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Sunday, April 12, 2015

First Turtle of the Year!

 
The point of this blog is to find quality in every day, but I have to say that today was awesome without having to put any effort into it.

In the first place, I felt good. Really good. No zombieland from the Friday night work. The weather was wonderful- warm but breezy. I dried two loads of clothes outside in no time at all. (Yes, I know it's Sunday, but you have to dry clothes when the weather cooperates.)

This afternoon I took a 4.5 mile hike (just a roadwalk... they are free- no drive to get there).

Walking past a little nothing of a wetland. It's probably barely wet in summer. That doesn't mean it doesn't have value.

wetland

I spotted a hump of something on a log in the middle. Looked turtle-ish, but we haven't been overwhelmed with warm days yet. It also looked big.

painted turtle

Too far away to ID till I got home and could look at the enlarged pictures. It's a common painted turtle, but I learned some things because I decided to just double check the book, even though this one is familiar. I learned a lot! (another element of a quality day- to learn something new)

painted turtle

First of all, the Eastern Painted Turtle,Chrysemys picta picta, is not exactly the same as this one, the Midland Painted Turtle. This is a subspecies Chrysemys picta marginata.

You can only see one of the differences in these pictures. It's visible in this final shot. I like the reflection. The turtle just stayed all stretched out. The sun on its neck must have felt good. But the thing you can see is the dark blotch on the center of its plastron (the chest/belly plate). You can just see a little of it, but even that also reflects.

painted turtle

The other significant difference is in the arrangement of the scutes (the sections of its shell). This turtle wasn't showing me its back, but if you go to Details from the Bike Ride, there is a good picture of Chrysemys picta marginata. I'm sure of the ID, because the scutes are alternating... the point of one comes into the middle of the next one. In the eastern species they are all lined up evenly.

Another interesting feature is that the Peterson guide says the record Midland Painted Turtle is 7 5/8 across. I have to say that this one was pretty good sized. Right up there near that, would be my guess.

A lot of birds were singing, the peepers were peeping, and one of these days some serious green is going to start happening. I just know it!

I ordered maps for my next hike with Marie. It won't be the mountain experience of last year. We'll be doing a piece of the much tamer Buckeye Trail in Ohio, but that's ok.

The window is open, I am smiley inside and out. A an easy quality day for sure.

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8 comments:

jean pell said...

Any time I discover a turtle it is a good day. Nice photos and info on your Painted.

Ratty said...

I love seeing turtles. There is one place near me where I think there might be turtles, but it's a pretty long hilly hike to get there. It's a little too far for me and my bad back right now. I keep hoping I'll get back to being good enough to get that far again.

Ann said...

That was a quality day. Good eye catching that turtle out there. I like his idea of stretching out and enjoying the sun

Jean Knill said...

That's a lovely upbeat post, Joan. Glad you were feeling perky and hope it lasts. The turtle was good too.

Secondary Roads said...

An uplifting walk on a beautiful day. Now that is quality.

vanilla said...

Quality: yes!

Lin said...

Isn't it great to have the nice weather return?! It just makes for a wonderful mood.

LOVE the turtle. I would love one for my pond, but I hear they eat up the plants, like the lilies. :( And I'd be afraid that he'd walk away.

rose of Walk in the Woods, LLC said...

The turtle looks as pleased as us two-legged that spring is finally taking center stage! Wonderful photos!

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