I've been out turtling as much as I can...weather permitting of course. The weather this spring has been whacky to say the least. We've had possibly record breaking heat followed by near freezing temperatures. It's now raining and cold and more of the same is predicted for most of the week. Not good turtling weather.
But given the hectic work schedule, I've had to make lemons out of lemonade. That's why we had to go out turtling at a very large site on the insanely hot day. We started out early to avoid the heat, but that didn't matter considering we had to spend about 3.5 hours out there. The vegetation was very dense shrubs peppered with swamp rose. I forgot my garden clippers so getting through was even more difficult. To add to the mess, every once in awhile you would stumble upon a bottomless open pit, which had to be carefully navigated. Boredom and exhaustion came early. No turtles were spotted. I did spot a couple water snakes and a newt....that was my excitement. To add insult to injury, dozens of ticks were continuously invading me. Each time I crashed through and even brushed up against a shrub, at least 5 ticks would hitch a ride on me. Of course, I was the only one in the group that had this problem. I did spray myself with bug spray, but since I didn't wear hip waders (opted for the lighter and cooler rubber knee boots...if you can call them that), I was the object of their affection. A few hours in I hear a co-worker yell to another "mumble mumble bear heading mumble mumble." I immediately jump out of my heat/boredom coma and come rushing towards the action. From what I learned is that all the skunk cabbage had been eaten in one area. I know exactly what that means....beartown. My co-worker then spotted a boulder and thought it was a good spot to rest on. Turns out the bear was resting on the other side! My co-worker did a silent and quick retreat and another co-worker unknowingly came upon the scene. Other co-worker made some noises and whistles and the bear took off.
So I am borrowing my hedge clippers from the family for the next visit....if that happens. If it does happen, you can all guess where I will be heading towards first. Don't worry, I won't be bringing it any snacks. I just want a peek....after all 3.5 hours is a long time for turtling.