I Break For Turtles

Earlier today I helped a turtle cross a busy divided highway near me. I’m hoping and praying it will be okay, since it had been sideswiped by a car by the time I reached it. (And unfortunately to the best of my knowledge and a google search there’s not anywhere nearby that treats injured wildlife.)

But I’m hopeful. It was quite a large, strong turtle and while the very rear edge of the shell was sheared off, it was only a little (1/8 inch or less) and there was only one tiny cracked place (at the leading edge of the strike) where there was even any bleeding—and I’ve seen a lot of turtles with shell scars easily two to three times that size that healed. And its tail and back feet looked intact and unharmed. It was still moving and very alert and the energies/aura I picked up seemed more confused and startled than hurt.

I left it in some cool underbrush on the far side of the highway, wrapped in healing energy and with a lot of prayers and I’m hoping for the best.

So this is a friendly summer PSA to watch out for our shelled friends in your travels! In some mythologies, all the world is carried on the back of a giant turtle/tortoise. And turtles are sacred to the Kemetic (Egyptian) God Set. But more importantly, they’re awesome, terrific, intelligent, loving critters! ❤ So watch your tires and save a turtle!

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I love turtles and I have all my life so I’m going to break character here a little with some advice. If you decide to help a turtle cross the road this, or any other summer (yay!), then please:

1) Be safe yourself and make sure neither you nor your vehicle endanger anyone.

2) Always lift a turtle by the edges of the shell, avoiding any potentially damaged areas you see—and if you have wildlife aid services in your area, take advantage of their services if a turtle is hurt—and *never, ever* handle by the tail or limbs as that can seriously injure them.

3) Always place them on the side of the road they’re facing—it can be tempting to put them on whatever side they’re closer to, but turtles know where they’re going and can be stubborn and there’s every chance that if you move them to the wrong side that they’ll try again and be even more in danger for having further to go after you leave.

4) Try to keep the turtle relatively close to the ground during your transport to safety, terrain and circumstances permitting, especially if it’s kicking or struggling at all. They’re strong and if they kick free then they won’t be the fall to the ground.

5) Large, long-tailed turtles, usually with particularly ridged shells, might be snapping turtles if you’re within their range (generally Eastern to upper Midwestern US). There’s a lot of online resources about helping/interacting with them safely, but it’s usually best not to handle or lift them—because they’re named that way for a reason—and instead to push or nudge them from behind with a non-sharp object that keeps them moving but no one gets hurt.

6) Never relocate a turtle to another area or region, even one that seems “safer” to you. Turtles, like many animals, have territories and they often try to return home or might even experience trauma and just stop eating when they can’t see a way back.

7) Make you wash up after handling a turtle as they can potentially carry some diseases that are communicable both to humans and to some pets, so be sure to soap it up and keep everyone healthy.

(***Please note: The above is for land and freshwater turtles only. If you’re in an area that’s home to sea turtles or any endangered turtle/tortoise species, please refer to local resources in order to be sure you’re doing what’s best for them.)

Return To The Woods

If you’ve been reading along for a while, you might remember the woods behind my house and the natural clearing that I (with the permission of the local pixies and spirits) was using last winter and spring for rituals with the Free Court. And how in late spring/early summer the poison ivy flourished and it—after my dad and I had to go to the health center for back-to-back intensive treatments because it was so potent—forced me to abandon the woods until winter when we could cut it out of the trees before it seeded the ground for another year.

We’ve only recently had our first freezing temperatures here (thanks for nothing, Southern weather 😛 ), but yesterday I ventured back. I still had some decorations tied up in trees that I didn’t have the chance to bring down and wanted to be sure they were taken care of before the new year and growing season. Also, I wanted to check if my garden-wagon was still intact—since unlike in astral I don’t burn my this-world one every fall and build a new one each winter—and it was, yay! 🙂 White New Year/White Spring/Winter (Storm) Lights (seriously, sometimes multiculturalism gets cumbersome, lol; that’s Imbolc for everyone else) is only a couple weeks away and when we dedicate them for the new season.

Everything was pretty trashed from the winter…and probably from some frisky autumn deer as well. Both my altars were knocked over—in fact, it looks like the top of a medium-small tree fell almost directly on the main one. :/

So I spent a bit of time clearing up fallen branches and recollecting my things. Everything was toppled and a lot of my candles were pretty battered (although I’ll still probably either reuse or recycle them) but not much was actually broken and so I started putting things back together as well as I could.

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Definitely not done, but it’s a start and it was good to be back with the trees and the stream and everything. Hopefully this year I won’t be run off again. 🙂

Autumn Interlude

Last Friday I visited this garden up near the mountains. It’s on the grounds of an estate and it’s open to the public where people can come and walk around. Some parts are super cultivated with flowers and bridges and little tiny ponds and others are basically just a path through the woods.

So I was able to see some colorful autumn leaves–finally!! (It should *not* still be in the 80s in November. :/ ) And after the stressful month that was October, just going out and communing with the trees and flowers…it was good for my soul.

Here, have some pictures! 🙂

(Behind a cut because *All The Photos*)

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