Posts Tagged ‘turtle’

Red Eared Slider

A  red-eared slider

“There’s a turtle in the back of the backyard,” shouted my husband.

I didn’t have any problems catching up with it. The angle it was walking toward the house made it easy to get close for taking pictures.

The male and female red-eared sliders both have a red patch on the side of their head.

They mate between mid-March and mid-June here in southern Illinois, and are active until mid October.

Giant Solomon’s Seal … and More

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Giant Solomon’s Seal (Commutation sp.) grows at the edge of my spring wildflower garden. The garden is between a pine and a hackberry tree, with a sweetgum to the south. The arch of the Solomon’s Seal is three feet high.

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 The flowers are 3/4 inch long.

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The three to five flowers dangle from the leaf axils.

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Then I find this caterpillar on a young wild cherry tree nearby. I have yet to identify it.

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I went back out later to take a couple more pictures. And … one of the adult ground hogs came part way out of the barn while I was still out there, which was definitely a first! They usually dart under the barn if they see me moving in the house.

What a morning!and wasn’t even 10 a.m. yet!

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An hour later I looked out the picture window, and there was a red-eared slider heading east across the back yard. it didn’t cooperate while I was out there.

What a morning!!

Visiting Turtle

Every spring I usually watch a turtle crossing our yard, heading west.

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This one didn’t like my attention,

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and stayed where it was for about two hours.

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I’m not sure,

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but I think it was a melanistic male red-eared slider.

 

Red-eared Slider

Buffy insisted I take her for a short walk-about at Ingram Hill cemetery before the day warmed much more. We go there often for short outings and the long view.

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A red-eared slider rested near the parking area.

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It patiently posed while I took pictures.

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A red-eared slider’s shell (carapace) measures from 5-8 inches long. They’re active from March until the middle of October here in southern Illinois.

This turtle was headed north.  There’s a small body of water down the hill to the east. He may have a long, long walk to water.

Obviously, he has patience, perseverance and determination.

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This picture shows another red-eared slider that was on the edge of the highway in front of our house one spring. Older male red-ears sometimes have excess black pigment which obscures most or all of the patterns. This is called “melanism.” The brown on him is dried mud.

Red-eared Slider

I obviously was at the right place at the right time when I left for town this morning. My driveway was blocked by this turtle. This happens every spring, when snapping turtles and sliders cross the highway from our yard. There’s a strip pit behind our house, and ponds scattered around to the east too.  I don’t know if they’re looking for new body of water, or just what.  I don’t know how many do make it across, because we usually see the ones that don’t.

As you can tell from the picture, the turtle was on the white line edging the highway. It’s head would come out. A vehicle would go by, and the head quickly went in. I took a few pictures, waited for traffic to clear, and then carried it into the tall plants across the road. The brown on the shell was dried mud.

This is a red-eared slider, also called pond slider. Normally they’re shell is olive-brown with numerous black and yellow lines. Their exposed skin is usually dark green with black and yellow lines, and a wide red stripe runs back from their eyes.

Melanistic red-eared turtle

Obviously, this turtle lacks the colors and markings. Older male red-ears sometimes have excess black pigment which obscures most or all of the patterns. This is called “melanism.” Adults grow to 8 inches long. This one seemed longer than that. The length of its claws impressed me!

I’m glad this one was a slider. I don’t know how brave I’d be moving a snapping turtle.