Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where in the World is Grace O'Mally?

Grace O'Malley is one of our three box turtles. Her first name is Grace because all of our turtles have names that start with "G". Her last name is O'Malley because when we first started the turtle thing, Amanda named our first turtle Grumpy O'Malley.

So I went out to feed the O'Malley family this morning (Grumpy, Little George and Grace). Little George came walking up to me because he knows his food source. Grumpy had once again climbed up on the cinder block wall that surrounds the perimeter of their pen and was going for a walk. Grace was nowhere to be found. The cinder block wall offers many shaded resting spots for the turtles, so I checked all of those...three times. Next, we have a wood pile shelter built in the middle of the pen. Checked there, also three times and she was not there. In the past, turtles have crawled under their "water bowl" (an upside down trash can lid), so I checked there. Grace was still nowhere to be found.

At this point, I was trying to figure out how a turtle could disappear from our turtle pen. I was pretty sure she had not found a way to escape. If there was a way to escape, Grumpy would have found it on his many wall patrols. Didn't seem very likely that an animal would eat a box turtle. If she had died, I would have found her laying around somewhere (shells don't rot too fast!). Why would somebody come steal a box turtle?

Finally I decided to check the area where the turtles usually hibernate. It's not the right time of the year for that, but I had run out of options. Sure enough, as I began to move my hands through the leaf piles on the ground, there was Grace. She was buried head up, so it seems she may have been laying eggs again. Usually if they are trying to bury themselves, they go head first. In any case, the mystery was solved and I could safely wake up Amanda (who would have been devastated if a turtle had disappeared).

No comments: