I know I have not been posting much, but I have a good reason. It’s because I have not been GARDENING much. I kid you not that it has rained heavily almost every day since I last bitched about the fact that it was raining heavily every day. It was a most disconcerting drive from Cleveland to my parents’ house this weekend where I did not pass a single field that had even been plowed yet — and there are A LOT of fields between here and there. This will be tough year for Ohio farmers, that is for sure.
But, even though I did not do much gardening this weekend because I was out of town, we did find an interesting visitor in the middle of the road near our home. Â Yes, I said middle of the road. We found an Eastern Box Turtle sunning itself on the yellow line of a busy road. Apparently turtles and toddlers have the same level of desire when it comes to attempting to end their lives through potentially unsafe activities. Â Due to the turtle’s obvious suicidal tendencies, it was brought back to our house for a 72 hours observation period and when it is found to no longer be a danger to itself or others, it will be released back into the wild. In the meantime, she is serving as a small summer educational project for my kids.
The first thing they learned is that box turtles should not be permanently removed from the wild and when returned, they should be returned to the place they were removed from (though probably not the middle of the road). It turns out box turtles have little biological homing beacons that make it so they will try to get back home again. So, if we don’t return her to where she lives, what we may accomplish is finding out exactly what happens when the old joke “why did the turtle cross the road?â€ gets interrupted by vehicular turtleslaughterÂ as she tries to cross the roads that stand between here and where we found her (though given this turtle’s propensity to find roads to be good sun beds, this could happen anyway).
Next, box turtles are omnivores. I kind of wish that we could convince her to stay here because of this. They love to eat slugs and bugs and other baddies in the garden (though they like to eat earthworms too, but we all can’t be perfect). They will also eat fruit and veggies if they can find them.
And, I keep calling her SHE. How do I know that? Because she does not have red eyes. Male Eastern Box Turtles mostly have red eyes.
So, our little house guest will stay a day or so and then we will free her, but in the meantime, it was interesting to find out a little more about her.