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.