It’s that time of year again. The painted turtle parade across the property has begun. It’s egg-laying time, and the turtles who were hatched here seem to find themselves a little corner of the Ruit Farm on which to lay their eggs. The area that we call the winter sheep paddock is very sandy and that seems to be where most of them head. They dig up our driveway as well as all around the house. It’s a maze of painted turtle nests.
Driving down the driveway at this time of year is fraught with dangers: it becomes not only a turtle crossing, but also a turtle nest bed. I really love watching these ancient creatures as they creep along and seek out their perfect spot, but we really should be putting up signs that announce this as a Turtle Crossing! Many places in Maine are doing that, as turtles are killed by the hundreds at this time of year because of the call of the nest. In Maine, it’s more a question of “Why did the turtle cross the road?” as opposed to the chicken. I hate seeing turtles squashed on the roads, but unfortunately it’s a fairly common sight in the late spring.