Over the weekend Jon found a very small box turtle in the woods, the smallest and youngest box turtle we’ve ever found. He was torpid and sad-looking. But a box turtle in December? In most climates within their range they hibernate during the winter. I guess down here they don’t, but they go into an inactive state, staying alive during the coldest few weeks of the year by huddling down somewhere, while moving and eating very little. I imagine it’s a tough time for them and many of them don’t make it. I mistakenly thought that maybe I could take the little turtle and keep him with us for the brief winter, and release him in mid-February or so, once it warms up again.
I only have one reptile setup though, so I thought maybe The Lizard could have a temporary roommate. We named the turtle The Turtle. I couldn’t really think of a way that The Lizard could injure The Turtle, and The Turtle didn’t seem likely to bother the Lizard much, either.
I was wrong, though. The Lizard hated her new roommate. Loathed him. She made that clear as indicated by the pictures below. Her beard, which is usually white and occasionally orange, turned jet black. I’d never seen her this upset before about anything. The Turtle, on the other, was indifferent.
I guess in The Lizard’s world, where she is by nature a solitary creature, every other living thing is classified as either a) a mate b) food or c) a threat. The Lizard does not have friends or roommates, end of story. I apologized to The Turtle and said I didn’t think this was going to work out.
I ended up taking The Turtle back to the woods this morning, set him free and wished him the best of luck this winter. It was in the mid to high sixties today and rainy, which is probably good weather for a turtle in December.
The story about the Lizard and The Turtle has a happy epilogue. I had no choice but to release the Turtle into the woods yesterday because The Lizard objected to The Turtle’s presence so passionately. I worried about how The Turtle would weather the winter. For a short time it gets cold here, down to the 20s at night. Where I come from it’s laughable to think of that as cold, but it’s seriously frigid to a turtle who doesn’t hibernate. Then again, The Turtle is/was no worse off from me releasing him than he had been before we’d found him. Actually, we found him trapped in a ditch so he would have certainly died had he not been found by humans. At least now he has a fighting chance.
And things are looking good for The Turtle for now. It was in the high 60s yesterday and the high today is supposed to be 70. But even better was when I was walking down the path, ready to release the Turtle when I found a live earthworm on the path. It was a halfhearted gesture, but I put the turtle down and put the worm right in front of him.
I didn’t really expect The Turtle to go for the worm that easily. He also did something unexpected. Instead of ignoring the worm or eating it on the spot, he grabbed it in his beak and dragged the huge thing off to the side of the path, where he could eat in relative peace.
I wanted to move The Turtle further into the woods, off the path, but I didn’t want to move him while he was eating, fearing he would abandon the meal. So instead I just watched him sloooooowly eat the whole thing, segment by segment.
It took forever and it made me late for work. When he was finished I moved him deeper into the woods, said bye to him and went on my way.
It’s still going to be a rough winter for him, albeit a brief one. But maybe getting one fat worm in him will raise his chances of pushing through.
Oh, cool. Barely over a year ago, Jon and I went to Duxbury, MA to get some pictures of a particular tombstone- Ichabod Wiswall, a pastor for Plymouth colony in the 1670s until his death in 1700. We took several pictures, went home, I posted them to Flickr and forgot about them. Then today I got an e-mail from Irving Wiswall, the great-great-great ^nth grandson of Ichabod Wiswall who had seen our pictures. He pointed me to Wiswall Senior-times-infinity’s Wikipedia page and I read that Pastor Wiswall officiated at the burial of John Alden of the Mayflower fame. He also hung out at times with Increase Mather, whom I’ve always liked because of his name and because of his son’s crazy name.
That’s all interesting and nifty, but the only reason we’d headed to Duxbury a year ago to get pictures of Ichabod Wiswall’s grave was because it has an inexplicable Cthulhu on it. I even asked Irving Wiswall what was up with the Cthulhu and he couldn’t tell me.
Upon moving here, I was given this swell book.
Ever since it’s been our goal to see everything featured in this book. Seeing these weird roadside attractions in person sometimes make you feel like you’ve traveled into a photo.
This weekend we visited Jimmy Carter’s hometown of Plains, GA. In addition to the grinning peanut that I’ve added to my “World’s Largest” collection, we found Jimmy Carter’s old high school that was converted into a Jimmy Carter museum. We sat in the high school’s auditorium, watching a film about Jimmy Carter, then we sat in his desk-
Then we sat at his other desk.
That was all well and good, but there was an unexpected bonus that made my day- a large bulletin board loaded with children’s artwork pertaining to both Jimmy Carter and peanuts! There’s nothing I like more in the world than children’s artwork, other than oversized fiberglass roadside attractions, and this was possibly the best collection I’d ever seen. I took pictures of all the best ones, but every time I thought I was finished, another impossibly awesome peanut-inspired artpiece would reveal itself to me. I couldn’t pick a favorite.
We had the tragically hydrocephalic Jimmy Carter with the caption “Peaceful Peanut President”
a vortex of peanuts condensing into a singularity of Jimmy Carter:
Our peaceful peanut president operating a peanut-shaped tank of destruction:
Jimmy Carter mutating into a peanut himself:
A peanut that had apparently fallen into the sewers of New-New York and emerged with horrific mutations:
And of course, Napoleon Dynamite’s rendition of Jimmy Carter.
It took the artist an hour to do the shading on his upper lip. Also, Carter seems to have some kind of parasite growing on his shoulder.
A terrific weekend I’d say. You just have to see all these for yourself.