Monday, October 15, 2012

Giving a Myakka City critter a helping hand

It had been an idyllic Monday afternoon outside Myakka City where I'd been talking to folks for an upcoming story.
The glimpses of critters and wildlife made it so.
Hawks on fenceposts.
Bald eagle overhead.
Cattle grazing.
Horses loping across sprawling ranches.
A turtle parked in the middle of Clay Gully Road.
There I was driving home about 6 p.m. when I saw this silhouette on the asphalt.
At first I thought it was an armadillo lying there after being hit by another motorist.
Slowing down, I saw it was actually a turtle.
An unharmed turtle at that, but not for long if it dawdled on the back country road.
So I pulled over, figuring I'd give it an assist.
But first I had to check.
Last time I tried to help a turtle, it turned out to be a snapping turtle on Lockwood Ridge Road.
When I went to pick it up, that sucker snapped at me and I jumped five feet in the air.
Not this turtle, thank goodness.
It was a harmless gopher tortoise.
So I picked it up by the sides of its shell and carried it to the grass on the south side of the road.
Then I resumed my drive home, content I'd done a good deed for Mother Nature and one of Myakka City's family of critters.

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