Many Hastings County turtles owe their lives to this man

Raymond saves his first turtle

Raymond a year ago, gingerly helping a local turtle across the road (Hunt Club Road, just outside Queensborough) for the first time ever. Now, a year later, he’s a total expert.

The car I drive to and from work has one of those new-fangled setups whereby you can talk to people on your mobile phone via the dashboard/radio-CD setup. I believe it is called Bluetooth, but what do I know? (Okay, I’m kidding as to my cluelessness. But just a bit.) The first time Raymond’s iPhone rang in through the dashboard we both jumped out of our seats in surprise and (not knowing what had hit us) hit “Cancel.” Which was the wrong thing to do, of course; we should have hit “Answer,” particularly since it was Raymond’s daughter Justine calling. But anyway, we did figure it all out shortly thereafter, and now I quite appreciate the convenience (not to mention the safety factor) of being able to talk to people on the phone through my car.

This morning, as I was bombing south toward Belleville on Highway 62, a call came in to the car at about 8:30, and I could see from the number displayed (such convenience!) that it was Raymond’s mobile. “Hello?” I answered. (Just as you might expect.) The response?

“SIX!!”

Ha! I bet you don’t have any idea what Raymond meant by that. And for a split second, I didn’t either – but very shortly I did. We’ve been keeping count of the number of turtles he has helped across the local roadways this spring, and I quickly recollected that the previous total (thanks to one helped on a stretch of that same Highway 62 down in Prince Edward County this past Saturday evening) was five. And now he had helped another! Raymond has been putting his new turtle-moving gloves to very good use. And he seemed pretty unperturbed even though Turtle #6 had decided to pee while he was moving it in the direction it was trying to go. Fortunately the pee ended up on the road, not Raymond.

Saved turtle

This is the most recent of Raymond’s saved turtles that I have a picture of. Since then, he has saved several more. Perhaps he needs a suit with a big T on the chest!

(If you haven’t been breathlessly following Meanwhile, at the Manse since Day 1 – and let’s face it; who has? – you can find some information about the need to protect turtles crossing rural roadways – generally on a mission to get their eggs laid – and Raymond’s newfound calling to help them here and here. And here is a link to an amazing local operation called the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, which works to protect turtles, and to rehabilitate them when they’ve been hit while crossing the road. Which they seem very, very determined to do.)

“Okay, so,” you are doubtless asking yourself, “what happens next in this story?” Well, people, I’ll tell you. About 10 minutes after that phone call and the story of the peeing-while-being-rescued turtle, my car received another telephone call. And of course I hit “Answer,” since I could see that once again the call was from Raymond. And all I heard was this:

“SEVEN!!”

And here’s what I have to say about all of that: The turtles of Hastings County and environs are very, very fortunate that Raymond Brassard has moved to their neighbourhood.

12 thoughts on “Many Hastings County turtles owe their lives to this man

  1. That is great! We always drive so we don’t them. Just watch out lifting those snappers. If they bite you they don’t let go!

    • Good point, Sandra! Because generally where those road-crossing turtles are on their way to is a place to lay their eggs. So yeah, by making sure they get across, Raymond is helping out the next generation of turtles.

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