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

Riding in style: massive upgrade to Pontiac bus route

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Kate Aley

It's smooth and it's quiet with internet access, a 36" flat screen TV and reclining seats and it leaves Allumette Island at 10 minutes to 5 am every day. This is the new coach that runs Route 148 and you can be on it. This week, riders taking the Campeau Bus Line to the city were treated to a brand-new luxury coach, a demonstration vehicle in service before the permanent vehicle becomes available in about a weeks time.

Slipping back: background facts

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Kate Aley

Welcome back. While I wait for my file on the accident (December 4) to be retrieved by the MRC des Collines police, I placed calls to two local people, experts on the trucking of manure. For those who are coming in late to this, see my previous "slippery" stories archived here.

Slippery story: the update

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Kate Aley

On Monday December 4, a serious accident was caused by some kind of slippery fluid being splashed all over the highway in Luskville. Many people commented on the unexpectedly deep puddles, the effort it took to stay on the road and the horrible stink of it. There was so much, a snow plow was called in to strip it off the road. What was that stuff? Where did it come from? I managed to find someone to talk to from the MTQ within two days. But as yet, my attempts to get information about this incident from the MRC des Collines police have been unproductive. 

Warming up for Christmas at the Santa Claus Parade

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Kate Aley

Once more the Quyon Lions' Club Santa Claus Parade, held Saturday December 9, was a great success. Warmly-dressed families lined the streets to enjoy the decorated floats, horses and of course, St. Nick himself. As the Beach Barn is conspicuously absent this year, the parade's normal route was reversed, with participants gathering at the Ste. Marie's Catholic church parking lot and walking down the hill to the intersection with Clarendon. From there, the parade continued to the Onslow Elementary School gym where hot food and drinks were served as kids lined up to speak to Santa about a few important matters.

Slippery sh*t: unidentified effluent causes accident

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by: 

Kate Aley

A serious single-vehicle roll-over was caused early morning on December 4 by a deep slick of some kind of waste matter spilled on Highway 148 near Parker Road in Luskville. Pools of what appeared to be septic waste or liquid animal manure were at least two or three meters in length and possibly 4 cm in depth, according to witnesses.

Christmas House Tour lights up the night

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by: 

Kate Aley

The houses on the Quyon Pastoral Charge Christmas House Tour warmly received 150 visitors this year. Five family homes in Quyon and Luskville were decorated to perfection to the appreciation of all. Above, the Draper homestead in Luskville.

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