Turtle Science

Another turtle today scuttling, scuttling across the rough soil of the Hobbit garden (as yet unplanted). They scoot away surprisingly fast, as if they have important business elsewhere.

The camouflaged nest lies undisturbed. Surprisingly to me, a turtle wound up in exactly the same spot last year and we picked her up and moved her down to the swamp, assuming she had gotten turned around and needed to go home. Of course she was anything but turned around; from my one minute of research into painted turtle incubation habits I find that females build their nests in the same spot year after year. So we merely fouled up her plans when we sent her back to the swamp.

This year she got luckier.

It will take something like 72 days for her eggs to hatch. Then the hatchlings will winter underground in that compact pit of a nest until the warm weather returns, when they will start the sunbathing-on-a-rock regimen for which I love them (and which keeps them alive, by regulating their body temperature). That is, unless they get eaten first by raccoons. Or Oliver.

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Filed under Home, Jean Zimmerman, Nature

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