November 04, 2009

Granny Clampett would have made lunch.

You know how animals have people instinct so they will know WHO likes them? Like dogs can sense who is a ‘dog person’; a cat will be drawn to a ‘cat person’.

Well, I am a dog person, a (kinda) cat person and I am also a turtle person.

Yep. I am a huge advocate for turtles. I feel so much sympathy for them when I see them trying to cross a busy street. I have stopped and waited out their slow crossing…much to the displeasure of the impatient nature haters honking behind me. “go suck lemons please”

Well, yesterday one of my turtle friends came for a visit. He must have heard all the pressure cleaning commotion and came over for a gander.

I think he actually is a tortoise. A Florida Gopher Tortoise.

MV5BMTU0MzM4MTI0MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNTMyNzI2__V1__SX271_SY400_ Oops. Not that Gopher!

This Gopher!


Now, I can add him to the list of unusual creatures we have found in our yard. I don’t know though, is a tortoise unusual?

Maybe not, but these are:

A large Iguana.

A gang of goats.

A full size horse.

He is kinda cute, right? I think I recognize him from the fence line of our property. He was always on the other side of the fence when I saw him, and I would only see him ‘cause Cocoa was going bananas trying to protect us from him. Yeah, boxers are not exactly fierce protectors. But they can bark their heads off at a shelled creature with no defense.

Well, luckily HE found ME while the dogs were having their 12th nap of the day.

I did not want to just put him back on the other side of the fence because that would put him near a busy street. And no water. All turtles need water right?

So what is a girl to do?

This is what I did: I got out my yellow Playtex kitchen gloves and I put him in a basket.


Yes, the gloves were going to protect me from something…maybe dish-pan hands?

Notice I gave him some spring mix and celery for our road trip. I am always a gracious hostess!

I drove him a few miles down yonder to a nice wooded spot on a dead end street with a (water view) canal.


I was pretty proud of what I had done for this new friend of mine. Until.

Until I got back home and thought that perhaps I took him miles away from his family.

Until I got back home and read on the internet that Gopher turtles really don’t need much water.

Until I read that gopher turtles dig themselves a nice big burrow to live in.

Until I realized he would have to start over with his home and a new family.

Too late now for my second guessing!

On the upside, sometimes a fresh start is just what we all need…

not for me of course, but for any part of nature that I decide to displace.


Crikeysteve *what would the crocodile hunter have done*?

What would you have done?

ps. If you are unfamiliar with Granny Clampett or Gopher, you totally missed some good 70’s TV.


  1. you went back and found him didn't you? and now he lives in your yard i bet. bless :-)

  2. Oh, Suz! :( You were probably thinking about this all night, weren't you? I think it's wonderful that you tried to "save" this little guy. And, I'm sure that if he wanted to, he'd be able to make his way back to his old 'hood. I wouldn't be surprised if you find him sitting in the sparkly clean lanai area at your house again. THAT'S probably what brought him over in the first place! See, that's why I don't clean - I don't like wild animals! ;-)

  3. you make me giggle, i would have done the same thing, my sister, she would have sold him, my brother would have kept him in a cage and claimed to understand him telepathically, but those are just a few of my family members, whose household i grew up in.
    so i didn't turn out half bad!!!

  4. I'm a turtle person too. A couple of weeks ago as I was driving to the doctor, there he was. Poor little turtle crossing the highway - there was oncoming traffic but I was able to straddle him. I made it to a spot to turn around and went back to get him out of the road. As I pulled over to get out of the car, a great big truck came and intentionally swerved to squish him!! Why, why, why would anyone do that??

  5. Wow...that is one big turtle!
    sandy toe

  6. You did what you thought best. bless you.
    I would have painted my initials on him and set him free. Yep, we use to do that when we were kids when we found box turtles in the yard.
    Then if we found it again we knew he was ours.
    strange but true.

  7. That's a mambo turtle!

    Hi! I'm PJ,host of the Amazon giveaway. You're one of my new followers and I like to meet and greet those I haven't met and gret yet! :) Welcome!

    I'm following along on your blog now too!

  8. oh suz... go suck lemons please??? who would add please to that but you! and i am hoping that you took this photo from the ground... not perched on your 24 ft. ladder. anyway... as i was reading i was thinking that gopher tortoises did not live in the water... but who am i to second guess nature girl? guess you shoulda called me. :) but i'm sure he will find his way home... dontcha think?

  9. Mr. Turtle called me last night and told me that he was gathering up 100 of his friends and they were all coming to live at your house. He KNOWS where you live now. SO--- I decided to tell you so that you'd get alot of food in your house --for their arrival. You may want to make a place in your nice, clean lanai for them to live.

    Can we call you the Turtle Hunter now???? How 'bout a picture of all 100 of them once they get there???

  10. I had thought it would be nice to drop by your place for a visit, but now I worry that you'll dump me off on a dead end street. But in the case of Mr. Gopher Turtle your intentions were good.

  11. You mean you didn't go back and find him/her/it and bring it back to your house???? : ) We don't exactly see exciting things in our backyard, but the times we've seen slightly out of place things, we just look out the window at them and wait for them to leave.

    I so would have worn the gloves too! LOL

  12. You did what you thought was best which is all any of us can ever do!

  13. Poor gopher probably made his way back to his family, if he has a family...
    Ideally, I guess we'd just leave critters where they are. But then again, we've already intruded into their environment with our houses, cars, etc. So that makes it necessary to move them, which may or may not cause other problems. Sigh. I don't know the right answer, but I seriously doubt the Croc Hunter would have known either.

  14. bless your lil glove wearing lanai scrubbin ladder climbin spiderweb blastin turtle savin heart!

    i am SURE you make god laugh, and smile with pride.



  15. I thought that turtles just lived in their shells. I didn't think they needed burrows. Don't they just pull in all of the extremities and call it a day? What good is that heavy-armor shell if it's not an RV? (Did it remind you of an army helmet? It did me.) Just think! Maybe you gave him his first car ride with take-out. You are a good-hearted citizen, Suz.

  16. The gloves were a good idea--turtles carry salmonella.

    That was some good 70s t.v.!

  17. exciting! He's huge! I don't know what I would have done, and I can't think about it now. I'm still horribly jealous that you will be spending your winters on the lanai, and I will be spending mine in galoshes...

  18. Well if I didn't know before, now I know you are an awesome person. I would totally try to save that turtle too. I love turtles!

    One Tuesday I went for a bike ride past a farm that had baby goats. I totally made my friend stop with me to play with the baby goats. Animals are my valium.

  19. That turtle might end up back at your house! Bless your heart!! I think you're a sweetie for helping him out! The hubby and I have been thinking about doing one of those volunteer vacations on the east coast where you help the baby turtles that hatch make it into the water (cuz the turtles lay their eggs so far back on the beach and the babies face all these hazards so a lot of them might not make it.) So anyways, long story short - I'm a turtle person too! :-)

  20. I can't believe Gopher didn't eat your arm right off! Don't worry about him, when his kids are older, he'll find them on Facebook.

  21. No matter what we do or don't do, we will always wonder if we did the right thing.

    He'll be all right, you done good my dear :)

  22. He is really big. I hope he is happy wherever he ends up. Maybe one day you will see him again : ) Were the girls devestated to have missed him?

  23. I think Gopher is a she and she was in a bad relationship ... verbal abuse. And you rescued her just in time. She's healing now, and not ready for a new relationship. But another single chick turtle rescued her and put her up in her guestroom condo. All is well.


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