After a rainy Friday, we had a beautiful day releasing the turtles yesterday on October 10th. Our team consisted of staffers Liam Hart, Wilson Acuna, IT manager Steve Siroonian, a high school science teacher we are working with, and myself. We went out at 10:30 am and walked south east to be at the pond next to the swamp. There were big old trees and two large boulders nearby. There were five black birds on the water before we came. One newt was swimming next to the bank.
The three sibling spotted turtles were first released at the water bank one by one. They walked over tiny branches and walked under some leaves, toward water. The painted turtle was very active when he was in the box. Once he was out on the bank, he lifted his head and observing the surrounding, he decided to bath in the sun for a while. The snapping turtle was the last one being released. We left him near the water but not that close to the water. He was getting the sun and did not want to explore.
I said a little prayer to the turtles with the team by my side before we were leaving to let them be:
You are going to
take the lead of your life now.
At this moment
We want to honor you
We wish you freedom,
We will always be here for you”
On our way back, we met a family of four walking the trail. We shared the turtle story with them. They thanked us and were very amazed with the turtles. It was definitely a day to be remembered.