Monday, May 19, 2014

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden

Today, it was around 11am and I had just returned from my morning workout at Bailey's Powerhouse Gym. I was walking through my side yard and coming into my back yard. As I came upon the sunflower garden, I did a double take. At first, it looked like a large rock in my sunflower garden.

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
Well, how about that? It is a painted turtle in my sunflower garden. And, I would surmise that it is a female who was getting ready to dig a hole to lay some eggs!

Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
There's a closer picture ... she's a pretty good sized turtle. You can see the dirt being dug at the bottom of the picture; at her tail end! Between late spring and mid-summer, the female painted turtle will dig its nest on land and lay its eggs. ~ The painted turtle according to Wikipedia.

Underside of Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Underside of Painted Turtle in my Sunflower Garden
Photo Taken: May 19, 2014
I went to the garage to get my pair of playtex handsaver gloves so that I could move the turtle. First I flipped her over to check out her underside. She played along and tucked in her head and legs quite neatly.

I lifted the old gal up and we had a little conversation as I walked with her to the back of my property to the dip down into the drainage area. If I had a third hand, I would have taken a picture of her head as she bobbed along. Darn it, but I only have two hands. I set her down carefully on the incline that sloped down to the bed of water. She wasn't moving. I tapped her on the rear and said, "now git!" Then, she took off.

ANOTHER TURTLE IN MY FLOWER BED

It was June 2012 when I photographed another painted turtle that made it all the way to my front yard.

Painted Turtle Digging Nest in my Front Yard Garden
Painted Turtle Digging Nest in my Front Yard Garden
Photo Taken: June 2012
I have a pretty large yard, over 12,200 sq. ft. The turtle that I found in my front yard had to travel a pretty good distance to make it into my front yard. By the time I found her, she had dug a pretty deep hole and thrown a good deal of dirt on the concrete walkway.

Underside of Painted Turtle in my Front Yard Garden
Underside of Painted Turtle in my Front Yard Garden
Photo Taken: June 2012
As I did with the turtle in my sunflower garden, I put on a pair of rubber gloves and flipped over the turtle.

You will notice the artsy marking on the underside of the turtle shell. It really looks like somebody painted those. I think they look rather like Egyptian hieroglyphs!

By the way, I did notice that the bottom, underside shell has markings that look a bit different from the painted turtle. Maybe I need a second opinion on these two turtles ... perhaps they aren't painted turtles? What do you think?

Those are just two of the many turtles I have found in my yard over the course of some three years. And, at least two of the times I have found the turtles, they have been digging nests for laying eggs! I'm glad they feel so comfortable in my yard to want to have their baby turtles here!

Want to learn more about these painted turtles and their cousins? May I recommend:

ANOTHER TURTLE IN MY BACKYARD

Here's just one more turtle that was making its way through my backyard.

Turtle in my Back Yard
Turtle in my Back Yard
Photo Taken: July 2013
This turtle is a bit different from the others. Note how the shell is smoother and more oval in shape? Plus the coloring is definitely more brown.

Underside of Turtle in my Back Yard
Underside of Turtle in my Back Yard
Photo Taken: July 2013
Are you a turtle lover? Know your turtles? I'd sure love to have a confirmation on all three turtles that I have shared. Take a moment and leave me a comment if you can identify these.

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out." ~ James Bryant Conant.

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