Adventures in Suburbia

I took a break from editing today to work on birdhouses. My plan was to use my old Texas license plates as tin roofs. I asked Daddy to show me how to use his circular saw to make the base.
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This probably wasn’t the wisest choice in teachers, since Daddy cut his saw table in half by mistake and is missing a number of his fingers due to another accident.
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But I learned to use the saw and no fingers were harmed. The scrap wood I used isn’t very thick, and the tools we had on hand wouldn’t put the pieces together properly, so I’ll dig my nailgun out of storage and put them together and decorate and paint them next weekend. Here are the parts now.
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But of course I didn’t have my camera when the most photogenic opportunity arose today. I went out on a nice long stroll this evening. The day was gorgeous, the sky that fall blue, but the leaves still green against it. On my way back up Sweet Gum Drive, I spied on the road what I thought must be leather work gloves and maybe a canvas sack. As I got closer I realized it was a very large snapping turtle. She looked something like this, but nowhere near water at all.
I am fond of turtles, particularly since I took care of Joe’s red-eared slider, Turtle. And while in Arkansas, each May I would save some of the box turtles that crossed the roads in some sort of mass migration or perhaps turtle-cult suicide. But I also have a powerful memory of a gigantic dinosaur of a snapping turtle that was removed from the farm lake, put into a huge feed sack, and lifted into the pickup bed, where we kids were also supposed to ride. That is, until the turtle bit through the bag and we all jumped over the side of the moving truck, except poor little Austin, who was too small and too petrified to move, and we were sure he was a goner. However, he survived, and I’m told the turtle made good soup.
Anyway, I didn’t want to see this snapper smushed, so I tried to startle it off the road—it was a few feet from the edge—but it took an offensive defense and faced and hissed at me. I decided it was probably best to leave it alone to do what it wanted, not to meddle, but then as I walked on, I pointed it out to a neighbor fixing her sprinkler. She took a more proactive approach, called her brother, who has a truck, and asked him to pick it up and take it to her folks’ yard, which has a creek behind it. She and I and another neighbor used garden tools and lawn fabric to lift the turtle carefully and very much against its will into her son’s iguana’s cage, and thence it was transported. It was like a crocodile hunter episode, but in a suburb. Most important fact learned: a snapping turtle can jump straight up into the air four or five inches.

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1 Response to Adventures in Suburbia

  1. Anne Marie says:

    Ah, the famous Georgia killer snapping turtles. You did a great service to the little guy by trying to save him.
    He was probably headed to the mall.

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