A visitor from the pond

While M and I were enjoying our lunch today, a turtle came wandering up from the pond.  Sense of scale is hard to convey when you don’t want to get too close, but this was a grandmother or grandfather turtle, well sized with what looks like a lot of life behind her/him.

The turtles in this area are migrating now.  Unfortunately, some don’t make it across the roadways.  This snapper had made her way up the hill from the pond.  For a few minutes we worried that she was headed for the trench.  Since we poured the concrete on Sunday, we’ve had some rainwater settle in the trench along with mud.  M — while bailing out the water — found four frogs trying to take up residence in there.  Removing the frogs from the trench was no big deal.  Removing this giant of a snapper would not have been so easy.

In his book Animal Speak, Ted Andrews writes this about turtles:

Turtles remind us that the way to heaven is through the earth.  In Mother Earth is all that we need.  She will care for us, protect us, and nurture us, as long as we do the same for her.  For that to happen, we must slow down and heighten our sensibilities.  We must see the connection to all things.  Just as the turtle cannot separate itself from its shell, neither can we separate ourselves from what we do to the Earth.

A couple of weeks ago I read this blog post at Grace-full Thoughts which made me ponder my own role in the BP oil spill in terms of how I use petroleum and petroleum products.

M and I both try to conserve energy, live in a “green” way, and reduce any negative impact we may have on the earth.  Among other things, we compost, plant trees, recycle and/or reuse, consolidate errands when we have to drive to the store, and have begun to take more and more trips that don’t involve a car to get around.  Still, I think we could do better.  Having the turtle join us for lunch this afternoon reminded me of that.

I hope it made it safely to wherever it was headed.  It came close to the trench but then veered off to the right and continued uphill, disappearing into the grass.  There are quite a few ponds in this area where it can make a new home.  I’d like to think the old Grandmother Turtle is settling in now, enjoying the change of scenery and looking for the best feeding spots.

(Weekend sunset.)