Friday, June 20, 2008

A Curious Creature

Tiny Albert Lake

I didn't meet a lot of wildlife in DuPont State Forest. Most of what I did see were insects. A few birds, and most of those were turkey buzzards.

But as Jack and I hiked along, exploring a dead-end trail, we followed it to a small pond known as Lake Albert (a pond, I tell ya). The lake has a covered dock and a pathway in a crescent that doesn't quite navigate the place. On the little covered dock was a small land turtle commonly referred to in this neck of the woods as a "box turtle" or "box tortoise". They are indeed actually  turtles, but don't spend any time at all in water. Completely land-based creatures, the box turtle. Quite colorful, too. Most of the ones that I've encountered are dominantly orange. This one was mainly yellow in color.

The most amazing thing about him, though, was that he seemed pretty much unafraid of us. In every occasion before, each turtle I've come across has closed up his little box shell, sealing the soft parts under that bony carapace. This one...this one somehow seemed as curious of us as we were of him. All the time we were giving him the once-over, he was gazing up at us in just as much wonder and just as much curiosity.

Here's to the brave and curious little box turtle of Albert Lake.

"Like, how's it goin' dude?"

No comments: