Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Very large turtle in our path

We were just finishing up our walk and what walks across the path in front of us but a very large turtle! We were far enough back from him that at first, I couldn't tell exactly what it was. In my haste to get closer, I stepped on and startled Brownie who had stopped to sniff something and I hadn't noticed because I couldn't stop staring at this thing. Then, if that wasn't enough, a jogger is coming up on us from behind with her dog and we avoid other dogs (Brownie doesn't like other dogs, so its best to just steer clear), so there I was trying to get off of Brownie and trying to get her off the path and away from the dog, but I kept my eyes glued to the turtle. He was moving fast and I didn't want him to get away before I could take his picture.

Finally, we get up to him and he stops, but didn't pull back in to his shell. Brownie was very curious as to what this could be and was sniffing him (I wouldn't let her get as close as she wanted because I had no idea if it would try to bite or not and I wasn't going to find out). I don't think I have ever seen a turtle of this magnitude outside of a zoo and NEVER one with a tail such as this. Quite extraordinary. We were leaving, but other people were stopping to take his picture and to look at him. I hope he finished crossing and went on to wherever he was going because there were park vehicles on the trail today (I think managing some inmates on a work crew detail to water the trees and pull grass from the bushes at the points of interest) and one just about mowed him down while we all looked on horrified. When I pulled away, a lady was trying to shoo him along to get him off the trail and into the grass. She was very reluctant to actually touch him (her friend was telling her to just nudge him with her foot, but she wouldn't do it). I don't blame her. A turtle of that size could take your foot off if he was so inclined.

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