Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Why did the turtle cross the road?

Snapping turtle

On our way to see the Westport Antique show Sunday (photos tomorrow!), I made my driver turn around and go back. There was a Snapping turtle laying eggs in the rough gravel. She'd dug 3 or 4 holes until she was satisfied.

Painted turtle

About a month ago, I came across a turtle in our frog pond. I was wearing my chest waders and so I picked it up. Setting it on my stump seat, I snapped a couple of photos. Now, how do you tell a turtle apart from other turtles? I have nary a clue. I let the little thing go shortly.
She gave me a dirty look!

A few weeks ago, I was walking to the mailbox across the road, I spotted a painted turtle in the middle of the driveway, about the same size, headed in across the direction. It had a leech attached to is shell. I rubbed the leech in the sand, and it took the turtle across the road. (In the old days, at the cottage, we kept a jar of salt ready to be sprinkled on the leeches that attached to our legs. They are much less plentiful these days.)

Now, the trick is to assist turtles across the road in the same direction in which they are headed. (I did a post about picking up Snapping turtles, as they are a different situation!) They are likely headed for a good spot to lay eggs or visiting with likeminded turtles. This I did.
Now, it could have been the same one as before, I did spot another, smaller one, beside the garage door later. They are frequent on our wetland. Who knows for sure?

I returned home from my photography day on the golf course, and saw this one upside down, in the middle of the highway. It was doing the back stroke and getting nowhere. Fortunately, most of the folks around here are happy to go around it, if it is safe to do so, it was stranded.
Carefully waiting for the cars to go by, I fetched it. Inspecting it for damage, it wasn't as bad as some I've found. There was no blood, for example!

It is a little the worse for wear, with a deep indentation on it's upper shell, and scratches on its belly. Now I can name him/her scar, and I'll know if it is the same one. I set it beside the pond, and videotaped. Slowly, she poked her nose out, looking for me. (I'll call her a she!) She sat quietly, then poked her nose out seeing if I had disappeared. It was quite cute!

Painted turtle from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I found my painted turtle upside down on the road. I took it down to the frog pond, where it will be safe.

Do you think I've got the same painted turtle in all three situations?


Roan said...

Cool turtles. Enjoyed the video.

Nancy J said...

Lovely video, I guess like all animals, there would be caution until they are sure we mean no harm. And I had no idea there were different turtles, and how would it get upside down? Playing Roly-Poly??? Cheers,Jean.

Debbie said...

My neighbor use to paint his initials, on turtles, using nail polish, so he would know if he was seeing/finding the same turtle!! I never knew how I felt about that but it seemed a little invasive. I always hoped it did not hurt the turtles. His mom always said it was fine!!

William Kendall said...

That last turtle looks a bit dented, but still okay.

Red said...

No. You seem to have turtles all over the place.

Kay said...

How amazing the turtle survived! You are lucky to live so close to nature.

TexWisGirl said...

when i see a snapper on land, here, i relocate her about a mile down the road to a pond along a dirt lane. trying to save my ducks...

i like the painted and sliders, etc. poor guys get crushed a lot.

Powell River Books said...

Looks like a bad place to lay eggs. The babies wouldn't have much of a chance on the road. We were out for a ride on a logging road last week and came upon two geese with three goslings walking along. We stopped to let them get off the road, but they just kept moving ahead. We were so surprised to find them so far away from the lake with little ones that could barely scramble along. - Margy

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

There are critters on the roads everywhere!
Jean, the turtle was hit by a car!