Topper the Turtle

When I went out to water my plants this morning, I turned on the hose and heard something rustling.   This sent me into a moment of panic, because my first suspicion was that it would be a snake.  But it wasn't.

It was a little turtle who had gotten stuck between the fence, the hose, and the air conditioner.  I named him Topper.  Isn't he cute?

While I held him, I discovered that turtle shells are not the rigid, inflexible things I always imagined.  His under-shell had membranes along the sides and  across the middle, which allowed it to flex whenever he moved or breathed. 

The next order of business was to put Topper in a nice, damp, leafy area away from the road.  So I crept though a neighbor's shrubs down to the creek behind their house.

I pointed Topper towards the creek and waited a while, hoping he would come out of his shell so I could get a photo of his little clawed feet.  But he'd had enough of me at that point, and stayed well tucked in.  So I left him in peace.