Rushing from a political forum in Delray Beach today to an Art Marshall Everglades Foundation event in West Palm Beach, I come across this turtle crossing a 6 lane road and it’s in the 2nd lane AND heading in the wrong direction!
For those who don’t know Atlantic Avenue, it is crazy insane with traffic for the most part and the area I was in was 3 lanes in each direction. for some miraculous reason there was absolutely no one behind me on the road….when I say no one, I mean, not one car…in any of the 3 lanes heading east. I slammed on the brakes and swerved to avoid the turtle.
Feeling certain that I had only seconds before cars would begin to speed around the curve, I wondered what to do with it, so I threw it on the floor in my back seat. (I realize now, I probably should have put it in the trunk) The turtle had been crossing the highway and heading straight into a brick wall…why do turtles always head in the wrong direction? To my right is a development with a small lake in the front of it. I pull in and walk through the grass to put the turtle at the edge of the lake. I had to kick my shoes off, because my high heels kept sinking into the grass. I couldn’t wait to see if the turtle came back out of it’s shell and went to the lake, I was now running late for the next event, but I snapped a quick picture of it before I set it down.
It was huge! About the size of a dinner plate and a beautiful dark green with an orange stripe pattern.
I picked it up carefully, because I’m not sure what a snapping turtle looks like, but when it went inside it’s shell, I felt pretty safe it wasn’t going to try and bite me. I threw it on the back floor because I knew I traffic would be coming around the bend any moment. Why there hadn’t been traffic coming, I don’t know…perhaps it was meant for me to save this turtle. Again, it was heading in the wrong direction…it still have 4 lanes to cross and the median, which is the width of another lane. Had it made it across, it would have run straight into a brick wall, hundreds of feet long. I don’t know if it wasn’t to be bear the water, but that’s where I felt like I had to put him. Why I’m calling it a “him” I don’t know…perhaps because men don’t ask for directions either? LOL
The hilarious thing is that all this time, I have a girlfriend (one of my 2 “sisters”) laughing at me as I have the phone plugged into my ear and all she can hear is “shit!””whew” “turtle” “No!” “Now what?” “Ah, back seat!” “now what” “Lake!” “grass” “can’t walk in heels” “yuck, wet grass” “smile Mr. Turtle!” “yuck, wet grass” “oh, my shoes” “where’s the purell?” “ah, thank goodness, gym towel” and then I realized she had been listening to me on the phone the entire time laughing at me!!
Then she tells me to wash my hands because turtle’s carry salmonella…I purelled the hell out of my hands and when I got to the environmental foundation event, before I hugged anyone or shook their hand, I went right to the restroom washed my hands really well, wiped down my phone, my ear buds, my purse and now I’m asking for a most benevolent outcome for the turtle and my health.