I Brake For Turtles

Casualty of Jupiter Road, the second to last leg of my 7-mile morning commute on the Appalachian Trail. Tiniest turtle I’ve ever seen! **

This past weekend, driving one of Virginia’s back roads, I saw a box turtle in the middle of my lane and pulled over to help it across. I guess I must have stopped somewhat abruptly because a truck in the other lane squealed to a stop and the woman rolled her window down to ask me if everything was all right.

“Yeah, I’m just going to save that turtle,” I explained. I wish I could have captured the look on her face. Apparently, saving turtles makes me a weirdo in these parts. I don’t care. It breaks my heart to see a squished turtle in the road, so when I see one I can help, I stop.

Today on my 7-mile daily morning commute on the Appalachian Trail, I crossed paths with the tiniest little turtle I’ve ever seen on Jupiter Road, a partially paved forest road that intersects with the AT. Sadly, it was too late. Slow down! Save a turtle! This world needs all the slow and steady types it can get.

** Notice the orange scarves on my dogs. Archery season for bear and deer started this past weekend in Virginia! Time to break out your blaze orange! 

The biggest turtle I’ve ever seen!

About theblondecoyote

Mary Caperton Morton is a freelance science and travel writer with degrees in biology and geology and a master’s in science writing. A regular contributor to EARTH magazine, where her favorite beat is the Travels in Geology column, she has also written for the anthologies Best Women's Travel Writing 2010 and Best Travel Writing 2011. Mary is currently based in western Colorado. When she’s not at the computer she can usually be found outside -- hiking, skiing, climbing mountains and taking photographs. Visit her website at www.marycapertonmorton.com.
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8 Responses to I Brake For Turtles

  1. Alice says:

    I brake for turtles too. Poor little fella didn’t make it, did he. Turles have such strong intentions.

  2. Maddie says:

    My dad brought home a box turtle he found when I was real young, we didn’t get to keep though. I saw a dead turtle on the road the other day, it’s good your looking out for the poor fellows. :*(

  3. I’m happy to know that I’m not the only crazy woman on the road screeching to a halt to save a turtle.

  4. mjspringett says:

    I also brake for turtles and help them cross the road, especially the endangered Blanding turtles, some don’t even know they are endangered, thanks for your consideration, MJ

  5. They are worth braking for! Once when returning from a business meeting, traveling along a rural highway in northern MN, and saw a big snapper in the middle of the 2-lane highway. I pulled over to the side of the road, and got out in my skirt and heels trying to convince it to go to the side rather than sit in the middle. Needless to say, you can’t get too close to a snapping turtle. I had a snow brush in the car and tried to poke it along, but it would just spin around snapping whenever I poked at it. Finally, a couple guys in a truck came along and had a large board in the back — they were kind enough to slide it under the crabby snapper and drag him to the side of the road out of harm’s way! ~ Kat

  6. Sandra says:

    I brake for anything on the road, even snakes. . . and I really don’t like snakes 🙂

    TravelGardenEat–You are AWESOME!

  7. Sandra says:

    Oh, and the Bear Center in Ely tells visitors that the average age of Black Bears in Minnesota is 2–thanks to hunters. . . . How very very sad.

  8. skydancer35 says:

    I am so glad you are a nature/animal lover like me, when I read about how you found D.O.G. I immediately posted it to my facebook! if I had turtles in my roadways, I’d be stopping to help them too! thank you for being the kind loving person that you are, we need more people like you and I in the world! : ) have a great day hon! : )

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