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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Timmy Terrapin Looks For Water

Last week Tom came into the house.

"Grab your camera and come on," he said, imperiously.

"Why?" I asked, always questioning his motives and reasons.

"Just grab the camera!" he insisted.

So he powered up the Polaris and we crowded into the front seat, with Ms. Pearl acting as my backrest, and sped to the middle section of the creek.

Here's what Tom found:

Tom said, "His name is Timmy Terrapin. I think he's a snapping turtle," which was later confirmed by a panel of Facebook experts that evening. I like his stegosaurus tail.

Ms. Pearl was a smart dog and wanted nothing to do with him, and we're glad, since friend Shela had a snapper bite into her thumb when she was ten years old. It wouldn't let go until her brother lit a match underneath it. So Pearl knew what was what.

Tom took a bunch of photos, even some through one side of his binoculars, to get a close up of Timmy's mug. Look at his hog nose and extraterrestrial eyes. And those two horned things on his chin make him look tough. Kind of like I look before I pluck those stray hairs.

I was worried about Timmy that night because it was a long, slow turtle walk to the lone pool of dirty water at the upper end of the creek and snapping turtles are seriously aquatic according to the reptiles book I was reading. From the dirt on his back I suspected he had buried himself to keep moist, but I still worried he wouldn't make it to water in time and die. But he looked like a survivor, so there was hope.

The next day Tom reported that water had started running in the creek again. We had a series of thunderstorms with rain in our area, and there must have been more rain in the mountains to get things jumpstarted again. (Or maybe whoever was irrigating above us had enough water and started sharing again--who knows?) So I think Terry is okay. We haven't seen him, but that must mean he found a good place to swim.

Here's the creek bed one day.

And here it is just a day later:

It's just a trickle, but the water is filling up some special spots on the creek.

It's deep enough to swim, and that's what counts when you're half Labrador Retriever.

Ms. Pearl thought it was a great day when the water came back.

We're not out of the woods, yet, with rainfall still below normal, but the grass is greener, the trees have leafed out and all is well here at the ranch.

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