Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Critters, Digital Art, Earth, Eastern Shore, Fire, Mindfulness, NaBloPoMo, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Running, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, Woods

Why did the turtle cross the road?

Sweet gum tree flaming in the meadow
Sweet gum tree flaming in the meadow.  (The blustery wind and dark clouds yesterday morning made it look like a painting.  I helped it along with some tweaks in Photoshop.)

If there is any wisdom running through my life now, in my walking on this earth, it came from listening in the Great Silence to the stones, trees, space, the wild animals, to the pulse of all life as my heartbeat.

~ Vijali Hamilton

Across the street
The Mysterious Woods across the street

Why did the turtle cross the road?
Just for the shell of it.

The day before yesterday, while I was out and about on my bicycle, I had the good fortune to meet a turtle crossing road.  Why was he crossing the road?  I’m not sure, but do know there seems to be a migration going on.  Birds are doing it, frogs are doing it, and now the turtles have joined in.

Eastern Box Turtle
Male Eastern Box Turtle

After exchanging some pleasantries, I walked off in hopes that Mr. Box Turtle would continue to make his way to the other side of the road.  I waited.  And waited.  So did he.  I moved a little farther away.  He still didn’t move.

Who will blink first?
Who will blink first?

The reason I waited was to jump in and rescue him should a car come along.  There is very little traffic on the way to Raccoon Point, but it was near lunch time and sometimes the traffic picks up a little as people drive out to the Point to enjoy the scenery.  There seems to be good fishing out that way, too, as there are always a few people with a line in the water.

Maple in the Mysterious Woods
Maple in the Mysterious Woods

The stand-off could have gone on all day.  Rather than leave him in the middle of the road, I rescued him (he would say otherwise, but he’s not wise to the ways of cars or he wouldn’t have been standing in the road).  One of the cool facts about box turtles is they have a hinged shell, and they can retract into it when they feel threatened.  Mr. Box Turtle did just that, slamming his doors closed while being carried to the other side of the road.


Hopefully that didn’t throw him off his planned route, and he’s now safely at the end of his journey or continuing on to wherever he was going.

Blending in
Blending in

There are a lot of dead animals lining the roads here on the Eastern Shore.  On my last visit to Chincoteague, I was shocked at the number of dead birds (mostly large gulls) on both sides of the road going to the island.  I am not certain, but think they were hit by cars.  Near the Wabi-Sabi Ranch you will find dead snakes, dead frogs, and the occasional deer.  The frogs were a problem back in August.  At night they hang out on the roads, and when they hop, it’s usually towards the car coming at them rather than away from it.  We have our share of suicidal squirrels, too.

So, you see, it seemed best to help Mr. Box Turtle along so he wouldn’t become another statistic on the roads of the Eastern Shore.

Shelter  (Or shell-ter for Mr. Box Turtle)

One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.

~ Black Elk


So ends the tale of the turtle crossing the road.  I know it’s lacking in drama, suspense, and excitement.  Turtles are pretty calm creatures that way.  Except for snappers, but this was not a Snapper Tale.

Thank you for stopping by, and helping Mr. Box Turtle along on his journey.  This weekend looks like a busy one.  M and I participated in a charity 5K this morning.  It was a beautiful day for a 5K.  I’ll tell you all about it soon.   Tomorrow, weather permitting, we’re going on a long hike.  How about you?  Any plans for the weekend?  Or are you going to wing it?

One of my favorite trees on the road to Raccoon Point.
One of my favorite trees on the road to Raccoon Point.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

The end of one journey.  (Graveyard by the church in the shire.)
The end of one journey. (Graveyard by the church in the shire.)

Today’s joys:  A bald eagle sitting in a tree near the dock.  Autumn colors in the park where we participating in the 5K.  Friendly people.  Coming in under my usual 5K time.  The breathtaking colors of sunset.

NaBloPoMo November 2013


Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, yoga teacher, sometime poet, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She shares her daily walks and meanders, a lot of quotes, some of her artwork, and a lot of her photography here on Ye Olde Blogge. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are (still!) in the midst of renovating the house and cleaning up the property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

31 thoughts on “Why did the turtle cross the road?

  1. It is way past turtle season here, but I move them off the roads, too. We are nearing the end of bird migration, most have flown south already. I am sure there will be a few more flocks of geese and ducks showing up from Canada in the next week or two, but very few. Hunting season for deer starts a week from today .. that always signals the end of the Fall and start of winter … fortunately, the snow has not decided to stay here, yet .. just pops up for a day or two and leaves again. I enjoyed your Fall pictures.


    1. Thank you, Bearyweather. 🙂 It seems like spring just came to your woods, and here you are talking about snow again already. The summer flew by faster than I thought.

      I’m not sure about the bird migration patterns here. It should be interesting learning who lives here year round, who stops in on their way somewhere, and who leaves. Today I stumbled on a flock of orioles.


  2. I move them across the road too. Unless they’re a snapper..then they are on their own. But that’s usually in the spring, and almost always females. Seems kind of odd that he was out walking this time of year? Or is it not odd in your part of the woods? Favorite photo of this batch? Maple in the mysterious woods…but I liked blending in a lot too.


    1. I’m not sure if it’s odd or not, Dawn. It’s been fairly warm here except for those two frosty mornings last week. It’s cooling off again tonight, but we’ll be back in the 70’s by Wednesday or Thursday. November here has certainly been different than November in northeast Ohio.
      Thank you. 🙂


  3. He certainly looked determined. Maybe turtles are like kids – they complain “I can do it myself” when secretly tired and glad for some help? They certainly are a stoic bunch – we move them across, too. Autumn looks lovely there.


    1. Maybe that’s it, PhilosopherMouse. You’re right about them being a stoic bunch. That seems to be true of most reptiles and amphibians.
      Autumn is really putting on a show today. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂


  4. I’m happy you moved the turtle. I would have worried for it too. Your joys for the day are lovely. I’m not one hundred percent positive, but I think I may have seen an eagle yesterday too! I was in southern New Hampshire with my sister and our friend and the bird just seemed to be too big to be a more typical bird.


  5. It was kind of you to care for that turtle. It looks like fall has come to your neck of the woods now that most of our leaves are down. Not all of them are, though, and that’s unusual for early November. Happy weekend, Robin.


  6. Such beautiful, dream like images today. You have captured the beauty of the Virginia shore so lovingly. Let me add our support for moving the turtle. Its good to know the world is full of loving people caring for wayward creatures great and small. WG


    1. Thank you so much, WG. 🙂 I’m actually on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but very close to Virginia. If there wasn’t a sign indicating when we cross the line, I’d never be able to tell the difference since the landscape is the same. 😀


      1. Yes- I often wonder why they divided it up between the three states. You mentioned Chincoteague, and my mind snapped to VA, though I remember you mentioning MD in the past. I hope today has been as lovely for you as its been here, and that you’ve had a break from the remodel. 😉


  7. I’m sure Mr turtle was very pleased with his progress when he finally peeped out to assess it.
    I once played lollipop-lady to a turkey type bird crossing a main road near us and since he was back again on the following morning he obviously survived the ordeal. 😀


    1. I hope he was, Sallyann. It must be confusing to have someone pick you up in the middle of a journey, and then suddenly find yourself at or near your destination. 🙂


  8. Hi Robin. We’ve saved a lot of turtles over the years. Actually, I’ve never seen a dead one in the road, so most must make it on their own. A stream crossing near my Niece’s house has a Turtle Crossing sign. Jane


    1. You have such a wonderful way with words, Jane. “Life hovering just behind death,” is one very good reason I should leave such things in my images and stop trying to edit them out in some way.


Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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