Thursday, June 28, 2012,
Four days ago I was looking out my back window, as I am often wont to do, when I spied a dark shape moving rather quickly across the back lawn. This was too fast and determined to be a bird. Birds foraging on the lawn are mostly step, step, stab or hop, hop, poke and stab. There are variations of course, but there are few instances of birds running in straight lines unless there’s a territorial dispute of some kind. Robins are good for that; they’ve got this thing about personal space but they’re not the only ones. Just yesterday I saw a young Grackle shoo off an Eastern Cottontail.
Anyways, back to the story at hand. This visitor racing across the yard was moving much too determinedly to be a bird. I had a pretty good guess at what I was seeing but it was too far off for me to be certain. I stood closer to the window. I squinted. No go. I squinted harder. Again, no go. Squinting just doesn’t work as well as it used to. Maybe I need new squinters. So I reached for my binoculars, and yes, there was a Diamondback Terrapin. ‘Tis the time of year when the females come ashore to lay their eggs. Less than a week before I had found one trying to deposit her eggs in the gravel driveway. This is never a good idea. It’s a dangerous place for her to be, let alone the ten or so so hatchlings come September. Not to mention the very real chance of scrambled eggs in the meantime, if someone’s car should roll over the wrong spot. I moved last week’s terrapin to a nice sandy spot in the yard, but there’s no arguing with a woman. She will plant those eggs wherever she sees fit and and there really is no persuading her. Sigh. At least she’s not asking me to move the couch. JK