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Archive for April 30th, 2010

As I came within view of our pond on the last warm afternoon, I was excited to see a row of Painted Turtles sunning themselves on a log! Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) are the most common of Ontario‚Äôs eight hard-shelled turtle species, six of which are designated as at risk. It is not unusual to see a painted turtle basking on a log. However, last summer I didn’t see a single turtle in the pond. Not one. And now, here were five, lined up in a row, looking perfectly at home!

The turtles weren’t nearly as happy to see me as I was to see them. As soon as I cleared the treeline and came into view, three of the turtles quickly slipped into the water and disappeared.

As I approached the edge of the pond, a fourth turtle concluded that discretion was the better part of valour, and followed its companions into the pond.

As I moved up to the edge of the water, one brave turtle watched me warily from the log, about 15 feet out from shore until finally it, too, decided it would be best to take cover. I felt a bit sorry for having disturbed them, but after I had walked a bit farther around the pond and was heading back to the house, I looked back. One of the turtles had already returned to the basking log and resettled itself in the sun.

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