Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

When the sun is bright and hot enough to melt my sins, that’s when I begin to think maybe a gopher tortoise will come out from a tunnel near enough to the house for me to take a picture.

Today fit the bill, for sure, with the temperature close to 100 and the humidity following too closely. I’ve been thinking about the folks in town who live in that trailer park where the landlords didn’t pay the water bill and so the water got turned off for days on end, with all those old people, sick people, and babies. That’s a misery index to ponder.

Maggie’s wild weasle bark broke into my fretting mind. She only barks at armadillos, deer who come within spitting distance of the backyard fence, the shadow cast by low-flying military helicopters or buzzards, and grazing gopher tortoises.

I hopped up from my desk and ran to see which one it was. Gopherus polyphemous! Buck saw me grab my camera and run for the back door. He followed along and tried to get me to pick up the grand, ancient creature so he could take our picture. Nothing doing. Not me. You do it.




Is it just me, or do you think G.P. looks seriously aggravated?

0 thoughts on “It’s Always Good to see a Gopher Tortoise

  1. susan says:

    Way to go Maggie! That is an amazing creature. Not the easiest thing to hold on to either I imagine.


  2. Shaddy says:

    Good grief! I scare myself. I thought you were writing about a turquoise gopher. I figured you must be on drugs or were telling us about a dream!!! Or that hot, hot sun was frying your brain. I guess I should have cleaned my glasses before I came here. Ok, Ok, now I get it. This is about a huge and yes, seriously aggravated, turtle. And he’s not turquoise either. Thank God for that or he’d really have something to be grumpy about!! (I hope you get at least half the laugh I’m having over this).
    P.S. I got the books you mailed yesterday. Thanks a million. I’ll be sending you a couple Sun magazines this week.


  3. Oh Beth, what a fabulous Father’s Day present to you both! An elemental, spirit of the dry forest gift to the caretakers of the land.


  4. Gullible says:

    Oh, my. What a magnificent creature.


  5. Phil says:

    Maybe mildly dyspeptic?
    Nice photos, great opportunity.


  6. David Bailey says:

    I miss Florida every day of my life at some point of the day when some memory revisits me, but today I started early.
    Mind you, North Carolina’s not shabby and it’s far from 100 degrees here as the Cardinal’s sing and my springer spaniel wonders why we’re not looking for squirrels, but I miss seeing the primal critters that make Florida seems so exotic and other worldly.


  7. mary lou says:

    WOW! He looks a lot smaller than the Female one you showed before! But maybe Buck just has BIG HANDS.


  8. Sherry says:

    The expression in that last photo says, “Blog THIS, missy!”


  9. deb says:

    he doesn’t seem to be appreciating the paparazzi at all !
    thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement. I spent some time looking through the Relief website… and I also noticed the articles on submission suggestions , such as having something actually happen in the story, as opposed to just emotional observation etc.
    I hope to move forward, and look for some publishing opportunities, but am intimidated by actual , you know, writers !


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