Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond (birdhousefrog) wrote,
Oz Whiston writing as Oz Drummond
birdhousefrog

Umbrellas

Useful things, umbrellas. Virginia weather is sufficiently unpredictable that I've carried a golf umbrella in the car for many years. And used it many times, too.

Yesterday, I went off to a hair appt in DC without thinking about wearing a jacket and had to use it to get from my car to the salon. And then promptly left it there because it wasn't raining after and I had other things on my mind...like a flat tire. Let's just draw a veil across yesterday, shall we? I had a wee bit too much adventure and Weatherdude and Miss E had their own sort of adventures and everyone would like to just forget yesterday happened.

A few days ago, I saw a large (and I do mean large) turtle crossing one of our roads. It's not a hugely busy road, but it's a major road for school buses. And the turtle was still in the middle. So I got out and wanted to shoo it across in the direction it was headed. And several women (for some reason the moms were out at that time of day and I was late to pick up Miss E) rolled down their windows to say "That's a snapping turtle!" Well, duh. Yes, I had seen it was the moment I turned my car around and went to the turtle. A very long tail indeed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dgovoni/4355925609/ There's a good photo someone got, though out on the shore area.

So the turtle didn't move when I walked up behind it. You'd think it would. I had sandals on, so my options were limited. I had seen Weatherdude mess with one before we knew what it was, picking it up and then dropping it fast when it tried to bite him. They have a long reach and can twist quickly when they want to.

I think, like the one in our yard, that it was a female traveling to and from a place to lay her eggs. They tend to travel back to a specific spot.

A more helpful mom came over to assist and had a golf umbrella. (See? We're talking about umbrellas here.) So I ran and got my trusty golf umbrella and the two of us pushed until the turtle got so irritated that she moved faster and off the road and sank into the muck of a watery ditch. (We have lots of ditches and few shoulders on our roads.) The other mom kept referring to the turtle as "he" but I doubt that was right.

She was a good 12 inches or more in length, without her long tail. They grow up to 18 inches. So this was a mature turtle and it made me sick to think it could have been squished. We used to be farmland without much road danger to animals. Not any longer.

So. There you have it. I discovered a new use for an umbrella, a really good one. Turtle poker. The turtle, as you might expect, does not approve of this use for umbrellas. But really, Turtle. Mothers know best.

Frog Out

PS: My salon is only blocks from the Nebs hotel so I shall have to go retrieve my trusty Savoyards golf umbrella this weekend.
Tags: farm
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