About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fat Turtle

I found a turtle between the compost pile and the garden. It was obese! I never knew that a turtle could become overweight. But the fat rolls that were unable to fit inside of this turtle's shell were disturbing. What's more is that I feel responsible! Three days in a row I looked for him when I took the compost out and I found him every time.
My compost pile is not well kept or protected. It is a heap of food that is covered with leaves and left for nature to do as it pleases. I never thought much of it before now. I figured that some wildlife might enjoy it, but I didn't see a problem with that. Most of my compost is fairly healthy. However, looking at this fat turtle I realize that he is addicted to what I throw out and because it is so easy to eat so much, he has become unhealthy. I don't think he can get all of his fat rolls into his shell; therefore, he is easy picking for a predator. I am ruining this turtle's life!
It makes me wonder how many other obese animals are hiding in the woods between our houses, waiting for us to take out the garbage or throw those scraps in the yard. How many dumpsters are all you can eat bars, tempting fat raccoons, foxes, rabbits, and yes, even turtles!
I will properly fortify my compost pile this weekend!    


  1. I'm not sure he is a fat turtle but has some defect that makes his neck wrap larger. If his legs are still skinny at his arm pits then he is okay.

    When they over eat, it is my understanding, they will just grow more and the shell will fit quite nicely again.

  2. This turtle also had fat legs and a fat rear end. I hope you are right, but his neck was not the only part of him that seemed chunky.
    Also, I should mention that because it is fall he might be trying to put on a little extra weight for winter too. The last few days I have not seen him, so maybe he had moved on.