I just pulled my bike out of the carriage barn for a post Independence Day ride, but before I could saddle up, this handsome fellow caught my eye. He (or she?) was navigating slowly across the gravel driveway. So I offered a little assistance to a friendlier corner of the lawn.
I lingered for a few minutes, hoping that the turtle would extend his head and legs back out from under his painted shell so I could share a third photo with you, but he chose to play it safe. I suspect he’d never seen a grown man sporting cycling attire and helmet…
“Yikes, freak alert! Better keep my appendages packaged until he trundles off on that bizarre, two wheeled contraption…”
Sorry. Next time! If there is one.
It’s worth noting that there was a last time, about a year ago, also while cycling. I’m not sure I shared that story at the time, though I may have snapped a few photos. I’ll dig around and see what I can find.
I was returning from a midday ride, westbound on NYS-RT 22 toward the stoplight in Essex. Suddenly I came across a slightly larger painted turtle crossing the busier road, slowly, methodically lifting each leg and inching forward, working his way up to the yellow line.
I slowed, then stopped and dismounted. I was concerned that the turtle might get hit by a vehicle, so I lifted him up and carried him to the side of the road. Then it struck me. What if he decided to wander back out into the road again?
I decided to bring him home with me. My nieces were visiting at the time, and I thought it would be fun to show them the real live turtle. I strapped him to my bike rack and headed home. He kept his head, tail and feet pulled in during the ride. Within eyesight if Rosslyn however, I hit a bump and the poor turtle went skittering across the pavement. It turns out an upside down turtle can really zoom down a paced road!
I carried the turtle the rest of the way home, and my nieces were duly impressed. After a while I figured the critter was sick of bring poked and prodded, so we released him in the stream beyond the orchard. Free to swim and muck about in the mud without danger of speeding cars.
Perhaps this slightly smaller painted turtle is the offspring of the one I cycled home?