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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Turtle Spring day

Around here, as soon as the sun comes out and the temperatures get into the high 50's or 60's, these guys come out to sun themselves. More than a blossom, an unfurling green leaf or even fragrant breeze, sunning turtles on damp swampy logs are proof that winter is on its way out. 

I've been looking out for them for a few days but even though we've had warm weather, it's been overcast. No solar heat in a cloudy sky - and it's those extra powerful sunbeams that will tempt a turtle. Tuesday was one of those days. It wasn't even all that warm and the breeze was brisk, but down here in the dip, along Farmer's Hall Creek, you can duck out of the wind and get a sense of the greening of the earth. 

Turtles, like all the rest of the wild kingdom, are notoriously camera shy. So long as I am whizzing by in the car, they'll lay still on their logs, considering me nothing but white noise. But if I even slow down, they'll lift their heads. If I roll the window down, I imagine their soft little shoulders stiffening beneath their shells. 

I don't often get such good pictures of them, they can slip off a log in the blink of an eye - and I don't really like to disturb them when they're warming up after the long cold winter. This bit of swamp was frozen for almost 3 months. But I did get lucky - have a peek at the guy on the right - see how his tail is reflected in the water so that it looks really long?

And the fella in the center of this photo .... Yertle the Turtle?