Turtle Time

Every spring . . .

there’s a little parade going through our back yard.

Well, I guess it’s more of a slow march.

In the waning days of May, a couple of very large turtles leave the small pond behind our house and then cut through our land, on their way to spend the summer in a pond across the street.

We’ve lived here for 3 decades now, but each time we witness this event, it’s just as thrilling as it was on the very first occasion. It usually happens rather unexpectedly. One of us will suddenly notice a majestic creature inching his way up from the tall grass.

Some years – including this one – he’s wearing a little coat of duckweed that he picked up on his way out of the water.


Although he doesn’t really seem to mind, I often wish I could give him a light shower – maybe with a watering can – to rid him of his “coat”. I don’t dare do it, though. These turtles prefer that you keep your distance! We stand pretty far away to get photos.


They’re fascinating to watch… so determined. If something scares them, they will just stop and draw up their arms and legs, waiting calmly until they feel comfortable enough to resume the journey.


He’s now about a third of the way to his destination.


I think he’s smiling at us! (Thank heaven for the telephoto lens.)


Finally, he heads out of our yard. It’s at this point that we always hold our breath – he has to cross the street!

We keep watching and are elated when he reaches the other side and disappears into the woods.

Once autumn arrives, he’ll reverse his tracks and come back home again!



I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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