June 22, 2012 Page 59
Why Turtles Cross the Road turtle movements all over the Island and uncover who was There was a nice letter in crossing the road too much. His policy was if we caught the last week’s Shelter Island same turtle crossing a road Reporter reminding people three times, he was eligible to be on the lookout for for Jacob’s relocation program turtles crossing the roads. to Mashomack Preserve. We I know to some people that seems like a silly thing actually caught two turtles to remind people of, but twice who were crossing I love turtles and I too, the road, but on the second want people to watch out offense, Jacob would relocate for them. them further into the woods Spring is the time of year when animals get from the side of the road and together and make more animals. If you pause let them off with a warning. to think about it, this must be much harder for That seemed to work since we turtles than other animals. First of all, they never had to take anyone to have to find another turtle. They don’t live in the Preserve. herds like deer, so I have no idea how they find Will he get to the other side? Of course the most annoying each other. Do they cross the roads because side of the road. They probably carve a notch thing is when you stop to help they’re looking for love in all the wrong places? in their shell for each giant machine they stop. a turtle across the road, and as soon as you put Why is it that turtles even bother to cross And if they get hit by one of the big machines, them down, they head back into the road in the the roads? The grass isn’t greener on the other and have the luck not to die, they usually have direction they just came from. Why do they do side, so why take the a nice big scrape on that? Is it that these are the criminal turtles risk? them to show off to the who have been sentenced to cross a road, I have a theory that Have they had enough of life? females, a war wound allowing the gods of Chevy and Ford to decide since it’s usually the The turtle—a conundrum in a hard they can get “street their fate? Are these the daredevil turtles who male of the species cred” for. are addicted to the adrenaline rush of hearing that try to attract the shell, but still an island pal. When my son, Jacob, tires roar past them? Have they had enough of female, that it’s only was younger, he would turtle life and they’re just trying to end it all? male turtles that try to cross the roads. I think scan the road for turtles as I drove. If he spotted Are they trying to run 20 feet across the road it’s their way of being macho and showing off one, we would pull over and get the turtle. I race to benefit a turtle charity? And because of their ability to cause gigantic metal machines carried red nail enamel in my van and Jacob the intrinsic danger, they only have one racer to screech to a halt and cause giants to get out would give the turtle a name and I’d paint it at a time? The turtle—a conundrum in a hard of the machines and carry them to the other on his shell. This way, we were able to track shell, but still an Island pal. manalie/Flickr
By sally flynn
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Dan's Papers June 22, 2012 Issue