I am very happy about the latest addition to the stuff stored in the trunk of my car: a pair of thick gloves that I can don in the event that I need to help a turtle cross the road.
Yes, it is not only blackfly season here in rural Ontario but also turtle-crossing-the-road season, and one has to keep an eye out when driving. You don’t want to hit one of those harmless creatures as they make their way across the highways and byways, which they seem to spend an awful lot of time doing.
In some places known to be popular with turtles one sees signs like this:
But really, you can pretty much come across a turtle anywhere, so you can’t just be on your guard when you’ve seen a sign.
As I reported last year, Raymond has become quite the turtle-protector. This spring he has already helped three of the creatures to safety – and mourned for one that we saw, crushed and dead, near the intersection of Cooper and Queensborough Roads one day last week. Some driver was not paying enough attention. At least, one hopes that’s what it was; it is too awful to think that someone would drive over a turtle deliberately.
The idea for the gloves came from our Montreal friend and former Gazette colleague Johanne, who says she’s kept a pair in the trunk of her car for years for just that purpose. After Raymond helped one particularly snappy turtle without any protection on his hands a couple of weeks ago, we realized how much sense Johanne’s suggestion made.
So now there is a sturdy pair of gloves in every vehicle at the Manse. Turtles, we are on your side!