I recently read a story about an 80-year-old man who found a turtle on his property. When he picked up the turtle, he found a date back in 1965 and the initials of his then 13-year-old son carved into the bottom of the shell. Apparently, the 13-year-old boy had previously found the turtle and left his mark in hopes of someday finding the turtle again. The father called his now 60-year-old son and told him of his find. He kept the turtle a few days and then let it go. (This picture is not the actual turtle. The actual turtle has more wrinkles and sun spots!)
By the way, eastern box turtles often live to 50 years and can live to be 100!
I had a friend when I was his age, 13 not 60, who lived in a house that backed to a creek. It was a tidal creek and we found many critters there such as snakes, fish, frogs and turtles. My friend had tanks in his basement with heat lamps, pumps, filters and various types of food, like mice for the snakes. He would catch and keep any creature that was slower moving than he was! I though that was really cool. Looking back, it was really cool. I wonder what he is doing today? I now have a son who is 13. He has a tank and likes to catch and keep whatever he finds. The only rule is that we let it go after a couple of days. He doesn’t like the rule, but if he wants to catch them, he has to release them.
Does anyone else have any memories or experiences like these? Do you have an outdoor child, boy or girl, who likes to catch things? How do you feel about it?
One summer we were staying at a cabin we owned on Poteau Mountain. We only went there a couple of times a year so each time there was a lot of grass and brush work that had to be done to keep the place from becoming overgrown. While cutting the grass we came across a nest of cottontail rabbits. We ended up raising the little things until the were big enough to release onto their own. My mom was good that way in feeding tiny creatures with eyedroppers or tiny bottles. Good memories.
That’s a great memory. We have little rabbits in the yard often. It lets you know spring has arrived! Thanks for sharing.
I can’t claim to be a naturalist then or now, but I had two classmates that were like your friend and your son.
Of course, we all grow up with different likes and interests. And we all change as we grow up, some more than others.
I always taught my sons to catch and release. We still do that here around the pond, even with the fish (although we ought to be taking some of the fish out of the pond since it’s so crowded).
Cool story. 🙂
Thanks. What kind of fish are in the pond?
We have bass and bluegills. There are also a couple of carp we’ve named Jaws I and Jaws II. They’re huge and about all we usually see of them is a fin cutting across the water.
You could always catch and consume if you need to thin the herd!
Sometimes we do. Lately we’ve been inviting people over to help out. They bring their children or grandchildren who have a good time (they always catch something), and we get the benefit of thinning out the fish.
growing up, the yougest of 4 girls, I was also the only ‘son’ my father had LOL, Thats what he told people. I was the tree climbing, bait my own hook kinda girl. And I guess I stiil am. I brought home every ‘stray’ from turtles of course, to rabbits, to dogs, birds, more fireflies them I could count, june bugs but no cats Im alergic, and when I was grown my husband and I bought 10 acres of farm land in Middle Tennessee. I loved it! My oldest son and I spotted critters galore! We always hd a catch and release program at our house.Probably his favorite story was of a giant turtle that was crossing the road and of course I had to stop and move it, so it wouldnt get hit. It was by far the biggest damn snapping turtle I have ever seen. Bigger than a dinner plate and mean! We used a broom and the tire tool to get it in the trunk of the car and take over to our house, then headed it in the direction of the pond and let it go, but not before it bit the broom handle in half. Awesome ’cause it’s true!
Great fun. I have many memories of snapping turtle too. Thanks!
Oh and I loved your story:)
My thought to moving the turtle is it may have had a nest and was heading across thew street to get back.Many a times I stopped the car to “assist” a turtle across the street or turn it back towards the weeds and darn if it didn’t turn right around and go in the direction …”it”…wanted to go…so thats why I believe it has a plan of it’s own
It’s hard to know if we are helping or hindering the travel of the turtles and other creatures we find. Only they know where they are going or why they need to cross the street!
I have helped many a turtle out of the road, and it’s a little disconcerting when they start to “leak” that’s why I don’t pick them up anymore…
I hate it when they leak. Can’t seem to find a good quality turtle anymore. They don’t make them like they used to!
I loved this post. I have been a huge turtle enthusiast for many years, be it Sea Turtles, snapping, or prehistoric. Thanks for this entry, and thanks for visiting my blog too! Ciao, Laura
Your welcome Laura. And thank you!
My son wants to collect everything. Bugs, frogs, lizards, turtles, basically anything he can find. He’s only 4 1/2, but my wife and I have been trying to encourage him to catch and release by explaining that the animals are happiest living in their natural environment.
That’s great. I still really enjoy finding little critters.
Lovely – Thank you for the like on my blog!
And thank you too!
I had a children’s story in “Ladybug Magazine” that was about a boy watching lizards around his house, convincing his dad to let him keep one as a pet, and then deciding to let it go.
That’s cool. Thanks.
Great post – I’ll try and write about the turtles which live in the rivers in Languedoc! Thanks for stopping by my page and the like!!