What every country girl needs: turtle-moving gloves

Me with turtle gloves

My heavy-duty turtle gloves, for if and when I need to help a turtle cross the road. (Photo by Raymond Brassard)

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:

Turtle crossing sign 2

Photo from peterboroughnature.org, the website of the Peterborough (Ont.) Field Naturalists.

Or this:

Turtle-crossing sign

Photo from kawarthaturtle.org, the site of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. This wonderful organization has a hospital for injured turtles and works to educate the public about turtles and how to protect them.

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.

Raymond helping the turtle

A bare-handed effort by Raymond to get a turtle across Queensborough Road east of the village. It was ultimately successful, but the turtle was fairly sure it didn’t want the help and proved to be quite snappy about it. Gloves therefore seemed like a very good idea.

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!

11 thoughts on “What every country girl needs: turtle-moving gloves

  1. I feel the same as you do but unfortunately some people seem to think it is a sport to hit anything on the road except skunks. Expecially on the Southern Queensborough Road. We see many turtles, snakes, coons, birds killed on this road. I just remember we are all God’s creatures.

    Nancy Lou

  2. Make sure you deliver her (I think it’s usually the egg layers crossing the road) in the direction she was headed!

    • Right! I did know that, but should probably have put it in my post for readers who might not. Gotta help the turtles get where they want to go! (Which always seems to be on the other side of the road.)

  3. Katherine you’ve been in Montreal too long. Only city girls need gloves for turtles. Country girls know to keep away from the ouchy bits.

  4. It’s best to use gloves anyway as turtles can carry salmonella. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.

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