Thursday, May 7, 2020

Box Turtle Surprise Again

Box Turtle Surprise Again

Look who was taking a walk on the path at Barclay Farmstead in Cherry Hill, N.J. It stopped me in my tracks on my own walk through the Nature Preserve. What a beautiful shell. I bent down to better see it but the turtle took exception to my curiosity and pulled its head and feet into its shell. I said quietly that it needn’t be afraid, I wouldn’t hurt it. It peeked out at me and I couldn’t help smiling  at the quizzical look in its eyes.

It reminded me of other box turtles that have crossed my path. One was crossing a busy street in front of me as I was driving to my son’s preschool. I stopped, carefully lifted it up and drove it to his school. It had a weeklong visit with the children then was released at the teacher’s farmstead. Another time a turtle was starting to cross a street in a housing development in front of my car.  I gently placed it in the wooded lot across the way. And there were others, always to my delight.  

Turtles have been seen as mystical creatures. Folklore says that they are a symbol of longevity and bring good luck. I feel grateful when I encounter this unexpected gift of nature. It stops me in my distracted thoughts and helps me focus on the here and now.

I took a deep breath and thanked the turtle for being there. Then we both continued on our nature walks.

Facts about the Eastern Box Turtle:

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