Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Legend Among the Turtles of Yates Creek

A few days ago my work as a gypsy moth hunter took me back into some remote woods.  It is a mountainous area with very limited access and just a few woods roads or atv trails.  So a good bit of my day was spent traversing up and down the mountain ridges and hollows cross country style.  Of course to make better time, I aim north, south, east, or west and just run through the woods.  This day I was running down a hillside and I jumped over a log.  As I cleared the log, there was a box turtle working up the mountain just where my foot was heading for landing.  In that brief moment of danger for the turtle, I looked in his face, just before he jerked his head in to hope for the best.  It seemed a shocked and fearful expression.  I was able to readjust at the last moment and just barely missed landing right on top of the box turtle.  With my high speed on this steep downhill I was suddenly gone from our brief encounter.  Considering where I was, I imagine that box turtle had never seen a human before.  I'm not sure what a box turtle would actually name me, human is our term.  I imagine that turtle saying what the hell was that.  He sees his friends and tells them how he was nearly crushed by this strange creature bounding speedily through the woods.  They all laugh and tell him that he's confused or afraid of everything.  He had probably jerked his head in so quickly that he had mistaken some deer or even bear for a strange bigfoot creature.  The box turtle reaffirms to them that this was no deer or bear, he doesn't know what it was.  But they had better be careful as they roam those woods.  And that is how I became the Legend among the Turtle of Yates Creek.

I must give credit for the Legend title to Cory since he came up with it on our run the other day as I told about my encounter.  Other side notes, Alison said the snapping turtle that lives in our pond is Bob.  I also drove on dirt roads for about 8 hours straight while working the last week.  There was a Highway 90 I was on, a one lane dirt road.

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