Monday, May 16, 2011

Turtle Time!

Saturday was a beautiful warm day here after days of gray skies and cold temperatures and the turtles were out in full force taking in the sun. Turtles are reptiles and actually need the vitamins from the sunshine to stay healthy. This is why people who keep lizards, snakes and turtles indoors need special lighting. And yes, being ectothermic (cold blooded) they also appreciate the warmth.
At first view this just looks like an idyllic pond scene. Click on the picture to enlarge it and you'll see there are dozens of painted turtles in this photo. Some are on the green boggy area while others are on the log in the background.
Here's a nice close up of a group of painted turtles, very alert as I took their picture. I used my zoom lens so as not to alarm them. Turtles can slip into the water faster than you can say boo.
This little guy was all by himself near the edge of the pond and was only about 2" long.
This sight really caught our attention. The yellow you see in the center is a painted turtle and a good sized painted turtle at that. So who is that big turtle behind it? A huge snapping turtle! This is an unusual picture for snapping turtles usually hang out in the water except when laying eggs. They sun themselves while floating at the surface of the water and can often be seen doing so by folks out in kayaks and canoes.
Here's a view from the backside. You can see that gnarly tail and hind legs just hanging out in the sun.

These are the most common turtles on the Cape but we have other turtles here as well....can you name them?

photos taken by me in Bourne on May 14

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