Friday, April 3, 2009

Painted Faces

Turtles basking on log across pond

A warm day brings us both out.
The shy turtle I spy from across the pond, from her log, instantly tumbles—a splash!
While I, too, crawl out onto my log of sorts, the small wooden dock extending into the water,
under the warmth of an afternoon sun.
Loving its warmth, we are not so different,
basking on this sunny afternoon.


Beside me, binoculars ready—to scout noses that break the smooth surface of the water.
One by one, each, so quick to turn with a flash beneath me, rises to float in the safety of the open space, far beyond my reach.


We crossed paths just yesterday,
walking slowly as we do, the warm ground soft beneath our feet.
And I stopped to wonder where she might be going,
her cumbersome steps barely forward.
That painted face I so seldom see, hidden within her muddied shell.
I think she thought me rude to sit and wait with her.

“May I help you?”
“Just looking.”






Painted Turtle, Chrysemys picta

From Wikipedia:
"Painted turtles bask because they cannot generate heat or regulate their own body temperature. Instead, they rely on heat from the sun to raise and maintain their body temperature at a level high enough for food in their stomachs to digest efficiently; about 65°F minimum."

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39 comments:

Kelly said...

...I really like this series of photos...it's fun watching him slowly coming out of his shell!

Lynne said...

I've always really loved turtle faces, not sure why. They seem to have old widsom and resigned patience.

Deborah Godin said...

That little face is just so homely/cute!!

Barb said...

So wonderful to bask in your words and enjoy the emerging turtle photos. I made the pictures big - even better!

hitchwriter said...

Such a lovely picture !

the old folk looks so serious and apprehensive !

but cute alrite !!

swamp4me said...

Gotta love a turtle!

Susan Gets Native said...

Is it Turtle-Saving Season yet? I haven't seen any trying to cross roads, so far.
Love that face. It KNOWS something, Nina.

Cicero Sings said...

Loved watching the turtle come out of its shell.

Ginnymo said...

Love these photos!! Beautiful blog!!!

JMS said...

That little shred of moss on her carapace speaks volumes. Love the series!

Lynn said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, because your writting is just so beautifully vivid...
Loved seeing the turtle pictures I have never seen one like that one... Cute-Cute-Cute

Robin said...

Yep... she definately looks put out!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Very interesting post Nina.. the markings are very nice and serve their purpose well

Tom
Wiggers World

Pam said...

Such distinctive markings. That sort of turtle is new to me.How lovely that you shared some time. Delightful!

Tom said...

Nina, you know me, you'll get me here with turtles every time. I read the comment above, and thought it a bit odd, but then I saw that Pam is from Australia. The turtles in Australia are really bland, they are all gray, brown, olive, etc. We're really lucky to have bright red and yellow marked painted turtles right here in Ohio, and they are common, even living in retention ponds in the middle of Columbus.

Tom

Heather said...

What a neat series of photos Nina. I enjoyed watching the slow creep of the head emerging from that shell. And thanks for posting the Wikipedia fact - I didn't know they couldn't regulate their own body temperature.

Charles said...

Love turtles! Great photos!

Flo said...

How cute!!! I love turtles.

Mine is up over at my animal blog.

i beati said...

so much fun this post and we rarely see turtles Sandy

Tink *~*~* said...

Looks like he was pretty determined, at least in the beginning, to remain retired inside the shell. Glad he finally came out!

Happy Critturday!
Tink *~*~*

Critters on the Castle: The White Rabbit

Norm said...

I love watching all your photos, I enjoy it! so cute. Visit my flamingos here, also my colorful parrots here, thanks for the visit and happy one year anniversary to you.

KGMom said...

Yoda--in Star Trek--that's what the turtle puts me in mind of! (Sorry about that prepositional sentence ending.)
I agree with all those who love that face.

Kenton and Rebecca said...

What wondrous creatures turtles are. Your pictures brought back memories of childhood turtle-catching adventures, and last year when Rebecca caught her first turtle by hand. Watching them 'plop' off of a log into the waters is always a joy. Thanks for the pictures -- we haven't seen a turtle yet this spring, so it helps to get a 'taste' of what's to come.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Tom--you just WAIT!
Another turtle post is coming--very soon. And this one's less cute and cuddly.

Babooshka said...

His little head peeping out is so colurful. I'm sure we have these in the wildlife park here.

jenn said...

Turtles are pretty cool. I find them all the time when we go fishing...I've even caught a few.

Tammy said...

Oh I love turtles!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

She is so purdy. It looks like she got a little carried away with the rouge though. tee hee...

Oskar said...

So ugly it's kind of cute!

deejbrown said...

I love seeing the world of spring through the eyes of a turtle. A good reminder of our own lives and what we should be doing!

kate smudges said...

Your turtle photographs are beautiful, Nina. What a wonderful story. I felt as if I was accompanying you on your encounter with the turtle.

Crafty Gardener said...

You are very patient. Great shots.

Dianne said...

they have such funny pug like faces

I love your photo of the ripples in the water

mon@rch said...

love these turtle photos! They are the best ever!

RuthieJ said...

Oh that turtle's so pretty! I almost never see them here, and certainly not that close.

Misty Dawn said...

I always love your posts. Not only are your photos great, but you are a nature lover like I am, AND I love your style of writing too.

Great post. Congratulations - you are this week's Featured Camera-Critters Capture!

David said...

a face only a mother could love.
Happy Easter

Island Style said...

I love turtles! This reminds me of California..we had a number of them while growing up (not this particular guy..fabulous shots! Hope you had a wonderful Easter-

Kate said...

GReat series of photos. Patience with animals always pays off...if you can wait long enough!