Friday, May 29, 2015

Turtles and Ducks

Turtles have an easily identified profile when they are in the water and emerge for air. It is more vertical than a frog coming up for air.

My wife and I were visiting ponds over the winter and in March, turtles started emerging from their long winter hibernation. There was still ice on the majority of this pond when I took the photo. Two other ponds within a mile of this one support similar populations of turtles.

What struck me is how well the turtles and ducks got along. Both seemed unconcerned by the presence of the other as demonstrated in this image. There are all kinds of turtles — coots, sliders, mud and painted turtles. I have yet to see a snapping turtle in one of these ponds.

Notice the turtle at the foot of this Canada Goose hauled out on a spatterdock rhizome. This also was in March. I was surprised to learn how early they come out of the mud.

There are five noses sticking up out of the duck weed in this image I took a few days ago, giving you some idea of how many I have been seeing lately.

I happened to see this Wood Duck preening the other morning between two turtles. The one on the right is as big as she is! It just surprises me that an amphibian and fowl appear to co-exist peacefully.

If you look closely, you will see a turtle head poked out in front of the duckling that is raised up out of the water. The mother duck is just to the right out of the picture, but was completely unconcerned by the close proximity of the turtle. I know snapping turtles will eat baby ducks as will snakes. I haven't seen either at this pond.

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