing happened in the orchard (aka the rice paddy). A tall non-fruiting pear tree was lying on its side from too much rain in its hole. Never seen anything like it.
Squish squosh.


  1. Diane8:44 AM

    That turtle looks like a box turtle which is a land dweller. He should never have been put into the pond. Box turtles live their lives within a space about as big as a football field and never leave it. They burrow into the ground and you often will see them after rains. Learn about the turtles in your area and look for an aquatic turtle. You did this guy a disservice removing him from his home and a bigger one tossing him into the pond.

  2. I did some research of the box turtle and it seems that I have done no harm and have possibly saved the life of this little guy. These turtles can be found along the shores of ponds and creeks where their food is abundant. They are prone to crossing roads which is also how many of them are killed. So what we did by removing him from the road and placing him at the shore of our pond has done absolutely no harm.

  3. Anonymous11:51 AM

    When you encounter a turtle in the road you are just to move it out of the road in the direction it was going. Moving it from a habitat that was sustaining it and putting it into an artificial environment devoid of natural vegetation and probably sufficient food didn't help it at all.
    Leave wild animals alone. If your pond becomes a place they want to live - they will come.

  4. Dave,

    If you decide to add any more turtles to your pond, look for turtles that have a lower, flatter shell, like painted turtles or red-eared sliders(they have the little red streak on the sides of their head and are the turtles that they used to sell in the dime stores.) You will probably find these crossing the road, too. Both will work fine in the pond provided they have places to crawl out and sun themselves, etc... The easiest way to tell an aquatic turtle from a land turtle is the shape of the shell. The higher the dome of the top shell (carapace), means land dwelling. These box turtles have a hinge on their bottom shell (plastron) so they can completely enclose themselves. Flatter shelled turtles are water turtles. Just stay away from snappers and even the soft shell turtles (very flat with "leathery" shells) because they will both bite.

  5. Anonymous1:43 PM

    Oh brother.....

  6. My feelings exactly......

  7. Anonymous2:11 PM

    That gummy red clay soil looks like it's perfect for planting roses.

  8. Anonymous2:47 PM

    I had a dream that the poor turtle spent hours and hours trying to find his sustaining habitat but instead ended up in the road and got picked up by some people in a car and was released into their pond. The turtle again spent hours and hours searching for his football-sized home filled with natural vegetation, but instead made the foolish mistake of attempting to cross a highway, again being grabbed by a passing motorist and placed into another pond. Finally, after about 15 of these traumatic experiences the turtle decided to commit suicide by crossing a road and getting hit by a car. But as luck would have it a passing motorist stopped and picked up the turtle, and in 15 minutes the turtle was in pond again, swimming for his life.

    So the moral of the story? If you're a turtle keep low and stay off the highway!

  9. Anonymous3:14 PM

    This is what happens when city people try to go country and wreak havoc.

  10. I am praying for Monday the Turtle but I do believe he or she will be just fine! Imagine Peace! Mary Helen

  11. Anonymous4:43 PM

    I read on Salon that "Turtlegate" is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and that unless this shocking travesty of justice is corrected - mankind could possibly be doomed. It may seem as if it's only one turtle, no wait it IS only one turtle.

    True story.

  12. I may regret posting this, but I am finding that it really chaps my ass (sorry for the language) when anonymous posters come to my favorite blogs on a regular basis, only to make the blogger wrong for whatever it is they are posting about today.

    As has been said hundreds of times now, if you have something to say, at least be brave enough to sign your name to it. It is okay to have differing opinions, but is it so necessary to make others wrong??

    And don'tcha know- that we learn by mistakes much more than successes? So if it was wrong to put the turtle in the pond, a lesson will be learned, but we don't need anonymous wrongmaking, do we? "wreak havok" is a bit strong of a phrase, and is just plain mean, and making someone wrong just to be right- how powerful is that?

    Diane- I have noticed the different types of shells when drawing turtles in nature, but didn't know what the differences meant. Thanks for the information!

    LB, who is a turtle-lover, but who doesn't think you ruined this turtle's life.

  13. I was a little pissed until I got to the Turtlegate comment. Now that was amusing.
    Really people-there must be something more important going on in your worlds(wherever that might be)than the turtlenapping Johnson family.
    By the way Dave. My euonymous was planted, torched by the crew that re-surfaced my driveway and came back even stronger. They are so full and beautiful when they get going. Good luck with yours.

  14. Anonymous6:05 PM

    OK you OTHER Anons, you've had your say and have already said too much. Now get over it!

    Move on, to France for instance, to those 3 and 5 STAR restaurants where your darlings can be found in 'Turtle Creme Soups'.

    For crying out LOUD!

    The Therapist or the rose in the clay or just annoyed.

  15. I am in the middle of an active tornado alley exploding here in Ohio soooo being downstairs following Turtlegate is pure entertainment to this old country girl. I do agree it is much more fun if we all know the "commentees." Monday the turtle will be just fine! Imagine Peace! Mary Helen
    P.S. Fess up big boys!

  16. Terry1:32 AM

    I think the turtle is very cute. Nice picture.


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