Desert Tortoise Growth

In mid-April I discovered a couple of freshly hatched tortoises in my backyard. 

tiny turtle
tiny turtle

Here’s how he looks now

IMG_0390

I’d say he’s doubled in size.  He’s getting a bit less afraid of me.  I don’t see him often, maybe only four times all summer.  This is the first time he didn’t entirely retreat into his shell.  Over the past few days, I’m seeing less and less of the turtles, and today I haven’t spotted a one.   I’ve noticed several burrows around the yard — I’m sure they’re all busy digging deep for the winter.

When I was in PA last month, we came across a huge turtle in the middle of the road.      This turtle was as big as a dinner plate with legs about as thick as a half dollar coin.  I thought I would do my good deed for the day by picking him up and moving him off the road .   That was a big  mistake on my behalf.  He was a nasty, nasty common snapping turtle (which I didn’t know at the time).   I could not get behind him to pick him up.  No matter which way I moved, he turned to face me and kept up an offensive stance.  I could tell if he got a bite of me, it would be goodbye finger.  Turtles are supposed to be slow, but this guy was  the fastest turtle I’ve ever seen.  Finally, we found a long-handled window scraper in Sarah’s car and used it to wedge under his shell and lifted him to safety.   Next time I’ll find an easier good deed to do!  It’s a fun memory of us laughing and screaming along the side of Puddingtown Road! Sarah took a couple of pictures with her phone, but unfortunately her phone was stolen out of her car before we could transfer the picture.

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