National Turtle Day


Facebook told me it is National Turtle Day, so it must be.  Usually, Hallmark tells us what day it is.  I'm not good at Hallmark holidays, but National Turtle Day seemed like a good time to see if I can catch the extremely shy Spiney Softshell turtles that scramble into the water the minute I open the door with the intention of looking at them!

 It is a sunny day.

I started out with the trail camera on a tripod.  The sneaky turtles stayed there while I pondered a setup.  So I went up to the house to get my big girl camera.  Of course, there were only ripples where they had been when I returned to view.  

Sure, they'd gone to another rock on the other side of the river!  

The big girl on the close rock pushed the current resident off her sunspot. 

Yup, girls.  The males average 7-9.5 inches.  The females are 7-18 inches.  These are about 14 inches across.  The males reach maturity to mate in 4 or 5 years, but these girls need to be 8-10 years old to lay eggs.  It's hard to tell if we have young turtles or males just by looking.  They'll often pile up on the rock two or three high.  

So I settled into the bank to wait for them to return to the close rock.  I tried hard not to think like or use my eyes like a predator.  The catbirds were singing.  A pair of red-winged blackbirds came down for a drink of water.  A fly landed on my arm for a sip of sweat.  I marvelled at the roses....and the water clarity.

When out of the sand came a turtle!  

And swam away.

I sat for a bit longer wondering if I'd fooled any other turtles into coming onto the closer rock.  The orioles were feeding their young high in the trees on the other bank.  The neighbor came down with his 4wheeler to 'walk' the dogs.  This cool dragonfly was hunting.  

Eventually, I thought about a glass of lemonade.  

The squirrel, startled, chattered when I stood up from my green perch.  I walked up the trail thinking how nice it was to simply wait for the turtles.  I'd been thinking about getting a bigger lens so I could photograph them from the kitchen window.  It is a good day for waiting.  Most days are.



I felt like I was right there with you today.

Happy turtle day

This post fills my heart with gratitude and a sense of stillness, a reflective pause. Thank you, Lauri :)

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