Catch and Release Adventures

July 12, 2010

Post image for Catch and Release Adventures

One morning, I heard Shadow barking nonstop. However, Shadow likes to bark at the neighbor dogs across the fence. He likes to bark at the deer. He likes to bark at the squirrels. He likes to bark at the birds . . . getting the picture? Shadow likes to bark at any and all nature that enters his world. So you guessed it . . . I ignored his barking. Later when I was at the kitchen window, I noticed the squirrel Shadow was barking at wasn’t moving very quickly. I didn’t have my glasses on but I suddenly realized what the slow moving creature was. It was a turtle. (This is one of the hardest photos I’ve ever taken. That darn dog and turtle would not sit still and pose for a photo. You know they say never work with animals or children. I guess Joyce and I are in trouble!)

The kids and I ran outside! How in the world did a turtle get into our fenced-in backyard? We still haven’t solved that mystery.

MacGyver, quickly swept up the turtle to rescue it from Shadow’s relentless barking. MacGyver is not scared of any creepy, crawly animals. I know. I know. He should be more careful. But he appears to suffer from the Crocodile Hunter syndrome. I hope Shadow doesn’t find a crocodile in the backyard!

MacGyver and Miss Enigma immediately get to work on a science project. The two work together to create a turtle habitat. Very few creatures at our home get away without at least a few days of captivity for science observations. Talk about hands-on learning!

Miss Enigma is a three-year-old little girl. Aren’t three-year-old little girls suppose to be scared of creepy, crawly things? I guess she’s going to be her brother’s animal hunting side-kick. She handles almost everything he does. No, Mommy doesn’t handle any of these creepy, crawly science observations!

After a week of observations, it was time to release the turtle into his natural habitat. MacGyver thought our town park would be the perfect home for his turtle. He surveys the clear spring fed waters, deciding if this will be the release location.

The children release the turtle and say their goodbyes. The turtle takes his time checking out his new home.

Finally, the turtle takes the plunge and goes for a swim in the spring fed waters of his new home. That’s him right in the middle of the photo. Really, he’s there!

The turtle’s new home even comes with friendly ducks. When we start our homeschool habitat study in the fall, the children will be able to call upon all of their hands-on experiences with the animals in their world.

By the way, does anyone know what kind of turtle this is? From our research, we have some guesses. We did a big internet research study and tried to match the markings of our turtle. We think he might be a Red Eared Slider. These teachable moments are priceless!

What is your best or most unexpected backyard discovery?

We share another yearly discover in our yard that is so sweet!: It’s That Time of Year Again

Our FREE book of the week GIVEAWAY: Zigby and the Ant Invaders. Like MacGyver and Miss Enigma, Zigby finds a new home for his friends the ants.

Life with Jeannine

We’re playing and linking-up around the world: Childhood 101: We Play

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

SquiggleMum July 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm

What a brilliant, fantastic, amazing learning opportunity. My just turned-4-year-old daughter isn’t afraid of creatures either. We found a cool frog the other week (it’s on my bloggy to-do-list). Not as awesome as finding a turtle though!!

Marita July 12, 2010 at 10:01 pm

So far we’ve not discovered much other than ants, spiders and snails in our backyard. Although we spotted a possum once in the front yard which was pretty cool.

That looks like such fabulous hands on learning, what a great experience for the children :)

Belinda July 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm

How lucky are you? I thought it was great when a fairy toadstool grew in my front yard, but a turtle in your backyard, that is the ultimate. What a powerful learning experience for your kids and it made for a great blog post too!

Hear Mum Roar July 13, 2010 at 12:55 am

I love this post! I think it’s so important to encourage an affinity with animals in children from a young age

Catherine July 13, 2010 at 2:48 am

How cool to be able to keep and observe a turtle for a while.

amandab July 13, 2010 at 7:07 am

What an amazing find in your yard, and how good that they get the oppurtunity to observe, but then know to put it back where it belongs. :)

Kelly Be A Fun Mum July 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

What excitment! I love turtles. I bet the kids loved it.

Colleen - Sunrise Learning Lab July 14, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Your turtle looks like a red eared slider to me…I had one as a class pet when I first taught kindergarten. Not the best class pet, to be sure…
Your photos of your children’s outdoor adventures are great! Will have to share the photos tomorrow with my boys, as they love all little critters.
I popped by your blog via We Play link ups…hope that you will want to stop by to say hi at my blog, too.

Anne July 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

Finding a turtle – amazing! We have lots of lizards in our yard, but none that we’ve gotten close enough to handle or photograph… yet.

Gill@OurParklife July 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

That is amazing! And what interesting colours and markings on your turtle…You couldn’t ever plan for a learning experience as enriching as this one.

Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my Shop till You Drop post….It made me very happy!

Christie - Childhood 101 July 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

Wow, a turtle in your backyard, that would never, ever happen here. How incredibly cool and what a fabulous opportunity for learning.

Hann March 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Hi, I have the same kind of turtle and it is a red ear slider. Her name is racer and she is a great friend. She was the greatest backyard discovery ever!!!!!!!!!


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