Thursday, September 23, 2010

Steve pops out for another visit

Smooch and I were on a walk over the weekend, and we had just left the front gate and made the turn down our road. I was be-bopping along to the music when a magnetic-like force made me turn my head to the left and look behind a tumbleweed. Sure enough, there was Turtle Steve.

I know this is going to sound all new-age and zen-like, but there's no other way to explain how it is that I can spot him amidst the grass and weeds. Something just reaches out and pulls my eyes in his direction. (Am I right, Carolynn? Kathleen? You've been there.)

I got all giddy, as I always do when Steve decides to come out and say hello. We chatted for awhile, then I decided to go back to the house to get my camera and some turtle treats. But by the time Smooch and I returned, he wasn't there. Crap.

But wait! I know what turtle tracks look like – I had seen them on vacation last year. If I looked very carefully, maybe I could see where Steve had gone.

Bingo. Look between the two white lines and you'll see Steve's footprints.

We followed the tracks into the weeds on the other side of the road, and there he was.
Hi, little buddy. Love you! Mean it!

I tried to get a group shot but this was the best I could do. (Steve is a little above and to the right of Smooch's nose.)

There was some discussion in the comments the last time I posted about Steve as to whether he was a tortoise or a turtle. I'm now 99.9% certain he is a Western Ornate Box Turtle.

Post processing: 1. PW's Warmer action at 50%; 2. PW's Boost action at 50%; 3. Gaussian blur vignette

"Omnivorous, the diurnal Western Ornate Box Turtle feeds on a range of reptiles, crayfish, insects, worms, eggs, carrion, berries, and succulent plants (including prickly pear cactus pads and fruit)."

It should be noted that the Western Ornate Box Turtle does not feed on fresh spinach or black oil sunflower seeds. Oh well. I tried.

By the time Smooch and I walked our two miles and returned home,
Steve had walked about 20 feet and we saw him in our pasture.

See you next time, my friend.

When he's in the mood to be seen again, I'm confident he'll let me know.


  1. That is too cool that you happen across Steve like you do, and he's quite the photogenic guy!

  2. I absolutely love turtles and enjoy all of your posts!

  3. When I read that you went back for the camera and "turtle treats", I was wondering what the heck you'd come up with. I'm surprised he didn't go for the spinach. Oh well, I hope you took it home and sauteed it w/a little olive oil,fresh garlic and just a squeeze of lemon....

  4. You've got to take frozen peas and big fat earthworms with you if you want to find your way into Steve's heart!

  5. Does this mean someone is coming for a visit?

    I think Steve would like spinach. Did he eat it?

  6. I love turtles! I have a red ear slider as a classroom pet and my students love him!
    Great pictures!

  7. He's pretty cute and slow enough to get good pictures. Glad you had a nice visit with him again and he's still hanging around.

  8. Hi Linda, I used to have a similar expierence in Sudbury, ma. with a box turtle. He would always seem to show up when we wanted to mow the pastures. Would have to walk in the tall grass to find him so he would get beatup by the mowers. This went on for years. He's probably still there, and I am not!

  9. What color are Steve's eyes? If they are bright red or orange, then he is a Steve. If they are dark red or brown, then she is a Stevette! :-)

  10. I think it's pretty neat how you guys run into each other on your walks. I'm thinkin it won't be long before he'll be getting ready to hibernate...then we'll all have to wait til Spring to see him again.

  11. It's a good omen...perhaps a sign that you'll be receiving another guest soon...?

    Steve is definitely one cool character. And, you are one eagle eyed turtle tracker. No doubt. If I didn't like you so much, I'd say it was weird.


  12. don't let the burros get him! scary, they'd think of him as an interactive toy!

  13. Steve is definitely a cool neighbor...has he met the boys yet?

    Nancy in Iowa

  14. Have you seen him smile yet?

  15. that last paragraph made me laugh, you walked 2 miles he walked 20 feet away, lol!

  16. I hope that we'll get to meet Steve someday. Totally had a blast today - sorry no donkeys, but the pie was awesome.

  17. I always thought all the 7MSN Ranch needed was a turtle but I was thinking of a Sulcata tortoise.

  18. CeeCee, Steve never did eat the spinach. Go figure.

    Babygoose, I fear you may be right that Steve could be a girl turtle. But that doesn't mean I will change the name. If there can be a Boy Named Sue, there can be a Girl Named Steve.

    Lytha and Mom L, I don't think Steve has met the boys. I'm sure he can feel them coming, though, and could quickly disappear into the nearest hole.

  19. So cool! I love how he just keeps popping up!