Well I had a very interesting day yesterday so I thought I'd share
It started out as a normal bike ride until I turned around to come home......
As I was riding I noticed something odd in the road so I stopped to look. Turns out it was a painted turtle so I quickly scooped him up and brought him over to the side, safe from traffic. I knew that there was a pond nearby, but I couldn't figure out why he would be so far away and heading in the opposite direction. He was quite dried out and since that pond is the only water around, I knew that I couldn't just leave him on the side of the road. As I was mulling this over, I noticed a large lump on his shell which I was horrified to find out, was the largest, most swollen leech I've ever seen
! I quickly got a stick and pried the leech off (and boy did he put up a fight!). Then I noticed another...and another...even a large writhing mass of baby leeches attached to his tail area! It was disgusting to say the least, but I eventually pried off each and every leech (probably around 20) from the poor turtle who stayed quietly in his shell and seemed to know that I was helping him....hey, he wasn't trying to bite me
. Once he was de-leeched I decided to walk over to the pond (which is on my way home) turtle and bike in hand, and scope out the situation. When I got there I saw that the water was VERY low, muddy, and filthy looking. I also saw 3 turtles on a rock...however it was a grey and cold day, not good weather for turtles to be out. I sumised that the lack of fresh water had caused water quality in the little pond to decline rapidly lending the perfect opportunity for the parasitic leeches to claim the pond. My little turtle seemed to be the pioneer of the group and while the others escaped the water by sitting on the rocks, he decided to try and find greener lands. I knew I couldn't put him back in the infested pond, so I ran all the way home with him in one hand and bike in the other (good thing I'm a runner!).
Well, by the time I got home I needed to hurry up and go to karate so I quickly set him up in a critter catcher with some room temperature water and a rock, intending to bring him to a nearby pond that is larger and hopefully better quality, when I got home. By the time I returned he looked MUCH better
. He was rehydrated and actively looking around for the first time. I loaded him in the car and set off for the pond. When I arrived I was happy to see that this pond still looked healthy, so I peeled off the last leech (that must have come out while I was away) and set him free. He swam off into the water with more energy than ever and I felt great that I saved his life...the poor little guy definitely would have either succumbed to the leeches, dried out completely, or been squashed by a car had I not come along.
This was not the last surprise of the day however, because upon returning home and feeling pretty good about myself I walked into my room....and what did I see? Little white specks floating down from Peanut's side of the tank...and she was eating them. I look closer and saw that she was in fact releasing eggs
! Now, I don't plan on breeding any time soon, but I was surprised because I didn't even think she had eggs...I mean, I've had her barely a month and she's TINY! This is also the first time I've had a female release eggs (that I've seen). Edelweiss has never released and neither did Dive, plus I haven't conditioned them ever so I don't really expect that they'll have many eggs. I think Edelweiss has had some, but they just get reabsorbed. In any event, it was really neat to see and I felt quite proud of my little baby...it's like she grew up or something
So that's the end of my story, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!