Saturday, July 25, 2009

visitor

Guess who was waiting in the driveway of Willow Manor when I came home this afternoon? This handsome guy, who I immediately invited in for some lively conversation and afternoon tea. Well, maybe tea and some dead flies.


And I ended up doing most of the talking. But, isn't he the sweetest thing? So shy and unassuming, too. When he realized I wanted a picture, he reluctantly gave me a modest smile.


I am always amazed at the beauty of a turtle's shell. What lovely designs going on here. And even more handsome is his wonderful belly side, complete with a hinged door for quick getaways.

I enjoyed his charming visit. I felt like a little girl again with the turtle I named "Bochides". (I think I was actually trying to say "both sides" because of the two sides of the shell, but still, it made for a good name.) His visit also brought to mind this cute poem, by Vachel Lindsay, I learned as a girl.

There was a little turtle.
He lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle.
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito.
He snapped at a flea.
He snapped at a minnow.
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito.
He caught the flea.
He caught the minnow.
But he didn't catch me.

66 comments:

  1. I remember that poem, Willow. What a wonderful post and photo of your guest.

    It is odd that you were at the top of my list when I sat down to try and catch up with my posting. I usually go from the side bar but saw your name and since I had just mentioned you on my post that almost didn't happen, I thought I would come on over for a treat.

    I love coming to your site and I can't wait until winter comes so I will have more time to visit.

    Is your guest staying the weekend?

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  2. Aren't they beautiful. You wouldn't believe it but DMJ ran over one with the ride-on just last week (it was unhurt), we put it in the birdbath and looked back 30 minutes later and it had gone. We have one visit every year.

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  3. Turtles are as scarce as hens teeth around here as are frogs and toads and snakes. Of those four, I would prefer the turtle or toad but no such luck.

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  4. And that's why the rabbet won - kidnapping.

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  5. interesting visitor & great poem! my my the manor sure does have a lot of LIFE around it! :)

    have a great weekend!
    -Tracie

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  6. Turtles need our assistance. If they are crossing a road, always bring them to the other side, in the direction they were intending.

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  7. willow, a lovely post, the poem was new to me, and sweet and funny. turtles are very special around here as they form an important part of the cosmology of the ojibway people. my wife has ojibway blood as do some of my friends!! the original ojibway name for the earth is "turtle island" - check it out here http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/turtleisland.html. have a lovely evening. steven

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  8. This is so refreshingly summer fare. Lovely. How often do you see these beauties?

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  9. One day when I arrived at my friend's house for yoga, she had a box turtle there, thinking I might want it. She had found it in her back yard which is a good habitat for it. She thought I might want it because of Big Mama (my red ear slider). It was so friendly, not at all fearful, sticking it's head out, looking at me as I held it. I told my friend it would fare better in her yard than any place I could give it (in the city). It made me think of Big Mama though, whom I have raised for nearly 20 years. She comes towards me when she sees me but she is ever ducking her head in at the least movement. And she does not like to be held at all.

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  10. Great shots of the turtle, & a fun poem by Vachel Lindsay. I'm guessing the turtle drinks herbal tea.

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  11. What a cute little guy! That poem took me back to grade school all over again, when we used to write poetry. Fun! ~Lori

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  12. hello, i like your blog, its so cool. please do visit my blog too, charmedwishes18.blogspot.com thanks!

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  13. Hi! Willow,
    What a beautiful turtle...What a lovely poem...Thanks, for sharing!

    DeeDee
    p.s.Thanks, for the "Upclose" view of the
    turtle..."Beautiful."

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  14. He's very handsome! What a well behaved guest.

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  15. Love your turtle poetry!

    Oh, and I read a blog called Gardening with Turtles. Maria has pet turtles. And birds. And mayhem often ensues.

    http://gardeningwithturtles.blogspot.com/

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  16. He IS beautiful! We used to have two: Myrtle and Yertle. And congratulations! It's a boy!

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  17. I love turtles. They seem so ancient. My husband screeched to a stop in the middle of the road the other day, causing me to jump out of my skin. Before I could ask him what the matter was, he was out of the car and picking up a box turtle who was out in the traffic. He then drove off to a safe green area to let him loose. See now, that's why I married him!

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  18. I remember that poem from my childhood. This was a wonderful post and I'm glad to have met your visitor.

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  19. Willow if you look at your image in the thumb nail size that shows up on a blog that follows yours, it presents the nicest arrangements of shapes and color for a minimal earth tone abstract painting. Cool.
    Is this turtle going to live in your garden?

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  20. Synchronicity at work! I found a box turtle as I was weeding today and it's in my tomorrow's scheduled post. Mine had glittering red eyes -- I believe the males have yellow eyes and the females red. (But it may well be the other way round.)

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  21. This guy had red eyes, so maybe he was a she? I let him go in the thick ground cover by out by the patio in back. I checked on him about a half an hour later and he was no where to be found.

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  22. Bill, at first I didn't get it. Heh-heh. WT said, "Like the tortoise and the hare." (duh)

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  23. Leslie, I'll have to pop over to another blog and take a look! I might just have to paint it, huh?

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  24. That is a beauty! We've had them tool on through our yard, and I'm always fascinated by them. They're such interesting creatures, aren't they?! Great photos! Love it.

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  25. cute little poem. my boys love a good visit from a turtle. save them from the road quite often. nice pics.

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  26. I love turtles. We spent time saving them in Minnesota when they would wander onto the road. Sweet creatures.

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  27. What a great new friend! I have a picture posted of a turtle I saved and then found out later he was a snapping turtle. I was reprimanded for even going near him. Apparently he could have taken my fingers off.
    But your little guy looks great!

