Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where have you been all my life?

Perhaps it’s the warmer days.
Perhaps it’s the softer earth.
Whatever the appeal, the turtles sense it.

In the course of the last week, I’ve crossed paths with four—all different species, yet all on the move for the same reason.
It’s egg-laying time.

I’ve come across box turtles, painted turtles and snapping turtles on our property many times in the 15 years we’ve lived here. Its pond and wooded areas, the habitat they enjoy. Each time, an opportunity to stop and watch the event—I mark the location for future reference.
All too often, to find that raccoons have found buried treasure there, soon afterward.

And, although Ohio is known to be home for 12 species, I’ve never found any the remaining 9, here, on this 15-acre property.

Until last Friday.
When I found this very large Red-eared slider in the grass.
She was huge.
And very slow-moving.

Her shell, not much to look at from above, but intricately decorated on its interior edges.

And at about the 12-inch maximum of their size.

Could she be older than I?
This turtle that lives 50-70 years?
And I’ve never seen before?

Perhaps that’s how she does it.

In reading about Red eared sliders, I found that they were extensively used in the pet market. Now, there are turtle rescue organizations that give these gentle, thoughtful creatures homes. Part of the application process for rescuing a Red Eared Slider includes a "Turtle Will"--provision for its care after your death, as they are likely to outlive their human caretaker.

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Lisa at Greenbow said...

When I was a child I had one of those red-ears. It was about as big as a quarter when I got it. It lived for some time. I don't remember what happened to it. Maybe it is just that I don't want to remember. They are in about every little pond around here. I love to see them sunning on logs. One of the first signs of spring for me. It is great that it wandered onto your property.

I rescued a snapper crossing a busy road just the other day. Eveyrone was afraid to move it as it was a good sized one. Several cars were slowed and/or stopped for it. I scoooped it up and helped it across the street much to its chagrin. It was lashing out and living up to its name the whole time I had it in my hands which wasn't long. Ha...

Rurality said...

I had no idea they lived so long.

They have such inscrutable expressions! :)

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post! I just love turtles. We have a box turtle living on our property, but haven't seen any of the others.

MojoMan said...

Lisa and I seem to be living parallel lives.

I had several red-ears as a kid in NY. They were in all the pet shops, but I think they were outlawed for transmitting salmonella, or something like that.

I also moved a snapper off a road here in MA during last Sunday's bike ride. I always move them in the direction they're headed, hoping they won't just turn around and head back to the traffic.

Eco Enthusiast said...

Great post about turtles. I hope to see some more of our box turtles--just saw one this spring.

Pam said...

I love turtles. We have an ancient one in our city zoo, and my daughter and I make a point of heading there first.Lovely post. Thanks.

Crayons said...

Hi Nina,
These photos are bjust eautiful! I'm actually a little bit afraid of turtles, I don't know why. I saved one from a highway a few years ago. I was shaking more than he.

Shellmo said...

Loved the turtles pics and learned something new today - thanks!

mon@rch said...

Very cool slider!

Kerri said...

Fabulous Post Nina!!

I have a turtle post today too! Although I'm not sure what does have a red on the side of it. If you or anyone else knows, I'd be happy for the identification.

Old Wom Tigley said...

What a great find.. I hope you have more luck with the remaining eight.

dguzman said...

I had a red-ear as a kid; his name was Felix, and after only a few days with me, he ran away. I know it sounds silly to think of a slow little turtle running away, but I went to dinner and when I came back, he was gone. I looked all around the yard but never found him. *sigh*

Susan Gets Native said...

Delia's comment has me in tears....a TURTLE ran away from her.

Oh, man. I need a minute.

Anyway, we have red-eared sliders here in the neighborhood and I act as crossing guard when I come across one.
Geoff got stopped by a massive snapping turtle down on Loveland-Miamiville Road the other day. He was encouraged that other cars were slowing down to go around the big gal, because you know we have yahoos around here who would think nothing of running over one just for the heck of it.

Susan Gets Native said...

BTW, did you know that my blog link is misspelled?
Get on it, girlfriend!
I tell ya, it's hard to find good help these days.

: 0 )