Monday, August 22, 2005

I was driving over to the Post Office this morning to send out a piece of snail mail, and what goes with snails? I turned down SR19, the major road, undivided highway, two lanes each way, runs along the entire west coast of Florida... and as I was approaching the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park entrance, I noticed a dark shape in the middle of the road. It was moving rather slowly and awkwardly. Spotting what it was, I immediately pulled over and leapt out of my van, waving my arms to stop traffic, went to the middle of the road and picked up the large turtle and carried him to the other side- guess he wanted to see what the chicken had found. Surprisingly, he didn't tuck back into his shell at my touch, but rather, kicked his legs wildly as I carried him, with enough force that, at one point, I thought I might lose my grip! Anyway, second turtle I've saved. And people around here know this happens so no one gets pissed at you for stopping traffic. Saw one the other day that didn't make it- not a pretty sight!
Joe Dillett responded to this post and gave me permission to share his tale, which I found delightful...
"Turtles are cool. Never seen a homeless turtle yet. I found about 150 lb snapper once. I'll never say turtles are slow. He ran and I had to walk fast to keep up. I hung on the tail and he pulled me along with my heels digging in the ground just like I wasn't even there. His claws were about as long as my fingers. He was bigger around than a full-size washtub. He would have had no trouble taking a foot or hand off in one bite. He couldn't turn around quick to bit so I felt safe hanging on for the ride." -Joe
I carved a turtle once... had a heck of a time getting it to stand still...
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