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  28. Lovely photos of your guest Willow.
    I had a rather large tortoise when I was growing up, he was the childhood pet of my grandfather...
    Estimated to be around 80 years old, and his name was Sputnick. Sadly he died during his hibernation one Winter, but he would literally run across the garden if you would leave a tomato at the end of the rhubarb patch for him.

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  29. I love turtles. I used to catch them all the time when i was little. to this day I pull over and move them out of the road when i see them there.

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  30. word of the wonderful life at willow manor has spread far and wide, willow. this little guy had to come visit to check it all out for himself, i'm sure. a review of willow manor will be featured soon in "titillating tortoise travel tales" where he'll give the low down on his delightful afternoon with you.

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  31. Hello Willow

    One time when we visited my daughter teaching in Yokosuka near Tokyo she was preparing one of the son's of her host mother for the annual speech contest. He recited, for us, the turtle poem - with delightful actions...and he won the competition.

    But the most beautiful thing was that his three year old brother had heard the practice runs so often that he too could recite it perfectly...

    Happy days

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  32. Such a dear little visitor....xv

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  33. I an surprised at you my dear! You did not even offer him a lettuce leat if not the cucumber sanndwiches. Yes, the children's poem goes so well with him.
    NB We lost a lot of our turtles in last summer's big dry.

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  34. Awwwww - he is so very sweet. I especially adore the second photo of his profile. He really DOES look like he is smiling. What a lovely afternoon guest.

    I laughed out loud at Bill Stankus' second comment - well done Bill!!

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  35. Willow, OMW! I've not read that poem in over...well it's been a while. Turtles are protected here in Mass. I'll avoid them if they're in the road. One guy got out of his car to "rescue" one. A good thing but not on a blind curve! He almost got hit, himself! I've seen so many this year due to the abby normal rains!

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  36. Willow,
    angle you took the picture and the look of that turtle in the first picture are simply priceless!
    A wonderful weekend to both of you,
    Merisi

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  37. My friend lived in the country outside Toronto overlooking a very pretty pond. She said there were a couple of snapping turtles there, which were very aggressive. They swam up under ducks and bit them. No human dared go near the water. Was she kidding me?

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  38. As always, fantastic photographs Willow. I used to keep three terrapins when I was younger and the poem certain brought memories back - particularly the bit about snapping!

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  39. I have never known anybody who had tea with a turtle. What a wise looking little fellow! That is truly amazing, Willow. We had a wombat once in the driveway when I was growing up and snakes but never any turtle! Thank you for your lovely words on my Blog and of course we are friends!! You can call me friend at any time, my friend! xx

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  40. Also remember that poem! What a handsome fellow your houseguest is; reminds me of one I saved from Atlanta traffic some years ago and he live happily ever after in the nature preserve behind my condo. I just ignored all the cars honking and finger waving until I had him safely in my car. Poor thing; he was trapped at an intersection!

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  41. He's beautiful! What a wonderful tea party.

    Remembering the bunny on your driveway a few weeks ago. Hmmm ... the hare and the tortoise??

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  42. So glad tortoiseshell is a banned substance now. Your little friend is gorgeous

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  43. thanks for the intro to turtle, who is so cute. and for the Vachel Lindsey poem. I didnt think anyone read him anymore.

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  44. Hello Willow,

    Nice pics and colours and poem, which I'd not heard before. You get such interesting visitors!

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  45. What a beautiful turtle and your photography is brilliant! In the Eastern Woodlands our turtles are on the endangered species list. We are asked to protect them. Does that include tea invitations? Awesome!
    Have a wonderful weekend.

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  46. What a cute box turtle! I love box turtles -- their slow ways, their intricate "motor homes" on their backs, and I especially love the leisurely way they eat -- that long neck stretching out, the V-shaped mouth with its deliberate grasp. They are just such fun!

    Except for the snappers. Not so much fun. Our dog Dion still has a scar on his nose. . . .

    Lovely post!
    Cass

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  47. You had a nice visit from the turtle and I had a nice surprise finding your blog. Compliments, Italo. Have a great week end.

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  48. what a darling visitor Willow!
    :-)
    and a very cute poem...

    ps: great new banner!

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  49. oh, my! I find turtles such soulful creatures - does he now reside at the Manor?

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  50. Tea with a Turtle....how grand! :)

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  51. Am I the only one thinking 'Turtle Soup?'Yes? I'll get me coat. :)

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  52. Willow, I think I will add your poem to my list of things to do with the 2 granddaughters I will be babysitting next week. We'll have 6 days to learn the poem....and maybe make some turtle art. Thanks for the idea...thank your visitor for me as well!

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  53. I loved that profile pose! Well, just catching up with my favourite blogs after a couple of days away. Loved the poem, too. Never read it before. Many thanks. I hope that little guy did not leave too many dead flies behind :-).

    Greetings from London.

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  54. I'm so jealous! We never have visitors like that! The closest was when I was four, and my mum told me to come outside, and I looked in our pool and there was a wee duck swimming around, I turned to mum and said, "Who gave it to me?"

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  55. I googled Mr. Box Turtle and found out that he was indeed a "he". The males have dark red eyes and the females a lighter red/yellow. Just in case you were dying to know...

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  56. Wonderful! Boo was asking me just today if we can catch a box turtle soon. I hope so...

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  57. I had forgotten about that poem! Sweet childhood memory.

    My youngest daughter saw some turtles in the Ramblas in Barcelona and she has become obsessed with procuring one as a pet. She spent hours doing Internet research on them the other day.

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  58. I adore turtles. So happy you enjoyed some quality time with the little guy or gal.

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  59. i love him .
    he's so cute. i'd have tea with him too !

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)