Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Dichotomy of Working in the City

My friends are all complaining about the dearth of news in Pugville. Well, it's been a busy period ... Stitches South, babysitting in Charlotte with the grands, working, knitting ... but the Blog Muse has been strangely silent lately.

Not so the friends:

  • "Don't you have any opinions? Strong opinions? That doesn't sound like you!"

  • "What about us? Don't you know we're checking out the blog and you're not writing?"

  • "What's with you, anyway?"

  • "Geez! Get over yourself!"

So, here's what's on my mind today.

Snapping Turtles and Crime, that's what I'm thinking about.

I work in the area of Atlanta called variously Midtown and/or Morningside. My job is on a 13-acre parcel of land smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest parts of the city--all green grass and magnolia trees--and right across from the newest entrance to Piedmont Park. In fact, except for the huge electric power farm in front of us, it's definitely one of the prettiest parts of Midtown.

As I wander through the campus, I experience all the joys of nature. Yesterday, we got to experience one that surprised even Crusty Old Me:

Yes, that's a turtle. A snapping turtle, in fact. A rather large turtle--about 14-16 inches. Not the thing you want hanging off your arm. (I made the mistake of looking these beasts up online--they will stand up on their hind feet to attack if they're cornered. You don't want to know what the article said about how they use their tails and jaws to attack, although I guess that's rare. They're apparently less harmful than reputed unless threatened. However, Yikes!)

She's not just hanging out, either. She apparently wandered from the creek that runs through the property to lay her eggs in the dirt behind the administration building where my office is. (God knows what other wild animals might be lurking in that creek--I prefer not to know. Let's just hope nothing too big grabs one of the kids.)

All right, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, is there no privacy in the world? All you want to do is lay your eggs in private and a bunch of humans come along and hang out watching you drop a hundred or so eggs in the dirt. Nope ... there's not.

Anyway, by late afternoon yesterday she was gone.

Compare and contrast that with this news from the park across the street:

Man found stabbed to death in Piedmont Park
Another stabbing nearby could be related
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Atlanta police Thursday were investigating the early-morning stabbing of a man found dead inside Piedmont Park.
The victim, who was in his early 40s, was stabbed in the chest during a 1:45 a.m. robbery attempt near the park’s lake, Atlanta police Lt. Keith Meadows said.

Don'tcha just love it? Birth and death within feet of each other...Nature and Man. Guess I better stick with my side of the street.

By the way, assuming no predators get the eggs, and assuming there ARE eggs, we can expect baby turtles in about 90 days. We've got the eggs, if there are any, covered up to protect them from feral cats and too much sun. Neither of those things are good for baby turtles. I'll keep you updated.

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