By Charles Towne

 A pair of gopher tortoises was performing the turtle dance in my backyard.  The mating dance of the gopher tortoise is really quite elaborate.  Head bobs and weaves, along with tender love nips, it isn’t really a dance, perhaps a clog, but not a dance.  The male tortoise bobs his head up and down quite rapidly as though nodding assent to some question only he understands, and then, almost as quickly, he shakes his head back and forth as though denying his intent.  It is obvious that he is not being completely honest because of the goofy grin on his face.  Once he has the attention of the lovely young lady tortoise she approaches him and says something like, “Hello BIG BOY.  Where have you been all my life?”    To which he thinks, “whoa boy, she likes me, oh goody, goody, goody!”  And he bobs his head even faster, pausing now and then to give her some playful little love nips on her front legs.  What is the old saying about hope springing eternal?  The only thing that I have learned about this elaborate head bobbing ritual is that persistence pays off.

  Sometimes.  Maybe.

  I tried the head bobbing thing with my wife and she went into the bedroom and locked the door, after which she shouted that if I didn’t go away she was going to call the police.  It was obvious that what works for gopher tortoises was not going to work for me.  Oh well, perhaps I need to perfect my head bobbing technique, and just maybe throwing in a few love nips wouldn’t hurt, you think, maybe?

An Outdoorsman’s Prayer

 Dear God, thank you for being so very patient with me, and thanks for giving me a little more good sense than a gopher tortoise, sometimes, maybe.  Thank you for enabling me to not take life so seriously, and for being able to laugh at my own goof ups, and foibles.

 In Jesus wonderful and Holy name, Amen 

Live fully,
Love openly,
And make a difference, today

Charles Towne is a longtime Apopka resident, member of Inspire Church, published author and a lifelong outdoorsman.


  1. Those are sea turtles in the photo above, if those turtles above, were gophers dancing in the sea, it isn’t dancing or flirting, it is drowning! LOL…..!!!

  2. Hey Mama Mia, you are right. The Apopka Voice uses the photos it has available thus the sea turtles. I appreciate your comments. Keep ’em coming. Charles Towne

  3. THANKS CHUCK ,brings back memories, while i college a friend of mine invited me in for a BITE to eat, of course as the GOOD BOOK says Eat what is put before you i ate after the meal I asked What was that I just ate, His answer– GOPHER TURTLE!


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