blogging, Magic of the Everyday, Nature

Return of an Old Superstition?

So, way back when, in those halcyon early days of this blog, I had this superstition going that when I experienced a wonderful natural or wildlife encounter, I’d soon receive a writing rejection. If the wildlife experience was truly wonderful, I might get two rejections back-to-back. It was reasoned that Mother Nature was trying to make up for the sting of rejection, and was getting there ahead of time. And while I know it was silly, it was also kind of fun.

And it hasn’t happened for years. I’ve not had “amazing” natural experiences. Oh, sure, I’ve seen wildlife, and appreciated the natural world, but nothing truly remarkable or memorable has happened for a little while. Until last night.

The dog pestered me into an evening w-a-l-k (gotta spell that word around here, you know. He knows what it means!), so we went by the turtle pond. The turtle food vending machine has recently been refilled for spring, and he loves hoovering up food spilled at its base, so we paused, and paused, and paused some more (those kids spill a lot of turtle food pellets), and while he sniffed and ate, I looked around at the falling evening. Only a few turtles still swam in the small pond, having instead gone wherever it is they go at night, and oh, look there on the bank of the pond. There’s a turtle now, with its butt dipping in and out a hole–HOLY COW! SHE’S LAYING EGGS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

Yes, I know. Not the best pic, but I only had my camera phone. And actually, I forgot I had the phone in my pocket and had to circle back to snap the photo.



Sure enough, the turtles back end would dip lower into a hole, and when it raised she’d sweep her back foot to settle the egg and cover it gently. I have no idea how many eggs she laid, or how many might survive (lots of kids run and play in that area, and use it for turtle watching), but seeing that felt magical indeed.

So, once I returned home [and had a rush of texting and online research to find out what kind of turtles we’re talking about and how long until the eggs might hatch (I think they’re River Cooters, and 45-56 days ’til hatching)], I started remembering the old superstition ’round this blog…and now I’m expecting some really earth-shattering rejection, very, very soon.

(ETA: no, after a thorough viewing of said turtles in daylight, it turns out they are Red Belly Cooters, a.k.a., Red Belly Turtles)

Fortunately, enough time writing has taught me two things: 1) rejection is just another part of the process, and 2) enjoy the process. So I’m enjoying the turtle-gram, and not holding my breath. After all, it’s just another rejection. Meh. But turtles laying eggs? That’s something to remember.