Friday, July 02, 2010

The Great Turtle Release

Yesterday, on our late afternoon trip around the yard, the dogs and I had just gotten around the corner of the barn, when we all spotted something walking across the lawn. I could hardly believe my eyes! It was a painted turtle!! You know from my posts that we have a pond behind our property, but also you've seen from the picture that it is quite far away. I'm am not sure where the turtle came from, but it seemed like we should transport it to the water and release it there, safely away from roads and lawn mowers and such.

I told the dogs to leave it alone, picked it up and was holding it when Jeff drove in from work. He was certainly surprised too! He got an old glass tank out of the barn and we put a little water in thinking the turtle might be feeling rather dry.

It was neat to look at, but we knew we needed to release it right away. It was pacing around the tank trying to find a way out.

Here is a close up of it all squeezed into the shell.

I leashed the dogs and they were very interested in the turtle, but were told to definitely not even think about eating it!

We all hiked toward the pond. On the way, along a grassier stretch than shown in the picture, there was a group of some kind of rodents squeaking under the grass. This was terribly exciting for the dogs who had to bury their noses in the grass to try to find rodents. I, nature lover that I am, am not so fond of rodents...especially ones hidden in ankle deep grass I'm wading through in rolled up pantlegs. I was worried a dog would scare one into running up my jeans! We managed to persevere through that and continued on.

Jeff set the turtle on the mud near the water and we all bid farewell to it. And it proceeded to sit there like a stone. You can see it in the center of the picture.

So, Jeff gingerly walked out further on the semi-dry mud and got the turtle to the waterline.

At last, its head came out and it pushed out into the water and submerged.

We headed back home, enjoying the rest of the walk with the dogs.

Hopefully the turtle is happy too!


2paw said...

Oh what an exciting story. What good Labradors you ahve too. Rodents: eeek!! I watched a nice film about setting a turtle or tortoise free: (just looking) The Turtle Diary. I saw it at the pictures when it first came out.(Oh that's 25 years ago, I am so old!!)

madalyn said...

I'm quite positive the turtle is happy! I'm glad you helped it along!

knitseashore said...

What a sweet story! I'm so glad the turtle made it back to the water safely. I wonder why he traveled so far?

Kristen said...

I always stop (when it is safe) to help turtles across the road.
Charlotte's favorite 'road snack' was crunchy turtle shell from those who didn't make it!