The parish-wide theme for October is “Courage.” It’s a good theme for this month as the breezes start to get chilly, our schools and jobs start to get busy, and of course, all the ghouls start to come out for Halloween. Have you been feeling courageous lately? Have you found courage in places you didn’t expect?
A couple days each week I help out at a small but mighty vegetable farm. I’ve been working there for several years and it’s around this time every season that we start noticing daily acts of courage in the form of baby snapping turtles. That’s right, baby snapping turtles.
In the spring mama snapping turtles like to bury their eggs in dirt and sand. There are a few mornings each May that we arrive to the field to find turtle tracks everywhere, along with holes they’ve dug to bury their eggs. It’s very exciting! Over the course of the summer we usually forget about the turtles until this time of year, when suddenly, as we are digging carrots or bunching turnips we notice little turtles crawling through the weeds around us. They are only about the size of a table spoon and look like little dinosaurs!
One year, we actually saw some hatch out of their eggs – (after accidently upturning their nest while digging potatoes). As soon as they hatched they started climbing over the mounds of dirt and grasses. We read about them that evening and learned that as soon as baby snappers are born they instinctively know where the nearest body of water is and begin walking towards it! Isn’t that amazing – and so courageous?! Can you imagine showing up in a brand new place and just setting forth into the new world around you?
Keep your eyes peeled for courage this month, and also for baby snapping turtles! You never know where you might find them.
Yours in colorful veggies and baby dinos,