Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.
~William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire
I thought I heard a bit of a commotion during the night. Some garden fairies seem to have taken up residence during the cover of darkness…
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
~William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream
I think that people who can’t believe in fairies aren’t worth knowing. ~Tori Amos
This Spring, I created a walking path that wends through the trees and brush on my one-acre lot…leading towards the woods. One day, I happened upon an Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), who was laboriously scuttling across the path.
This turtle is a ‘land turtle’, and can live to be over 100 years old…so he may be around here longer than me…if he doesn’t succumb to his most dangerous predator…the automobile. I carefully picked him up to get a better look.
His plastron (the bottom part of a turtle’s shell), is hinged…allowing the turtle to completely enclose itself for protection, after pulling in its head and legs. The conservation status of the Eastern Box Turtle is threatened and vulnerable…so this one is free to roam my trail whenever he likes.
Seeing this turtle set me to thinking what other wildlife might be in the area. So…I bought a trail cam and attached it to one of the trees along the path. It has a motion sensor, and can take pictures when it’s dark outside, using a night vision flash. After it was in place for about a week, I removed the SIM memory card and plugged it into my computer to see if I caught anything. My first victim was a small White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)…a doe to be exact.
This morning, I again retrieved the SIM card to see if I bagged anything else during the week. While I was looking at the pictures…this next one startled me. A rather sinister-looking creature was evidently lurking about in the wee hours of the morning. I’m not sure what the range of the fabled Kentucky Hellhound is…but I’m hoping it hasn’t expanded into these parts.