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Sunday Drive Part II: Turtle Crossing (and Other Animal Adventures)

As my nice, relaxing, and hot Sunday drive continued, I ventured into Hancock County on Highway 105. As I rounded a curve, I saw this little guy (well, not so little) trying to cross the road. As someone who used to have a turtle as a pet back in the day, I always try to get ‘em off the road if I can. Of course, when you’re on a blind curve, you run the risk of becoming some Peterbilt’s hood ornament. But anyway…

Photo by Dave Spencer

I pulled off the road and ran out to get the turtle, and it was of a fairly good size. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I’d say it was about a foot and a half long and a foot wide. And I wanted to get a picture of him with head and feet out. But, as I approached, he dove into the shell. So I picked him up and moved him off the road in the direction he was headed. I noticed a pond at the bottom of a slight incline. It looked like it was about 300 yards away. I guess that’s where he was going and I figured he’d be there in about a week or so. He’s probably halfway there by now. All the best.

Later on down the road, there was a big ol’ vulture snacking away on a dead snake in the middle of the road. I slowed down to observe. I’ve had run-ins with these things before. When I was 17, a vulture flew straight for the windshield of the van I was driving on a backroad in New Mexico. He went over it, but it freaked me out all the same. Back to the Hancock County vulture. I drove closer to get him to move out of the way, and instead of flying off, he just hopped up on a fence post and waited for me to pass. So I grabbed the Blackberry thinking it was a great opportunity for a picture. I got right up next to him, and just as I rolled down the window, he started ruffling his feathers and he turned to look right at me. Since I don’t need a house to fall on me to know when I’m not wanted, I rolled up the window and took off. It’s kind of dumb, now that I think about it, to interrupt a very large bird while he’s eating and then pull up and get within three feet of him. I guess I’m still learning, after all. I will yield to trains but apparently not to large and hungry birds of prey.

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