Saturday, June 7, 2014

Good Morning, Sunshine!

So far there has been little more than mosquitos in the new in-ground pool in the front garden. (Well, there’s some other practically microscopic invertebrate something buzzing around in there too, and the male Indigo Bunting was eyeing it up the other day.)

While sitting on the bench on my front deck (which over looks the pond) the other morning I realized there was a bit more wave action in it than usual…

(No, don't focus on the plants, Camera! The turtle, the turtle...!)

Not quite what I was expecting to show up. I should have realized, though, given the number of comments I’ve heard about how much box turtles love going (intentionally) for a swim. Small pond, perhaps 15 or 20 gallons? Big box turtle.

I fished him out just in case he wasn’t big enough to get over the low lip. (Must ponder the best way to build an escape ramp…) He was the least fearful box turtle I’ve handled in some time; I earned a few short hisses before he seemed to think better of it. Normally, a box turtle realizes it has a pretty effective defense mechanism: “I have a hinged plastron and I know how to use it!” *thwunk* I had to plop him in a bucket when I went to get a different lens because I didn’t trust him not to scamper off faster than I could get back outside. (I’ve been keeping a haphazard photo account of box turtles I find in the yard; basically, I take their pic and there it will sit in the memory card and the computer until I get around to doing something a bit more scientific with it.)

As an apology and restitution in case he had spent longer in the drink than he had intended, I fetched out some lovely earthworms from a few inadvertent stashes I have. (Given a year or two the mulberry and grape leaves compost beautifully all on their own just lying around in a pile on my patio. Guaranteed to be full of earthworms.)

Because he wasn’t really afraid of me, it took him about two eye blinks (his) before he realized I had dropped breakfast in front of him.

*nom nom nom* And then the bugs (biting flies have been added to the list of the other blood suckers out and about, oh joy) got the better of me (although I didn’t come off the front walk with nearly so many ticks as I expected to) and I let him go on his way…

It was fun tracking his slow, meandering progress across the front yard by the swaying-out-of-time-and-direction-with-the-wind grass and vinca vines.