Thursday, June 12, 2014

Geraldine

I went to the barn tonight and hung out with Ashke. I groomed him really well and then took him out to the outdoor arena. I really didn't want to ride in the outdoor, so when I saw Dessa on Joe, we wandered over to walk around with her. I was riding Ashke in the sidepull Liz made me and was okay with taking it easy. We worked through all of the obstacles in the WE arena, except the jump. I need more confidence in Ashke before doing that obstacle without a bit. The other stuff, he was a rock star! I barely had to cue him for the sidepass. This weekend is going to be so much fun.

After the WE stuff, we did the walk-eat-walk mosey around the barn, which slowly progressed to the walk-eat-eat-eat-eat-eat-eat-eat-walk think. It was nice and leisurely. Then I put him away and gave him his mash. Adding the alfalfa and Omega Max has helped in the two weeks since I made changes to his diet. I can see the muscle in his neck and across his back. If you are going to feed a little bran mash, then make sure you compensate with additional calcium (alfalfa) to balance out the minerals in your horse's diet.

I tucked the boy into his stall and told him I would see him later. As I was driving home (almost dusk) I was surprised to see a giant freaking turtle trying to cross the road. It was about to cross the lane of an exit headed to a four lane highway. All I could see was squished turtle. I immediately pulled over, turned on my emergency lights, jumped out of the car and raced back to the turtle. She was pretty big. Her shell was about 16" long and 9" wide. I grabbed her shell, hoisted her up and carried her back to the car. There I was at a loss. I couldn't just put her in the grass by the road, because she would head toward the road again. I set her down and went around an opened my trunk. Then I lifted her again (she had her mouth open in protest) and set her in my trunk.

As I set her down she whipped her head back over her shell in an attempt to bite my jugular. She barely missed.

At that point I was thinking snapping turtle. And I was very afraid I was going to lose a finger to her very fast head and mouth.

Scared the crap out of me and made me very nervous to pick her up again. Which brought up the question of how in the hell was I going to get her out of the trunk. I called J and told her I had rescued a turtle which was now stuck in my trunk. She got on the computer and the phone to see what we should do.

Then I called Liz, cuz she's good like that. She gave me a great tip in getting the turtle out of the trunk using a shovel (snow) and then cautioned me about releasing it into water if it wasn't aquatic. I sent her these . . . .

 Turtle dubbed "Geraldine" by N in the very large trunk of my Camry. This was not a small turtle. I could hear her hissing in anger when I was stopped at the light on the way home. I had a brief nightmare of her eating her way through the backseat of the car and attacking me.


Liz took one look and said definitely aquatic. N looked it up online and said definitely snapper. The rescue guy J was talking to said to take it to a still body of water on the other side of the highway from where I found her. Or keep her and take her to him in Parker tomorrow night. We opted to let her go.

N looked up on google and we discovered a wonderful little pond right across the road from where I found her. Chances are she was looking to nest next to the pond and lay her eggs. We had unloaded her from the trunk into a plastic tub, using a snow shovel to lift her out of the trunk. We added a bit of water (per the guy) and then put the tub back into the car. The family took her to a still body of water (probably where she was headed anyway) and set her free on the bank.

 Freaking big turtle


Turtle released into the wide next to the pond.

It is almost a full moon and as we walked back to the car I reveled in having saved that amazing creature, even if it tried to eat me. I looked out at the water and saw a Beaver swimming across the pond. It seemed fitting that both the turtle and the beaver were there. 

I did not listen to either Daniel or Liz. I had no desire for turtle soup.

9 comments:

  1. One of the worst nightmares I've ever had involved a snapping turtle. Glad you were able to save her, regardless. :)

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  2. I had to laugh at the visualization about her coming through your trunk mouth going.

    Glad I could help and good to talk to you :-)

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    1. T started calling her Godzilla. I thought that would have been fitting. The hissing was disconcerting to say the least.

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  3. She was one lucky turtle to have been found by you! I'm glad she didn't chomp on one of your fingers! Snapping turtles can be quite scary.

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    1. Yeah, had no idea they could ninja their necks. 16" long shell and she snapped back over at least half of it. That's why we took Liz's advice and removed her with the shovel.

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  4. Yes they have long necks and can be very dangerous!! I'm glad you weren't bitten! I move turtles off the road all of the time, but I was always told to just move them off the road keeping them facing the direction they were going and not to move them away. I found this article explaining why not to move box turtles (homebodies try to get home and get killed), but not sure if it applies to snappers. http://www.matts-turtles.org/helping-turtles-cross-roads.html Considering the time of year she probably was headed for the pond though so I'm sure it okay. Next time I would just move her off the road a ways in a straight line facing the direction she was traveling. I'm so glad you were able to save her! That's a huge snapping turtle! Everyone around here just kills them which pisses me off. :(

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  5. Ha, turtle soup! Thank you for helping her and glad you weren't bitten. Those suckers are FAST.

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  6. Karen - you have the BEST adventures of anyone I know! My dad used to rescue turtles who were crossing the road to higher ground to lay eggs - BUT - they were painted turtles - NOT snappers. Glad you still have all your fingers!

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