A box turtle is common in a forest. They seem to be very territorial and we usually see the same turtle, we call ‘Lucy’, every autumn at least. Usually she shows up near the persimmon trees as she likes the fruits when they fall to the ground.
We can’t be sure it is the same turtle but it seems as if Lucy has been around many years. They can live 20-30 years so it is possible. One year I watched as she approached a small deermouse that lay dead on the ground. I was surprised when she promptly picked it up in her mouth and ate hungrily! I didn’t realize turtles were omnivorous. Apparently that one small rodent was a meal that would last her many days and perhaps through her winter hibernation.
Since then, when I see Lucy in the area in autumn I try to give her a treat. This morning when she stalked along the grass with her head held high to sniff out a food source I went to prepare a feast for her. I keep small containers of raw chicken trimmings in the freezer so I thawed out a tablespoon sized piece and chopped up a little tomato.
She ducked her head in when I approached to lay the food near her but as soon as I walked away she started in on the meal. She must have enjoyed it because when I checked later there wasn’t a scrap left! We may not see her again until next spring or summer but it always is a pleasure to say hello to an old friend.