Poetry Friday – Cars, Tortoises & Turtles

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right here. And be sure to check out Mary Lee Hahn’s A(nother) Year of Reading to see this week’s round up of wonderful poetry related posts, blogs and goodness. 


Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Today is a short one as I am in the car heading to Orlando to see my in-laws for the first time since pre-pandemic times. It is both a trip to catch up as well as a trip to pick up a new-to-us car. With both kiddos in school this year, and my husband working in the complete opposite direction, we decided that it was time to become a 2-car family. While the extra expense of gas and insurance isn’t so fun, I am so excited to be able to just pop to the library (or anywhere else I want) whenever I want!

We are currently building a new home in the town just south of us and we were hoping it would be done close to when school starts. But, alas, COVID, Florida storms, and gopher tortoises have made that impossible. The tortoises are protected here in Florida as they are a keystone species that share their burrows with more than 350 other species.

We had to wait an extra 90 days for them to pull a permit to safely remove the 2 that are on the property and now we are waiting for a spot to open up on the turtle ranch as it is currently full. While slightly frustrating, it has been a good reminder that we are displacing and likely killing some of the animals that have called that little parcel of land home long before we arrived. I am glad that the turtles will be moved to a safe new home.

So, while we wait for the house to finish, I will be driving the kiddos to and from school (hence the real need for a 2nd car). But it is worth it as I didn’t want my daughter, who starts middle school this year, to have to switch to a new school after just a few months. Middle school can be hard enough on its own.

My poem today is an old one from 2017 and is actually about the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), so not exactly a gopher tortoise. I have lived in Florida most of my life, but I haven’t had the chance to see the momma turtles come to shore to lay their eggs. One day.

C. mydas
Great green life bringers
Create fragile silver worlds
And leave them in sand
For time to nurse and protect
Until their children emerge
(c) Becky Herzog, 2017

15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Cars, Tortoises & Turtles

  1. I’m sorry for your inconvenience, but I LOVE knowing that the gopher tortoises are so well protected! I, too, would love someday to see the mama turtles lay their eggs or the babies make their way back to the ocean. Magic.

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    1. Yes! I agree that it is fantastic that the tortoises are so well protected. I just read some resources about how to make your yard gopher tortoise friendly and I am all about it!

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  2. Beautiful, Becky! I love the “great green life bringers” you describe here. I hope you get to see them lay those “silver worlds.” Have a great trip! And congratulations on your new ride!

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    1. Thanks, Tabatha. My hands will be a bit full, but I love the structure that school brings. I have a hard time getting anything done creatively in the summertime.

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  3. Fascinating story about your gopher tortoises. A little bit sad… Hoping all the displace critters find a safe new home. It’s a tricky juggle, isn’t it! As to sea turtles – we are relatively close to Mon Repos, a turtle rookery. Seeing them lay eggs was special. Seeing eggs hatch was adorable!

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    1. Me too. We have an empty lot right next to ours, so I am hoping that many of the animals are able to find respite there. But I still feel bad displacing them. That is cool about the turtle rookery. I bet that was a great experience!

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  4. I’m sorry for your delay yet admire you for the respectful patience & the good protection for those tortoises. I love the beginning of your poem, Rebecca, those “Great green life bringers”. My students and I helped in the release of sea turtles once, amazing experience!

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  5. Great post! I love that time is nurturing the eggs, even though the mom goes away. Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

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  6. Becky, I send best wishes to all in your family for the new starts. Thanks for enlightening me on gopher tortoises and sea turtles. I am glad that you can find a hoe for your two property dwellers at the turtle farm. That is a new one thought for me!

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  7. It’s wonderful to know the tortoises can find a new home too. Best of luck to your family with all the changes. I love the language in your poem ” fragile silver worlds” – just beautiful!

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