This is a three-toed box turtle, and the first turtle I’ve seen on the peninsula. It’s called a “box” turtle, because the high-domed shell is hinged so that the animal can completely lock itself inside, safe from predators. They have been documented to live 50 years, many live at least 20. Sadly, the box turtle numbers are declining. There is a project tracking them. People are requested to document every time they see one. It can be done online at: www.tpwd.state.tx.us/boxturtles/. Our friend above has been duly logged. To learn more about all the incredible Texas turtles click here to access a Texas Parks and Wildlife pamphlet.
There’s a story that goes with this seashore mallow (left). Look close and you will see its stem is broken. Back in late August the plant was standing straight up with a pretty blossom and a lot of buds at the top (right). It is located immediately off the trail in an area that leads to water’s edge. Taken by the pretty, single flower I snapped a photo. The next day when I returned I found that the plant had been broken. It’s possible that the deer might accidentally have trampled on it. Laying broken on the ground, I thought it was well on its way to dying. But today, about a month and a half later, I discovered this new blossom growing from the broken stem. How inspiring! Lesson: Never give up. Never quit. When you get knocked down, don’t stay down. Come back stronger than before.
Green Thought: “The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.” ― David Attenborough