Saturday, September 27, 2008

Camera Critters: The Box Turtle


I'm A Little Shy

Sitting at the computer one day in July I looked out my window and saw something move in the grass. I was so excited about my luck when I saw this turtle moseying beside the oak tree. I grabbed the camera and went out to the yard. Of course his neck had been fully extended but on my approach he started easing it back inside his shell. I watched him for a good fifteen minutes walking away and coming back to him. This is the best I could get of his head.

I have always enjoyed looking at the shell of a turtle. The design always reminds me of Native American weaving patterns. The patterns on top remind of a Phoneix. The creases on this little guy are filled with the red clay mud we have in our soil. I so wanted to scrub him and make him clean!

A couple of weeks before this I had run across a turtle out back in the woods. I believe this is the same turtle. An article in our local paper recently noted that box turtles spend their entire lives, which may span 60 or 70 years, on just a few acres. There they know where to hide and where to find food. If moved to an unfamiliar area they're likely to starve or be eaten by predators. It stated that you should go ahead and move one from traffic; but place it out of harm headed the way it was going. Females were making nests and laying eggs in July that will hatch sometime around October and overwinter in the nest. Their first few years of life will be spent nearby.
I went out a little later after downloading the photos I had taken and couldn't find him anywhere. I even walked to the woods. When they want to go they can GO!


Be sure to click on the badge at the top of my post to visit Misty Dawn, our host, and to visit others participating. You never know what kind of critter you'll find!

41 comments:

Pietro said...

These are very interesting and nice pictures, Carletta.
The shell of the turtle is beautiful with those fanciful colors.
Great post.

Raven said...

The patterns on the shells are so amazing and beautiful. Interesting to know that they live such long lives in a small territory.

Sorry about your migraine. Let me know if you would like some reiki and you can always check out my on-line healing hands. I think they really work.

Judi~Gmj said...

A hansome fellow. In Oklahoma they migrate two times a year, in the spring and the fall. I hated it,they would be dead set to cross the roads nothing could stop them. I hated to see them squished. Glad this one has a safe haven to live in.

Shelly said...

He's beautiful! What a treat to find him in your backyard...lucky lucky lady ;)
The shell really is pretty.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Excellent post... so this IS a box turtle I've heard much about.. :O)

Tom

Evelyn said...

I've never looked closely at turtle shells...very beautiful! We have turtles everywhere in Iowa; I feel so badly when I see them smashed on the road. I'll remember your hint to head them in the direction they were going if I ever move them out of harm's way.

dot said...

I never thought about it but the shell does look sorta like a Native American design. Beautiful!

Teena in Toronto said...

He's so colourful!

I played too :)

Lapa37 said...

Lucky you t even get that much of his head he really is pretty.My dog likes to play with turtles.

i beati said...

I just found out this week that sea turtles cannot pull their heads in !!! sandy

Aileni said...

Remarkably handsome. You were very fortunate.

Twisted Fencepost said...

I just love those turtle pictures. I have been working on a post about a turtle, I have to find a turtle to take some pictures.

Yen said...

WOW! Very interesting shots of him:) I showed this to my son and he said WOW! :D Of course he likes it!~ thanks for the share!Mine is posted HERE too. Happy CC!~

bobbie said...

A beautiful shell. The patterns are fascinating, aren't they?

April said...

A turtle coming to visit - how nice! I love their patterns, too. Keep looking out the window!

Misty Dawn said...

Oh he is SO COOL!!! I'm glad you got these captures, and I love your comparison of his patters to the Native American weaving... LOVE this!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

they really are amazing creatures, they live such long incredible lives

the teach said...

I have no critters, Carletta but I love your turtle and the accompanying music! :)

ratmammy said...

wow, amazing photos! love the colors on the shells.

thanks for visiting, and as always bob and blackie say hello to smokey!
(did you know that Bob's full name is SMOKEY BOB?)

Picturing of Life said...

beautiful turtle

Please drop at my CC post also : in HERE Thanks

jaejae said...

great catch there! and a major learning for me, too! thanks very mucho!

onangelwings said...

Love turtles but I don't know why. Maybe because we are both shy.

fishing guy said...

Carletta: What a wonderful story to go along with your post of the Box Turtle.

Faye Pekas said...

Oh wow. He looks hand-painted. Very pretty critter.

My Camera Critters is here

Christy said...

How interesting. I haven't seen a turtle in years. How neat to have one living nearby. I'll try to remember that info about moving one. That is helpful information to know, especially since I have two small boys who will undoubtedly find all sorts of things for me to see.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Carletta, You are so lucky to meet turtles in your garden! I don't think we will have them here in Holland. In Australia they are probably easier to find.

juliana said...

what a cute fella! i think he's quite comfortable with the clay in his shell...

tipper said...

Great turtle pics. I didn't realize they stayed in one area like that either. Earlier this summer my girls and I saw one in the woods behind our house-and it looked like someone had painted a face on its shell. My girls informed me their cousin had one as a pet and painted it's shell. I guess it was just still in the same area.

Tash said...

I love this photo & the song is great - new to me, how did you find it? I appreciate you stopping by my SWF - I so appreciate the work teachers do, and teachers that students connect to make the world of difference in how much they learn - I see that directly with my son.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

He is very cool looking. It is amazing how fast they move when they want too.

becky voyles said...

Thanks for your congrats again on my art sale and your comments on my golden clouds.

twobarkingdogs said...

Great photo .. thanks for sharing!

Please stop by both blogs for double the Critters.

http://twobarkingdogs.wordpress.com/

http://onevintagephoto.wordpress.com/

Tootie said...

That looks like a really big box turtle. You were lucky to capture that just in time for CC. :-)

I love the skywatch photo below too!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I had no idea box turtles live to be so old. That's amazing.

magiceye said...

they are so beautiful....

splummer said...

Hi!!
I haven't seen a box turtle for years. Thanks for sharing the memory! Take Care!!

Sherrie

Neal said...

We called those terrapins when I grew up. I don't know if they're something different or not. Like I said before, being a naughty kid we would find one and he wouldn't stick his head out so we'd get a match and get close to his rear end just so he could start feeling the heat. Guess what, they always stuck their head out and started crawling. :) I should have had my butt kicked for doing that and my mom would have if she had known about it. :)

B. Roan said...

He is quite a fine looking fella. I haven't seen a box turtle in a while. Nice capture. BJ

piedmontperspective said...

Very nice! I think the patterns on their shells look like Native American designs too. And the shells are such beautiful colors. One of my dogs is cream/white but her coat has been dyed red from the clay.

George Townboy said...

Beautiful turtle pics! I've never seen one with this coloring.

Just catching up today. Hope you are doing well!

Ashrunner said...

I tend to scare turtles to the point they dive into the water never to be seen again. But finding one in the grass would make that difficult. Good find 8v)