Nature Day

We just got back from taking the dogs for a walk in the park, and what a mildly eventful walk it was. My older dog found a Box turtle.

“He” was trying to crawl his way through the fence of the dog park, presumably to get to the small line of trees on the other side of the dog park. The hubby pulled it out of the tall grass to see what kind of turtle it was, as well as to let the dogs get a good look at it. I had only seen Box turtles in pictures, and even then they were from the top, so I didn’t really know why they called them “Box” turtles.

box turtle from bottom
Eastern Box turtle underside. Image from the state of Michigan DNR website

I’m guessing that are named after a box, because when you look at the underside and the “flaps” that cover the neck and leg slots resemble the flaps on a cardboard box. Regrettably, I did not have my phone with me to take pictures, or video of the meet-and-greet between turtle and beagles.

In no way was the turtle harmed, the dogs merely circled it and jumped away at any perceived movement. The turtle was kinda like “Will you just go away already?” After a minute or so, we carried it over to a nearby tree line where it was at least shady. It may not have been where it wanted to be, but it would have been better than risking some far less respectful person to find it near the trail.

Then, on the way back, the same dog found a Garter snake. After we let the turtle go, she had been investigating every leaf, hole, and wiggle in the grass for a new critter to check out. When she found the snake she jumped back so quickly I though she had been struck, but she’s a big enough baby that she would have cried if she had. (She had stepped on honey bee the summer before and limped and whined for two hours, even though she was otherwise fine.) The hubby confirmed it was a Garter snake just before it zipped off into the tall grass near the path.

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