May 8th – It’s always nice to welcome seasonal characters back into one’s life and none more so than the local canal’s resident reptile, Mr. Miyagi, the yellow-bellied slider.
Clearly a discarded pet, many canals and pools in the UK are home to these gentle, but surprisingly speedy vegetarians. The will live happily in our climate although being native to the Americas, but will not breed, even if they managed to find a mate. These turtles were popular a while back and sold as small animals, many were set free as they grew.
Mr. Miyagi is the size of a dinner plate, and likes to sun himself on the bank or any suitably buoyant drifting debris he can find on warm days, and his statuesque, head raised posture marks him as a real sun worshipper.
However, get a bit close or make a sudden movement – as I did today by sneezing – and he darts into the water with remarkable acuity.
I thought last year someone may interfere and ‘rescue’ the dear old soul, but he remains, reactions as sharp as ever and it was good to note his presence for another season.