Imagine that you are enjoying a beautiful lunch in the pool on a hot and humid June day, and all is calm and peaceful. Then, you have the sensation of something tickling you at the bottom of your bathing suit. The suit is rapidly pulled down and much to the horror of its wearer, a small garter snake wriggles out. The screams of the female bather are so scary that the newfound lodger rapidly exits to find a more permanent place to hang out.
• A bird lover ordered a blue bird box built to specifications such as the entrance being eight inches from the platform, no paint, no perch etc. The first time she just mounted it in a convenient spot but there were never any occupants. Then, an ornithologist friend confided that it must face the sunset. Still no occupants. Then, a hunter suggested facing sunrise. Now a chickadee is nesting comfortably.
• Turkey vultures have taken to roosting in the upper branches of a large dead tree by the Coldbrook Stream. The birds can be seen floating on the thermals over the town. They are large birds with a six-foot wingspan; only eagles are larger in this area. These vultures are harmless, never attack live animals and they survive on carrion and refuse. They look very graceful in flight but, resembling turkeys, would not win a beauty contest when seen up close.
• There have recently been many turtle sightings in the area as these slow-moving reptiles are looking for appropriate locations to lay their eggs. One was spotted on Victoria Street in Knowlton and caused the traffic to be stopped in both directions. Two humane cyclists had halted vehicular circulation to let an old turtle saunter slowly across the road. Quite a sight. The joys of living in the country.
The dog run was also visited by a snapping turtle. This breed of turtle cannot withdraw entirely into its shell to protect itself. Consequently, it has a longer neck and strong jaw as a means of defence. It can certainly cause considerable harm if threatened.