Today’s blog doesn’t have any winged majesties, amazing landscapes, or fantastic and rare sightings, so it may be a little…slow. Sorry, but I had to go there.
Simply turtles, or are they. According to their website Reelfoot Lake is home to three different species of water turtles: The Map Turtle, the Painted Turtle, and the Pond Slider turtle. It appears, that without even knowing this information beforehand, Monica and I were fortunate enough to capture all three “on film” as it were.
The feature photograph at the very top is of the Painted Turtle. We were just leaving the last part of the boardwalk and there he was, still wet and shiny, almost as if he was getting ready for a photo shoot. With the subtle calmness of the water underneath him, it was practically a two for one shot. Almost every detail from this beautiful turtle reflected back at me on the water’s surface. Wonderful.
The “clean” turtle alone on the log is the Map Turtle. He appears a little different than the other two. The rear of his shell is ridged looking with angular sections jetting out to sharp looking points. He too has the yellow stripes on his head and neck, but his head is most definitely a little more stocky looking. From the look of his front legs, he is quite content to just lie there on that log and soak up some rays of sun.
Lastly is the Pond Slider turtle. He looks just like his name suggests. Low profile, sleek, smooth, and ready to slide away. And in fact, that’s exactly what he did. Right after a couple of photos were snapped, he simply just slid right back into the water below him.
Surprisingly, even though turtles are well known to be, how should I say it, slow moving, all of these little guys and the many others we saw throughout the day, were actually very quick at diving back into the water. Time after time, almost as soon as we would step out from behind cover, these turtles would dive off of whatever log they were sunning on and disappear into the water.
The last photo in this collection is what I’m calling “Little Mossy.” He was the exception to the rule. He didn’t dive into the water to hide or slide off of his log to get away. From the looks of him covered all in moss, maybe he had just had enough of being in that water. I doubt that is the case, more likely he was just happy to be out of the cool water for a moment and catching some delightful heat and sunshine.
Even in something so seemingly insignificant as turtles, there is still a natural beauty to be discovered and enjoyed. However, we must remember that nothing in nature is insignificant. Freshwater turtles are a keystone amphibian and play a significant role in the aquatic ecosystem as scavengers, as well aid in the controlled population of certain fish species. All of that aside, they’re cool to watch and observe.
Many a fable has the turtle as one its main characters: typically exemplifying it’s steadfastness and enduring resolve. But nature is not a fable, it is real. So get out there and enjoy it!
As always, like, comment, and share the webpage. A warm welcome to my new followers and the new international viewers this week from Cameroon, Portugal, and Singapore. I will be on a vacation starting today and through next week and will not be able to post, so please take a moment today and leave me a comment or two on how you like the blog and the photos. And until next time, Enjoy Our Wonderful World!