BigBirdToday I heard Bronte barking in a staccato, weird kind of bark. I had to grab binoculars to see what she what she was up to, as she was barking at the ground and digging frenetically. I thought she might just be pursuing some small rodent, which was perhaps fighting back in defense of a nest. I strolled down to check out the action, and saw her flip something in the air like a dinner plate. I wondered if she’d found a green plastic drain field cap. But what would be so exciting about that to make her bark that way?


A turtle! I’ve never seen a turtle here in my whole life. I had to look it up, it appears it was a Western Painted Turtle, a variety of pond turtle. Pond turtles were apparently once common in Western Washington, but not so much anymore. So what an interesting treat to see one.

I’m not sure what it was doing in the pasture, but it sounds like females travel a ways way from water to nest. So hopefully she’ll reconsider nesting somewhere besides Bronte’s pasture.

I cringed at the fact that Bronte had been playing with it like a toy. But, luckily, it’s a turtle. It had tucked neatly inside of its shell, and beyond a few aesthetic tooth scratches on the shell surface, and the tiniest spot of blood on one shell edge, its head and legs seemed unharmed. I brought it up to show Kirk, and the turtle marched around on the grass determinedly and clawed at my hands when I picked it up. I could see by its style of movement why it drove Bronte so crazy- that shimmying walk, and then a quick tuck into the shell and refusal to amuse. Vexing! I can imagine she was trying to demand, do it again turtle! Try to get away!

I set it free in the ditch furthest from Bronte’s reign. Good luck, little turtle!