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Umberto the turtle

Last Saturday, we had a big rainstorm sweep through and afterward, Joy backed the Outlander out of it’s spot to go somewhere and found someone had been sitting underneath, sheltering from the storm we imagine:

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He’s a pretty good sized Eastern box turtle, shell maybe 5″-6″ long, and his shell looked like it had taken a bit of a beating at some point. We put him up in one of our raised beds that didn’t have a current crop growing (we ate all the lettuce) for a few days until we were sure it wasn’t something he needed care for.

 

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After he’d gone around the perimeter of the enclosure and determined that there wasn’t a way out, he settled in to his temporary captivity. He made himself at home under a cardboard box, and ate bits of leaf lettuce that were still on the stalk (that long thing in the picture is actually a lettuce plant). He also seemed to also like the ‘baby bella’ mushroom we gave him. But what he really LOVED was bananas! He seemed very unfazed by our presence, and we almost wondered if he was someone’s pet they had released, but wild turtles can be pretty laid-back like that, from previous experience.

Solstice morning we decided it was time for the turtle, whom I had named Umberto, to be returned to the ‘wild’, and we took him across the street to an area alongside one of the subdivisions. It had a creek, a pond, a wooded area, and a grassy area and was far back from the highway so we figured he’d be happy there .  He sat there a moment, looked around, and then began ambling off towards the woods.

We were happy to have sheltered him a few days and then be able to return him safely to his natural habitat, but we were also a little sorry to see him go. He was a really cool little guy. Joy put it best, when she posted on her Facebook account about him: “I’m going to miss his banana-covered face.” she said.

Thanks for visiting us, Umberto! 🙂

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