It was a hot and steamy afternoon in the Deep South. The Georgia pines swayed in the gentle breeze. The sweat dripped off her body... Doesn't that sound like a great beginning for a romance novel? Well, nothing romantic about doing yard work in the middle of a hot summer type day! I had been working in the yard all day long removing old pine straw from my landscaping. I take great pride in my landscaping and when I am on a roll, no one messes with me! I was dirty, sweaty and in no mood for any games from the Saint. He came home from his cushy air conditioned office and started with his usual, "What did you do today"? I was ready for my comeback of "Sit on my butt and eat Bon Bons all day long honey"! Instead, I just gave him a smirky look as I continued on with my job. He was probably wondering where dinner was located. Since I was in the yard and on a mission, the only dinner he was getting was dry cat food and only if the girls shared! I still had piles upon piles of old pine straw to remove and 20 fresh bales to spread. The Saint decided that if he were to eat, that he had better help me with my job so I could make him dinner. Ha, he had one part right, help me!
The Saint was headed to the house to change into his yard clothes when he called me. I looked up and saw him bent over at the ground. Now just what kind of creepy crawly had he spotted now? I was in no mood to play his "Come and see what I found" game. I stopped long enough to gave him THAT look, you know, the look of "Don't mess with me man, I am on a mission here"... He got my attention when he said he would make it worth my time! I knew it had to be something good for him to get me distracted from my yard work. Was it another of those wingless wasp, a huge pinching bug, a walking stick, maybe an army of ants going down their hole! WHAT was so important for me to stop what I was doing? The only way to answer that question, is to go and see what the Saint had found.
It was this most amazing small, no little, no TINY that is the word I am looking for here, Tiny! It was a tiny turtle on the ground! Apparently I had uncovered it in the pine straw and did not spot it. We could not believe how tiny the thing was. Neither of us had ever seen such a tiny turtle in the wild. We had seen such things in pet stores, you know the little ones on fake lily pads in water aquariums. Well, this one was in our own backyard! The Saint was right, yeah, I said it, the Saint was right (this time anyway). Making me stop to see this creature was well worth my time!
We snapped a few pictures of it and then I carefully placed it along the fence near the woods under some small leaves for protection. We worked until the night sky appeared. I could not get the tiny turtle off my mind. Being a Foster mom to Miss Tuttle, left a special spot in my heart for turtles! We joked that Miss Tuttle may have put out the word that our house was a great Turtle Inn... I worried about a raccoon getting the tiny thing until I fell asleep that night.
The next morning the first thing I did was go and check to see if Tiny was still in the same spot. Sure enough, right where I had left it except dug into the earth a bit. I was happy to see Tiny had made it safely through the night. I had to mow the yard so I did this task in that area first so as to not run over Tiny with knowing the location.
About 3 days later, I found Tiny by the Air conditioner unit! I was so excited to find it again. I assume it was the same turtle even though this was a long distance from where I had left it 3 days earlier. This time we had to take a special photo op with a quarter beside it to prove the tiny size. Of course noisy Cheetah had to stick her big nose in the middle of things to get a snoot full. Then back to the same spot for Tiny to continue on. The Queen of Sheba was snoozing in her closet and missed all the excitement.
Two days later, the Saint spotted Tiny again near the AC unit but out in the yard a bit. I don't know how he spotted Tiny with the lush thick grass surrounding the tiny shell. This time I was worried as we could have stepped on Tiny and crushed the thing! I moved Tiny up beside the house so it would be out of the yard. The next day I needed to trim and mow and I had found Tiny again. I decided I had to remove Tiny from the yard for fear that we would kill the thing. I was so tempted to bring the adorable tiny thing in the house and play mother and keep it but wild nature, belongs in the wild so I resisted the temptations. I was worried that we would some how accidentally kill Tiny in the yard. I had befriended a frog once that was hanging around the AC unit and then accidentally killed it with the weed eater! I was so upset that I cried my eyes out. I was afraid that Tiny may end up as my froggy friend did. So I carefully took Tiny across the driveway and into our front woods. As I lay Tiny on the ground I said to go off and get big and strong and then come back for another visit some day...
The wildlife around us never ceases to amaze us!
Any one else ever find such a tiny turtle in the wild before?
posted by Skeeter at 7/21/2007 12:38:00 AM