Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Luckily this sprightly individual was moving steadily and seemed deeply irritated to be interrupted, so I can only assume he/she had not been in there for very long.

Seems like a good time to talk about how to tackle these little monsters. My attempts to "help" turtles advancing across the 148 by applying the toe of my boot to the back of their shell generally results in both of us doing tight circles, risking everyone's lives. One turtle lunged at me so violently it actually flipped onto its back, which was counterproductive to say the least.

The best and fastest way is to get in there and simply lift them up. A few things to note:

1. They hate this.

2. They are very strong and surprisingly heavy.

3. They will try and scratch your hands away with their mighty back legs while also trying to bite you in half, so they are hard to keep hold of. 

4. They can also urinate copiously.

My personal advice is to always travel with gloves, although I have picked up a turtle with two cloth shopping bags. Get in right at the back and jam your fingers into his "back pockets" [as I think of them] so you have a good grip. Tilt the turtle forwards so any urine pours away from you and don't waste time. Get him/her across the road and into the long wet grass on the other side without delay. Don't take a turtle back the way it came or it will have to start all over again. They know where they are going, so it's pointless arguing.

That's better. It takes ages for turtles to mature and reproduce so every one of them counts, as you can imagine. If you do see one on the side of the road, please please please stop and help, if at all possible.

The Carapace Project, part of Nature Conservancy Canada, was created to record turtle sightings, even those of dead ones, across the province. You may have seen the yellow stickers on the backs of cars in the area. The sighting form is easy to fill in; however they do insist that you add at least one picture which helps them identifiy the actual breed of the turtle, as well as its size and condition. Also note the approximate area of the place you saw it, using the civic numbers or the nearest crossroads.

Go to www.carapace.ca for more information, as well as a photo gallery for identification and a lengthy FAQ section with more turtle-helping advice.

Thank you for your help.

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

We are here: new municipal map helps residents feel pride

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by: 

Kate Aley

 

Watch your mail boxes! A brand new map of the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP) will be on its way you within the next few weeks. Showing the entire area of the municipality as well as details of the more complicated street systems in villages and along the beaches, the map was created to replace a much older black and white version that had become obsolete.

Un cadeau pour les yeux:deux Jardins locaux comme sites

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by: 

Kate Aley

translation: 

Guy Faubert

Papillons, oiseaux et mélisse......Les 5 et 6 août, six des plus remarquables jardins de la région exposeront pour le Gardens and Gift Tour.  Selon la publicité, cet événement est un tour qui mettra en vedette des jardins de campagne de la partie la plus à l'ouest du Québec, c'est-à-dire la belle région du Pontiac.

Les réparations sur le pont Egan affecteront la circulation

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by: 

Kate Aley

translation: 

Guy Faubert

Le sept juillet, le Ministère des Transports du Québec annonçait que des réparations allaient être effectuées au pont de la rivière Quyon sur le chemin Egan à partir du 10 juillet.

New walking group gets community moving

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by: 

Kate Aley

Countless medical studies have proven that regular exercise is vital for health and mobility. Now Pontiac has one more opportunity to get up and go. Pontiac Walks (PW) is a new initiative created by the Groupe de ​Médecine Familiale (GMF) based in Shawville to encourage people to take regular walks.

Above, RN Katie Taylor is laced up and ready to hit the pavement.

A gift for the eyes: garden tour features two local sites

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by: 

Kate Aley

Butterflies, birds and bee balm... on August 5th and 6th, six remarkable gardens across this region will be on show at the Gardens and Gifts Tour. According to publicity, the event is "a self-guided garden tour featuring country gardens in West Quebec’s beautiful Pontiac region".

Signaux d'alerte pour le feu: les panneaux d'avertissement SOPFEU enlevé

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by: 

Kate Aley

translation: 

Guy Faubert

En conduisant ma voiture de Shawville vers Quyon, j'ai remarqué que le panneau d'avertissement pour les dangers du feu avait disparu de l'intersection du chemin Clarendon et de la route 148.  On ne l'a pas enlevé pour une simple réparation, il est bien parti pour de bon.

Smoke signals: fire signs come down across MoP

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by: 

Kate Aley

So.

I was driving from Shawville to Quyon recently and noticed that the fire danger sign at the intersection of Clarendon St. and Hwy. 148 is gone. Not just taken down for repairs. It's gone, gone, gone for good.

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