BELINDA GROVER PHOTOGRAPHY

STOPS ALONG THE WAY


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PAINTED TURTLES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

These painted turtles look pretty put out. In other reserves where the turtles tend to dive for cover when you approach, these turtles stay put and glare. Like frogs they blend in well to their surroundings. On a windless day if I see duckweed floating on the surface of the water, chances are a turtle underneath it is propelling it along.


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PAINTED TURTLES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

And now for a little change of pace, with the arrival of milder weather the painted turtles have returned to the surface after a long winter of hibernation. I spotted a few on the weekend and when I returned to the lake today there were even more about. Another welcome sign of the season.


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PAINTED TURTLES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

I always associate painted turtles with lazy summer afternoons. They are either basking in the sun or going for a quiet swim. You feel yourself slowing down in their company. No better way than that to enjoy summer!


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MOVE OVER

The air was cool but the sun was nice and warm and the painted turtles were out in force. In this sheltered little bay every log was host to crowds of turtles. The spring melt has flooded parts of the park and we had to wade through shin high water to get to the little bridge that overlooked the turtles. What a sight they were for winter weary eyes.


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BUDDY SYSTEM (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

Snapping turtles and painted turtles are the most common turtles at the reserve. We usually see them, often together, sunning themselves on logs in the water. I captured these two when they were swimming. They move silently through the water and blend in so well, that it’s only when they come up for air that you see them. The snapper isn’t fully grown but it’s mature enough to have quite a growth of moss on its back which acts as excellent camouflage. They have a prehistoric look, with their long tale and spikes. Not pretty but fascinating to observe.


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PAINTED TURTLES (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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I took these photos last summer when everything was lush and green and the turtles were basking in the sun. Right now they are hibernating at the bottom of the lake and won’t resurface until late spring. Smart turtles! Painted turtles are common here in Ontario and share the lake with snapping turtles and the occasional blanding’s turtle. Painted turtles can be rather shy and slip into the water as you pass them but not these two on that day.

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TURTLE TALE (TWO PHOTOGRAPHS)

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These photos were taken in July when the sun was warm and the lake was full of life. We saw painted turtles everywhere, basking in the sun or swimming in the water. Summer is long over and it’s been several months since we’ve seen any. They’re likely hibernating at the bottom of the lake waiting for winter to set in. The group in the first photo were making the most of the short summer and seemed to be admiring the water lily across the way.

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