Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The importance of being a turtle saver

Cardigan: Gap
Top: Anthropologie
Skirt: JCPenney
Wedges: Shoe Carnival

I lived on the coast of New Jersey growing up, which is a very marshy, wetlands-y area. We often drove across the marshes to get mainland, where the mall, our barn, the doctor's office, and other hot spots of my life were located. One specific road traveled over protected wetlands, and as such state law required that when wildlife--especially turtles, though it covered birds and whatever else came around--entered the roadway, drivers either had to wait for the animal to cross or had to assist with their crossing. Turtles often had to be carried across the road for traffic flow to continue. (Ospreys and the like...well, you just had to be patient.)

This is so engrained in my mind as a rule of life that today, when twice my car crossed the path of a turtle, I slammed on the brakes, backed up, leapt out of my car and grabbed the turtle and placed him/her on the other side of the road the turtle was aiming for. I've seen crushed turtle shells on roads here and it breaks my heart times a million, so I always stop and assist. Always. Forgive me for my major devotion to turtle welfare, forcing cars to go around me or wait, but no turtle (really, no animal) should ever live in fear of crossing the road. And they're always thankful, I think, even though they shrink in fear when they see me coming. They probably can't handle all the pattern mixing, and for that I can't really blame them. It's a lot for a tiny turtle to absorb so quickly--they do move at a much slower pace, after all.

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