Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gopher Tortoise

I grew up with gopher tortoise roaming about the neighborhood. I know many people know me as Robby The Horseman, but I was also Robby The Reptile Boy when I was a kid. I always had a snake or a lizard or some sort of turtle in my pocket, and my sister and I used to take primitive notes on the range of water mocassins that lived in our lake. The fact that neither of us was bitten is somewhat miraculous or, at least, Divine Intervention.

So this weekend when I was in Mobile it was fun to discover a gopher tortoise roaming about. Actually, we likely wouldn't have seen it had my Jack Russell, Maddie, not found it in the woods. Tortoise tend to drive Maddie, well, mad. It's the fact they're alive yet shut up in their shells that she cannot tolerate.

The gopher tortoise - an endangered species in our area - is actually pretty social and non-chalant. Fortunately I had my camera, and my niece and I videotaped this one feeding on the flowers of a certain type of field weed. My nieces and nephew are growing up on the property where we grew up and are following in our footsteps with a genuine appreciation for flora and fauna.

It's funny how history tends to repeat itself.

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