A week or so ago, while putting away trash cans belonging to some people who were out of town on a long vacation, I happened to spot a mysterious dark object in their swimming pool. I quickly discovered that it was a turtle swimming in there... the very same turtle that had wandered in a few months ago (which I had assumed had been removed and relocated months ago!). Not one the wild box turtles that live in the creek out back, it was a red eared slider, probably someone's pet that had been set free to fend for itself. I was rather horrified that it had been swimming in chlorinated water for that long, and that it was left without food or any way to get out of the water, I didn't really hesitate before I scooped the poor thing out and took it home. I set up a small wading pool with some minnows in it, and the very shy turtle dined happily on spinach and strawberries. Meanwhile, I contacted the people who owned the pool and they said yes I could find a new home for it (thank goodness!).
So a couple days later, the turtle and I took a little drive to my friend Lisa's horse ranch, which has a lovely pond full of fish. And there the turtle walked down to the edge of the water and slid into the murky depths. I'm pretty sure I saw him smiling. Coincidentally, later that day Lisa happened to be at the SPCA when someone came in to surrender two red eared slider turtles, and she brought them home too. Couldn't ask for a happier ending. :-)
Then this morning, there I was walking down the road with Angus, and a truck pulling a horse trailer pulled up next to me. It was my friend Anne, who I haven't seen for a while. She said she had noticed on Facebook that I accumulate animals, and I thought "oh no, what is she going to give me." She said she had just stopped to pick up a small turtle that was in the road a ways back. I agreed to take it, and thus this small turtle exchanged hands in the middle of the road. A brief lab exam (ha ha, get it? see photo...) showed it to be a box turtle (of which there are many living in the creek behind the house) and so into the creek bed the turtle was released. Welcome to my world, where these things just happen. :-) Many thanks Anne for taking the time to get the little guy out of harm's way!