Saturday, June 04, 2011


I almost stepped on her this morning. A looker, she was round and curvy, about 15 x 12 inches of turtle beauty -  parked on my back doorstep. I did a classic double take - what???

She was retracted fully into her shell and other than the shyness, she seemed to be uninjured. I guessed something had gone wrong with her onboard GPS.

After thinking a moment, I remembered that one of my neighbors had turtles and checked to see if they were down one.  Turns out this creature was Annie, missing in action for almost two years! The neighbors kept her and her companion in a large box on their property which blew over the side of the hill in one of the storms. Both turtles were missing -  one showed up at another neighbors shortly after, but Annie was, they thought, gone forever. What a survivor! We think she must have holed up in the barranca surviving on the vegetation and somehow avoiding coyotes, dogs and other predators.  

It must have been a long uphill climb for her to reach my door traversing hazardous open ground and then climbing through thick ice plant and bougainvillea on the slope. I wonder if she thought she was home when she encountered the warm concrete?

I rarely go down the slopes to the barranca but last week I braved the gauntlet of rabbit burrows and other hazards to take a look around. Could she have seen or sensed me and presented herself for rescue?

We'll never know but it was a happy day for all of us!


  1. I can't believe we've both found lost turtles!!!! Are there that many out there or is there something about us that turtles are attracted to? I'm so, so glad you found her owner.
    Imagine being lost for a whole year!
    Such a happy ending.

  2. Ooops- I just re-read it and it was 2 years lost not just one. An even more unbelievable story.
    Barbara, again

  3. I like the Damon Runyon, Dashiel Hammet voice you start this off with. She had a shell all right - from the pads of her feet to her oh so gorgeous turtle neck, she was all turtle. Counting her rings I could tell she was old enough to know better... I suggested we retire down to the local watering hole and share a head of lettuce. She said don't get too close bub, I could give you a bad case of salmonella.



  4. I ejoyed so much "Annie's story" and I like it as it is.