I thought I’d do an Illo Friday piece for Drawing Day 2010, which is officially today, and dedicate it to an old friend. A few years ago while walking the W&OD Trail in Leesburg, VA, I saw an injured box turtle. He stood there at the side of the trail looking at me with one open eye, the other severly damaged. As speedy bikers whizzed on by oblivious to this small creature, I wondered what to do. A friend suggested I take it to the local animal hospital, which I ended up doing. They performed surgery on his eye, which he was now blind in. I wondered what had happened to the turtle, whose habitat was being rapidly destroyed and replaced by apartment buildings, shopping centers and storage spaces. I named him Rocky because he was a true fighter and his bloodied eye reminded me of Stallone in the first Rocky film. My wife wanted to keep him but I knew he wouldn’t thrive in captivity, so after a week of care I released him into an area not far from where he was found, yet deep enough in the woods where he hopefully was protected. I hope Rocky’s doing well today.

http://goflyingtrtl.blogspot.com/