On Sunday, Mom and I went on another Sunday drive, along a favourite route. Bolton Road, which eventually becomes Kyle Road, runs south from Highway 43, west of Kemptville just east of Merrickville, all the way south to Throoptown on Highway 21. That’s a distance of about 22.56 km (14.02 miles). It is a lovely drive along mostly dirt roads.
We continued after the trip right down Bolton and Kyle Roads by driving back up to where Land O’Nod Road starts at Bolton Road. Land O’Nod Road ends at Highway 15, south of Merrickville, a distance of 10.19 km (6.33 miles). Like the Bolton/Kyle Road trip, it is mostly dirt road and lovely. Don’tcha just love the name Land O’Nod Road? Makes me sleepy just thinking of it!
THE LAND OF NOD
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay;
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the Land of Nod.
All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.
The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the Land of Nod.
Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.
The round trip from Highway 43 down Bolton/Kyle, back up to Land O Nod Road, along Land O Nod, and up Highway 43 is about 65.64 km, give or take. If you add the kms for the trip from our house to the point on 43 where we turned to go down Bolton, which is about… 115.22 km so the total evening drive was about 180.86 which is a SHORT evening drive for us.
On the Bolton I stopped to take some photos of wildflowers. There was alfalfa which I had never seen in the wild before… or never seen in a field, either, for that matter. It looks a lot different dried in a bag or compressed into pellets for feeding gerbils. It is really pretty and looks like a sort of unkempt clover. Same family, I guess. The flowers are purple and mauve (pronounced “mowv,” not “mawv.” It’s a French word and you look like an idiot if you pronounce if mawv, no matter how many times you hear the likes of Martha Stewart or Oprah pronounce it [incorrectly]. And, in case you need to know “foyer” is pronounced “foy-ay” not “foy-er”. Again… it’s French and that’s how they pronounce it, so they ought to know).
Birdfoot Trefoil, Red Clover
Just a short hop down Bolton, I spotted a turtle in the middle of the road. Since it didn’t appear that there was anything resembling turtle habitat either where it was headed or where it had come from, I picked it up off the road and drove along (quite some considerable distance) until I found the bridge over the Rideau River. I released it there.
It wasn’t terribly pleased to have been rescued but I think it would have been less pleased to have been run over by a 4×4… Every so often, it would start scrabbling in my hand (it was too powerful for Mom to hold) and try to get away… then it would pee on me, the steering wheel, the console, Mom…
I took some photos and identified it later as a Blanding’s turtle.
Blanding's Turtle (isn't he cute?!)
Continuing on our way, just about a mile down the road from releasing the first turtle, I spotted a Snapping turtle in the middle of the road…
...not so cute...
It was a smallish one, about a foot wide and about a foot and a half long, not counting the tail and head. Knowing how fast and vicious they can be, I took a few photos and then looked for something to move it off the road with. The last time I encountered a Snapper on the road, it was about 3 times as big and so heavy that all we could do was bulldoze it to the side of the road. Even so, when it reared up, we were in danger of losing a finger!
This one being smaller, I figured if I could find a stick I could try the old Indian trick of getting it to bite on the stick and lifting it up and carrying it hanging from the stick. But since I couldn’t find the appropriate-sized stick (and, indeed, don’t know if this actually works, I resorted to using my car scraper/brush, flipping it on its back, and pushing it across the road. I flipped it back over on the other side of the road into a field.
One thing about Snappers is that they STINK! Whether it’s because of their diet or the fact that they wallow in marshes, I don’t know.
Again, it didn’t appreciate the effort I had gone to but since a 4×4 went roaring by a few minutes after I moved it off the road, I think it was in its best interests to be moved. So there….
Snappers are endangered, here in Ontario, and you can make a report to the Ontario Department of Natural Resources, along with other endangered flora and fauna.