Saturday, August 21, 2010

S H E L L Y!!!

 "Shelly" ate lunch on the project table in the shop. 

Yesterday morning I was leaving to do some errands and saw a shell in the middle of the road. Not a sea shell (I'd need more than coffee to see that in the desert), but a turtle shell.  I pulled over. Indeed, it was and I stopped traffic to pick it up.  A head popped out and looked me in the eye.  "Hello there.  You shouldn't be crossing such a busy street kiddo."  I swear the turtle opened and closed it's mouth.  I released traffic getting thumbs up from two drivers.  I set  it on the floor of the passenger's seat and drove back home.

"Look what I found on my way to the store" I said to Bob.  The one thing about Bob is that he is an animal lover too.  He has welcomed every beast brought home by me or the kids.  He got a big grin on his face.  There wasn't even a discussion about keeping it.  I put he/she in the walled back part of the yard.  I'd deal with food and such later. I did put a saucer of water next to the turtle.  I knew it's name would be "Shelly"...very androgynous because I don't know how to sex a turtle.  "Shelly Turtleman."   The internet would provide answers, but I had to get those errands done.  I even posted on Facebook that I'd found Shelly.
Shelly likes my tomatoes!

I was standing at the sink near the window that faces the mountains.  A black cloud darkened the window and I looked up.  It was no was a hawk.  So I grabbed my camera and walked outside to try and get a photo of it. It was perched in a tree.  It saw me and flew away.  I could see Shelly in it's clutches.  The same shape I saw in the road, but this time flying through the air!  "Shelllleeeey!"  I yelled.  The hawk and Shelly flew out of sight.   Very sad.  :-(   I again posted Shelly's plight on Facebook.  Getting lots of support from friends.  Bob and I woke the next morning, both having dreams about turtles and hawks. 

Is this the cutest face?!  Shelly's belly.

I was out watering, as I do almost every morning.  When I came back through the gate...who was sitting there?  Yes, Shelly.  Tucked in his/her shell, the dog giving Shell a good sniffing.  I picked Shelly up and probably scared the reptile out of him: "SHELLLLY!"  I trotted into the shop and exclaimed:"look who I found when I was out watering?"  Again a grin.  Bob and I examined Shelly.  He has many marks on his top shell that look like a beak had tried to get in.  I gave him more water, carrot and lettuce.  Then he went and hid.  Smart Shelly.  I posted again on Facebook that Shelly had returned! Also Shelly's head shot.
Shelly looks the dog is very close.

Later I got a call from a friend who said:   "It's a tortoise!!!"  Oh, uh, yeah...sure.  I don't really know the difference.  But the internet will provide.  I am off to look up what a tortoise eats. Tomatoes are on the list.   What will Shelly do when winter comes?  I have such a great visual for a story of "Shelly the flying tortoise."    I have wood and lathe laid out to make Shelly a porch to eat in safely.  No jokes about using the tortoise shell for a knife handle.  What a face!

Shelly's new view from our yard. The "Sandias" (watermelon).

I sent Shelly's photo to a turtle lover in Albuquerque who said Shelly is
a garden variety Desert  Tortoise.

Thanks for reading.  Each day is a now.



  1. OMG!!

    what a super fantastic story!!
    how in the heck did shelly get back to your yard? did mr. hawk have a change of heart and fly shelly back, kind of a round trip ticket deal....?
    very cool suz!

  2. What an amazing story! RoughMagic (Mollie) and I read it together and smiled all though it! Go Shelly!!! :)

  3. Great story, Suz!! So glad Shelly has returned...

  4. I think the hawk dropped it outside our wall, but inside our fence. Shelly crawled to the wall where there is shade, and a place to hide. I brought him inside yesterday, he ate, and I haven't seen him since. Smart of Shelly to hide.

  5. A sweet story, Suz! here's to you guys and to Shelly.

  6. Amazing story! Heard of homing pigeons, but this tortoise found his way home. Well done Shelly!