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Turtles and Freedom


My wonderful, nature-loving wife, Marla, discovered this young, freshly-hatched Snapping Turtle wandering around in our yard and called me to take pictures. Snapping Turtles lay from 20 to 30 eggs on land — in sand or soil — and when the little “snaplets” hatch, they (hopefully) head for water. I took photos of this little fellow and then tossed him in the river that we live on. I saved him a lot of walking/wandering time and prevented him from being eaten by crows, raccoons, and such.

When i was very young — at grade-school-age — i went fishing one day with my grandfather and father. They caught a big turtle — it wasn’t a snapping turtle — and wanted to take it home to make Turtle Soup out of. Yuk! They kept the turtle in a huge fishing net (high up on the bank); the turtle was trapped in the net as it faced the water… wishing to run in. I felt very sorry for the turtle… and gave the big net a swift kick. The turtle managed to get out of the net; i never saw a turtle run so fast; it ran, like lightning, straight into the lake and quickly swam off. Of course, i got a good “yelling-at,” but felt that it was well worth it! That lovely creature got away!

Most humans are trapped and don’t even know it. The net is their traditions, their societal norms, their iron-clad religions, their immoral habits, their separative ways of looking at the world and its so-called separate parts. They think that their net, their beliefs, religions, prayers, mental projections, meditative techniques, and customs are ensuring that they remain very safe. But the net is a net… a limiting, fragmentary, man-made trap that is not helping in a holistic and truly healthy way. One cannot easily kick or leave the trap because one’s very foundation and mental constitution consists of the trap. It is very arduous to go beyond the trap but it is not so difficult if wise/keen and very pure perception occurs without all of the nettings that were crammed into (and around) one over the many years. To look without the known involves no learned technique, no remembered procedure.

That turtle, many years ago, cared more about freedom than most people do in this very nutty age… (with callous, narcissistic, dictatorial leaders popping up worldwide like mushrooms). Their well-designed traps were carefully fabricated to entrap you.

Baby Snapping Turtle (1) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

Baby Snapping Turtle (2) … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2020

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

47 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. That closeup of turtle’s baby face is amazing!
    Why are there no politicians with that look of awe on their faces? Instead of posing as know-it-alls? I’d vote for this expression/attitude – but this one only runs for the river.


    • Politicians, yuk! When i was in college we hung around an Irish member of Parliament, who was visiting the U.S. as a guest professor. At private parties, he would say things like “F*^%” people and “I wish that I was never born.” We have a glum-faced monster in the white-house now, and i bet anything that he is quite similar.

      That little critter is beautiful. 🙂


  2. I just laughed as you described freeing the turtle.As a child I was always warned about snapping turtles but never saw one.Glad you lent this one a helping hand. The part about traps in our human condition gave me something to think about.


  3. Amazing face on this tiny turtle and dino body, enjoy this story. you tought me to look down before stepping.


  4. What a cute and ferocious little fella this turtle is! I have only seen the adults when I drag my dog away from a fight.


  5. Until we awake and become aware of the oneness of all, we are content with being ensnared, safe and available to provide for the greed of the ensnarer. Good to see you post, Tom.


  6. I only saw a snapping turtle once, many years ago in Ontario. It was huge. Hubby and I once stopped the car to rescue a turtle that was slowly crossing a busy road. We did take him home to show our children and enlisted their help in releasing him back into the wild, far away from busy highways.
    Your photos are wonderful and portray a sense of wisdom that turtles seem to embody. Wildlife can teach us so much – in fact all life can, if we are open to learn. Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos and wise thoughts.


  7. Reading this post I could imagine the gleeful young Tom freeing this turtle from his fate. 🙂 And what a horrible fate that would have been. Such a cute little guy looking right at you, the person who saved him from predators. Or heavy-soled shoes. I enjoyed reading your correlation to the turtle’s net and our lives as well.


    • … or lawnmower blades.
      Thanks, Linda. Yes, we — most all of us — exist in that net. But the net obscures vision as well, and perceiving its danger isn’t easy if perception is obscured. People will, most very likely, read what i wrote and say, “Well, yes”; however, they will just continue to go on existing — i wouldn’t call it living — exactly the way they were.


      • Yes, when you’re that size, lawnmower blades would definitely be worse than a hard-soled shoe. No life will not be living as it was. But people want too much anymore – I thought people would realize they could do with less, live without the frills for a while – try it out. I am tired of listening to the space travel event today (that didn’t happen due to weather) but it makes me angry to be so hepped up on space travel … we’re not going to live on the moon. So why not invest the money on finding a cure for cancer or even Coronavirus? If I was as rich as Elon Musk, I’d spend my money on such a medical venture rather than SpaceX, but that’s just me. It would seem more satisfying.

  8. I love the story about how the turtle got free of the net. Some children get it right from the beginning – you and I did. I also liked that you used the net as metaphor. It was an apt one…I was struck by the thought that my love fro nature helped me the most to escape from the net…


    • Tons of kids where rather coldly indifferent about the welfare and happiness of other individuals when i was in grade school. Many were just plain cruel. I was the only one who, out of compassion, helped a fellow who had mental retardation. Little wonder now that we have a sociopath for president who slept next to a Hitler book, who placed children in concentration camps, who hates by race, who embraces dictators, and who cuts Disability and Social Security. Monsters support other monsters.


      • Tom, I was that kind of child as well – helping others came naturally – unfortunately i was also quite stupid and projected my way of being onto others and got nailed again and again. We live in a violent culture and our “choice” for president mirrors our collective insanity.

    • Thank you, Linda. However, like i mentioned to Linda from Michigan (above), in all likelihood it won’t really help liberate people. They (in all likelihood), from years of miseducation and indoctrination, are just too immersed in (and “as”) the net. It is ingrained in them and it is implanted in them… and, in all likelihood, they won’t be leaving it.


  9. Aw, that’s really cute! Great shot. I enjoyed reading your post and the little joys of life brought by kindness of people like you!


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