Box Turtles


Box Turtles are so cool.  My kids and I have captured a few around our house.  We raised them for a short while, then let them go.  But I was very surprised to see this little fella on top of building where I was working.  I mean just sitting there peaceful near a large puddle of water.  Walking down a hall, I just happened to be looking out the window and there she was — a funny little box turtle far away from her home.

But then my head did a double-take and my eyes, as amazing as the human eye is, decided to focus in and examine. Scroll down to see what my eyes and brain presented to me next.

Oh how very deceptive is the human mind.  This, of course, has all sorts of implications not only in religion but also in science, relationships and much more.  For it is our mind that does all of that for us.  Alas!

I hope I have set up this post’s visuals well enough so that you may have experienced what I experienced.

Question to readers:  Share a story of when your eye-mind tricked you.
Here is what I saw after focusing, both my eye/mind and my camera:



Filed under Cognitive Science

6 responses to “Box Turtles

  1. Gee that would have been so cool if it had been a box turtle up there! I agree this has implications for people perceiving all sorts of apparent supernatural entities. I think it was Alvin Plantinga who tried to argue that because people generally trust their perceptions as veridical, religious experiences of seeing and hearing God should be regarded as true perceptions of something real. I suppose no one told him that day-to-day perceptions are frequently mistaken!

  2. So often, what we see us changed by our expectations of what we want to see.

    The visuals worked well. it looked like a turtle at first, especially since I had been primed to see one. Great job of catching an everyday event like this for a post.

  3. rautakyy

    I really fell for this one. But then, it was easy, as I know nothing about these turtles, about this building, nor about how humans in your culture act towards the turtles. It is easy to take something at face value, when one is ignorant of the circumstances. Nice pictures.

  4. Mike aka MonolithTMA

    After our cat died I frequently saw it in my peripheral vision in various parts of the house. I remember the same thing happening when a childhood cat died, I even kept thinking I saw it trying to get out of the front door when it was open.

  5. @ Scott McGreal,
    Thanks for stopping in. Good point about Plantinga — and he is one of Evangelical’s top apologists.

    @ myrthrn,
    Yeah, the priming was intentional – thanx.

    @ rautakyy,
    Yeah, I am glad you fell for it. Thanx

    @ Mike,
    We just put down one of our three dogs recently. I saw him around for a while too. I know what you mean.

  6. Earnest

    Fantastic! I needed the magnified view to see this properly. Great example of the visual assumtion process.

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