Zempukuji Park
August 4, 2010, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Youkobo/Tokyo/ Japan

There is a park close to Youkobo in which I walk every morning.  I go about 6 am and the park is filled with people doing group calisthenics, walking dogs, jogging.

This morning a man spoke to me in English and proceeded to walk with me around the park. He had worked for the airlines, was retired and relished the chance to use his English.  He told me that he comes to the park every day, and that he writes a poem every day about some unique aspect of nature that he discovers in the park, such as the beautiful dragonfly that was hovering over the water as we spoke.  I told him about a turtle that I had watched swimming toward me in the lake yesterday. And then he told me this:  On June 2nd he was walking around the lake and a turtle came out of the water and onto the path beside where he was. He watched the turtle, it’s back legs heavy and somewhat distended, crawl perhaps 20 feet, down the path.  And then the turtle began to dig a large hole in the earth, off to the side of the path, beneath a hydrangia bush.  He watched as the turtle worked hard, clawing with its front legs, digging and digging. Finally, the turtle deposited all of its eggs into the hole.  Evidently the eggs were carried on or near the back legs and that was why they had been so heavy and distended.  After laying the eggs, the turtle covered the hole back up with the earth, and scattered leaves and grass over the top, and then stood beside the site for 15 minutes before finally crawling away.  The man said that he had stayed and watched the turtle for 3 hours and 15 minutes.  And, it takes two months for the eggs to gestate, so now, in the early part of  August, he revisits the site daily to see if the turtles have hatched.  We walked around the pond and he showed me the site and I, too, will be watching daily to see what happens.


10 Comments so far
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Bring on the baby turtles!

Comment by Trish Davis


Enjoy your stay. It sounds wonderful there and I’m envious. Hope you come back refreshed and renewed.


Comment by Larry Thomas

Ah—so great to be out at sunrise-meeting turtles and making friends! Hope you can join in the workouts—let us know when the baby turtles arrive-m

Comment by Miki Baird

You made it! I am so excited for you! It sounds like its already affirming its right where you are supposed to be.


Comment by Michael

thanks, Michae, it’s pretty great…but hot!

Comment by Susan White

That is SO cool. I had not idea that fresh water turtles did the same thing as sea turtles. Beautiful description.

Comment by Andrea

Wow Susan. So great to hear about your residency in Japan. How perfect. I want to be the next person to go! I have wanted to go since I was a kid.

Comment by Greg Crawford

Hi Greg, nice to hear from you!
I really like your website and enjoyed looking at your portfolios.
Beautiful work…
I hope California is going wonderfully for both you and Davin,
Japan is pretty great…but hot!

Comment by Susan White

aaaa a a a a h h h h h . . . . such a sense of peace and beauty from this photo.

Comment by Eva Szela

Hi Susan, I love the turtle story. Let me know if you see any baby turtles. What a great opportunity to be in Japan!

Comment by Tonya Witmer

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