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Spring, finally!

Sunday, April 5, 2009
Posted in: Azteclady Speaks

In this central Florida suburb, spring has finally sprung, and with it a number of creatures are coming out to play.

For example, after the first significant rain of the year a couple of days ago, we found this little visitor in the back yard:


My dog wasn’t quite sure what to make of it:


Then, after the third heavy rain this week, I opened the front door to see this:


(that’s a turkey vulture, folks–big bird)

So I looked around and found what it was eyeing with so much interest that it let me take pictures:


It’s not an alien–though with that face, it could certainly pass for one. It’s a Florida softshell turtle. It had crawled all the way from the little ravine on the side of my house to the fourth house in the row, away from shade and shelter, and completely exposed to predators such as that vulture.

Being soft hearted, I picked him up and took him back to the ravine, where–after jumpingΒ  a few times at my dog, and oh lord do I wish I knew how to take video with the digital camera, that was priceless! (you can see how quickly these reptiles can move here–he turned around and slid under cover again.

I’m such a sap I’m still smiling over it–and over the fact that my biologist eldest brother gets all green with envy, he who resides in Mexico City, whenever I share these kind of encounters with him.

[I’m the much spoiled erm abused youngest of five, of course I have to rag on the rest of them meanies, don’t I?]


  • Eeewwww – that’s one heck of an ugly turtle!! I didn’t know they had pointy faces like that.
    And double eeewww on the turkey vulture.


  • Don’t talk to me about spring. It’s 44 degrees here today in Oklahoma. And it’s heading into the 20’s overnight.

    Can I come live with you?


  • I agree with Jaci! It’s 38 here at almost 11am. If we’re lucky, we might hit 50, even with the sun blindingly white. πŸ˜›

    Do you only get the turkey vultures in the spring? We have them all year. Evidently the cold doesn’t bother them.

    And I’m glad you’re a softie where the turtle is concerned. Word to the wise though? Never, ever try to move a snapper…they can do a 360 around their bodies, their necks are so bloody long! 😯


  • theo, I know–which is why I was wearing gardening gloves and grabbing really far towards the back. The softshells also have quite the long and flexible necks, you know.


  • What is this spring you speak of? Ah, CENTRAL Florida. Here in South Florida, we bypassed spring to jump into summer. It was 80 freakin degrees yesterday :(.


  • alisha rai? I have absolutely no sympathy for you! It’s after 2pm here and barely 40 out. πŸ˜›

    AztecLady, we have no softshell turtles here. Do they bite too? A snapper will take your finger off. Are they that bad?

    I tried to save a snapper from the middle of the road once. I ended up taking my snowbroom and shoving him off the road like one of those granite stones in curling. DD2 was 10. Thought it was hysterical. I didn’t find it too funny, but hey, if I’m an amusement to my kids…


  • Giselle
    April 5
    8:44 pm

    I live in central Florida too and I wish I could say I had encountered cute lil turtles and giant birds. Noooo, instead I get no less than three snakes frolicking in my yard in one day. These were the harmless garden variety but I’m terrified of them so any snake is a scary snake. *shudder*


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