Last Sunday I turned out of my driveway and headed for Ann’s Place for some early morning penance in the form of weeding. While the lawn is beginning to come in nicely albeit slowly, the weed population continues to grow quickly and invasively like all weeds do. As I reached the bottom of the hill and made a left turn, I noticed out of the corner of my eye an orb-like shape on the road that was light on one side with markings and dark on the other. Like a bowl with a lid.
It didn’t register with me immediately but a few hundred yards down the road I thought it could perhaps be a turtle that was upside down in its shell. I kept driving for another 30 seconds or so before my conscious got the better of me and I turned around. Pulling up on the side of the street opposite the object, I realized that my initial hunch was correct. It was a turtle; a big one about a foot long and eight inches wide. Probably a snapper.
It has somehow been flipped over on its back and was just inside the white line marking the edge of the road. Perhaps it had tried to climb or down the embankment that was next to it. It lay helpless with a pool of urine draining away from it. I walked across the street to see how it was doing.
It was still alive.
I took it across the street and placed it gently on its bottom shell. After a few moments it looked and stared at me but was unwilling to extend either its head or legs outside its protective shell that rested on some brown and gray leaf mold. I waited for a few minutes to see if it would come out of its shell but it would not budge. It was time for me to leave and I hoped the turtle would soon saunter away.
While I was weeding, I though about the turtle and all the other creatures we inadvertently come across every day. I put a deer fence around the back yard area of Ann’s Place to ensure that the deer would not decimate the fledgling trees and shrubs as they had in the prior year. But it would not stop the bunnies, frogs, possums and other local residents from enjoying the sanctuary that we have created.
As I headed home I hoped that the turtle had recovered from its topsy-turvy experience. I slowly pulled my car back into the space it had stopped at a few hours ago. No sign of the turtle. A good thing.