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Friday, March 30, 2012

A Little Turtle Love

Box turtles and morel hunting always seem to hand in hand in the spring woods of southern Illinois. Eyes on the forest floor, the grassy creek banks, the fence rows searching the spongy delicacies open up a whole world of creatures and small plants that live there.

Mushroom season is an excellent time to pay closer attention to the things on ground, up close, all the little  and interesting things we miss when we hike through tress, eyes looking above for squirrels, scanning the early pre dawn tree lines for roosting turkeys,  watching for the whistling wood ducks to hop out of the creek. We outdoor folks do lots of looking up and out, but now is the time to be "looking down."

MOM!!! What are these turtles doing????

 Maybe it's just the labs in my life, but Piper (shown above) who belongs to my best shrooming pal Adam,  Willie, and my friend SILOBob's late Nes  love turtles. Nary a trip to the woods with that crew of dogs wouldn't end up with  a  happy retriever running up to us with mouth full of box turtle. Nes was particularly fond of just carting them around in her mouth like prize. You can bet if there a turtle in ten yard radius, it'll end up up in one of the pups mouths!

Seems that Little Miss Piper found herself a two for one turtle prize! Quizzically she looked and snuffed and tried to figure out why when she picked up one turtle there was another one ...umm.. stuck to it!

I think we're doing this wrong.. could you at least turn around and look at me? 

Not that I have some hidden, dark, prurient and impure interest in  turtle sex, but inquiring minds do want to know, and do want to explore all the wonders of our natural world, so naturally, I had to flatten out, get down on the ground and have little closer look or two at this pair.

C'mon- Let's get out of here.. our privacy is seriously being invaded! Humans - NO MANNERS! 

Lady - Will you get that camera out of my face.. you are aggravating me! Privacy Please! 

Yes, I do need a tissue.. I have allergies... it's Spring...
After a few minutes of watching and wondering exactly what was up with this pair, I discovered that someone had latched on tight. Mr. Needs a Tissue was trapped. The other turtle had snapped it's shell tight and hard on the poor guys hand leg and was not letting go for love or money. The harder one went one direction, the tighter the other held on.

Turn me loose!  I promise, I will too call you in the morning!
Boy this date sure didn't work out like I had planned! 
I felt like I'd probably played my part in wrecking a little afternoon turtle love, so we gathered up our packs, told Piper to drop the turtles and moved along. But keep looking down, keep your eyes peeled, you never know what you might find down there on the forest floor! 

Well, you have to admit, I am a handsome devil!

1 comment:

  1. I can sympathize with the turtle who has allergies.......