October 6, 2007
I wasn't able to join the Augusta Bird Club field trip to McCormick's Mill on Thursday, but Jacqueline and I had a pleasant time there ourselves today. By chance, there was an artisans' fair, with young alpacas, an iron forge, and a woman playing a hammer dulcimer, which sounded beautiful. Finally, we got around to the main order of business, which was bird watching, and I was pleased to see four migratory birds for the first time this season.
On my way to Sweet Briar College yesterday morning, I saw a small bump in the road up ahead, and as I feared, it turned out to be a turtle trying to cross the road. The driver up ahead didn't notice or didn't care, and the hapless reptile was nicked by one of the tires and cast off the side of the road. I pulled over and stopped to check, and found that the Eastern Box turtle was completely closed up, with no sign of life, but no sign of damage to the shell, either. So, I took it to campus, and after detecting some motion after a while, I set the traumatized creature free in the wetland area by the pond.
October should be designated "National Be Careful of Turtles Month," because this is when the days shorten and they are in need of all the sunlight energy they can get before going into hibernation. That's why so many turtles are "on the road" this month. In 2005 I came across a road-side Painted turtle, moving it to safer ground, and in 2006 I did likewise for an Eastern Box turtle.