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The turtle and the owl …

It's hell getting old. Your body begins to abandon you one function at a time. I wish I could say it was vision that went first. You know what I'm talking about. It gets progressively harder to see in dim light, and that's the way it was this morning about 5:45. I'm highly dependent on streetlights to cast a sheen on things that shouldn't be where they are. The downward light helps create a profile of junk and that makes it easier for me to do my thing. So it was as I approached Colony and Sharon View Roads. From about 20 yards, there was a glare from an object that appeared plastic. I neared it in full retrieval mode, it was dark and round, much like a flattened black plastic lid you'd find on a cup of Caribou coffee. But as I stopped to conquer, it wasn't plastic at all.

Beyond the turtle and the owl, not much was memorable about today's trek. This bagful of junk isn't worth remembering.

Beyond the turtle and the owl, not much was memorable about today's trek. This bagful of junk was very forgettable.

It was the mutilated

shell of a small turtle that had been crunched flat by a car. The lack of speed had been the poor creature’s undoing. It reminded me of several months ago when I had the chance to aid a box turtle’s trek across Colony, only to selfishly hasten on my way. The next day, the smashed turtle’s carcass caused me shame and regret. There wasn’t much I could do but lament the demise of today’s juvenile turtle.

The impromptu post-mortem complete, I carried on up the road. In this part of town, as in many neighborhoods in Charlotte, the tree canopy extends over the pavement. As I ambled beneath the limbs about 50 yards past the death scene, a loud screech nearly directly overhead literally caused me to jump. It was the hoot of some owl, species unknown, and the bird scared the living bejesus out of me. It was a single, loud hoot. I’m not sure what the owl was announcing but it’s the sort of noise that makes the morning jaunt come alive.

Those were the two memorable portions of today’s stroll. If you count the fully intact and functioning iPhone I found on the grass adjacent to the sidewalk, you could round that figure up to three. I’ll tote the device up to Verizon to see if they can help solve the riddle of the passcode so the phone can be returned to the young woman whose photo is on the screen.

I suppose being nice is one of the remaining functions that an aging person can do.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; the first on 17 years of writing weekly letters to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility ( I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen these single pagers as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world and so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

1 Comment on The turtle and the owl …

  1. John Cleghorn // May 17, 2015 at 1:43 pm // Reply

    Love this, Dave.

    I will get a chance to pay more attention to CGN this week. Sorry for the radio silence this week. Up to my hair buds busy.

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