Sunday, June 11, 2017

Turtle Days

I am not the only one out and about these past few days. Above are a couple of horseback riders I saw at Ponkapoag Pond in the Blue Hills Reservation, Canton, MA. yesterday (June 10). Not sure if you can tell from the photo but the horses are wearing net head protectors to keep the bugs away from their eyes and noses.

Painted Turtle

But the focus for todays post isn't human visitors to the parks I visit. It is the Painted Turtles that I have been seeing the past couple of days. They also seem to be on walk about, though their purpose is entirely different from mine or the horseback riders above.

In the past couple of days I have come across 3 painted turtles out of their ponds wandering the paths that I walk. Above is the first that I found, in a rain puddle at Ames Nowell State Park, Abington, MA. I fear I was mean and pulled the turtle out of the puddle in order to better photograph it. It took off through the grass (2nd photo) and wasn't in the least harmed by my handling.

Above are the two painted turtles I ran across yesterday at Ponkapoag. Note that the turtle in the lower photo has mud on her tail and back of her shell. She was heading back toward the pond.

And finally, this photo which I actually made last year in DW Field Park here in Brockton, shows the activity that has them out of the ponds and on the trail, digging a hole and laying eggs. It is that time of year for painted turtles. They leave their ponds to dig holes in sandy (or not so sandy) soil that is in a location that will get direct sun some hours a day. They will then lay eggs, between 2 to 20 depending on the size and age of the female. Once she covers her nest hole with dirt the nest is usually indistinguishable from the surrounding ground. Casual observers would never know she had been there. It takes about 90 days for the eggs to hatch, and the baby turtles will dig themselves out and head to the nearest body of water.

That is it for today. Hope you enjoyed the photos and learning a bit more about turtles.