So, before we moved into our new house, we came to dropr some stuff off and clean a little. Lilian and I were playing in the backyard, and I found a box turtle. (See photo below with Lilian in the pink shirt... that's from 10/7/10). Our landlady was outside and she told us that he'd been here for years and years, and her BFF (who owned our house before she died), always worried about him. We named him The Situation, because of his rock hard shell.
Over the winter, I often thought about him. Wondered if he was OK. If he was lonely. See, our backyard is fenced in (to keep dogs in, and deer out). So he has been confined to our wooded yard for probably 5-10+ years. He can't go out and explore, nor can other turtles come in. I thought about freeing him, but decided against it, what if he loves it here and has a home. I decided to just leave him as is.
Well, this morning, The Situation made his second appearance in our "dog run" (a smaller area we fenced in against the house, so our chihuahuas don't go and get lost in the ivy and thick woods of our yard). Missy found him and brought him inside to say hi to Lily and me. I was actually pretty happy to see him. We decided to put some apple pieces outside for him. (Two other photos below are from this morning, Missy took them with her iPhone before freeing him).
But when she went out the back door to free him... who was there waiting for him but a slightly smaller box turtle! (A wife?) We liberated them both over the dog fence, into the large part of our yard. (The female then proceeded to bury herself in dirt/sand... we have no idea why. Maybe she was scared?)
But my summer instantly got a lot better. I no longer have to worry if The Situation is lonely, he has a friend! (Who I will call Snookie, due to the large BUMP she has on top). Maybe they aren't mates, I'm not sure of their gender, or maybe they are parent & child. Maybe they're even strangers and they just met for the first time. A backyard can be pretty big when you're an eight inch turtle. But I'm genuinely relieved and thrilled to know that The Situation isn't alone out there in our wooded abyss.
Sadly, when we found Turtle 2.0, we didn't take a photo. But I hope one day they emerge again, and I can take photos of our happy turtle neighbors.