Saturday, June 9, 2012

Turtle Crossing--Our Neighbor the Florida Softshell Turtle

     Heading out for our afternoon walk yesterday, Magnolia (aka Maggie, the Magnificent) and I were surprised to see an extra-large turtle crossing the road. She (the turtle) seems as delighted with the recent, much-needed downpours as we are; the little creek that meanders behind our house, then goes under the road by the drain and continues in the yard Ms. Turtle has just left is wonderfully full of flowing water.

     Fortunately, turtles don't run away as fast as much of our neighborhood wildlife. Usually, by the time I run back outside with the camera, a fascinating bird or animal has moved on. The down side for less-speedy turtles is that they are not much good at ducking cars. However, passing neighbors were extremely careful and once the lovely lady had tired of our attention, she turned back to her creek.
     I say "she" because of her size. My trusty Field Guide to Florida confirmed that she is a Florida Softshell Turtle and added that the males of the species grow to about 8" long; the females to 16". Perhaps I'll resist the temptation to comment on that fact. As always, you can double click on a photo to enlarge it and see more detail.
     I'll have a painting to show you soon, but couldn't resist showing you our new friend first.
Question of the day: Do you also drop everything to watch the wildlife around you?


  1. Yes I do, Mary. Soft shell turtles? I wonder how they protect themselves from predators? Just saw a turtle on the side of the road about this same size on Friday. There is water around where I work, so no surprise, but it did seem a bit far away from it. I'd probably run my car into a tree to avoid hitting an animal. I don't think I've ever hit one but I worry about the kamikaze birds. I don't know that I'd be able to avoid one of those no matter how hard I try.

  2. Yes we do. We are lucky enough to have deer, rabbits and an occasional fox going through our back yard. We stop for the turtles too, but they don't look anything like this one.

  3. I know you would be a wildlife fan, Sherry. Up close this turtle's shell looks like very thick leather but might be even harder than that; I suspect they are quite well protected.

    I appreciate your coming by, Anne. Your neighborhood sounds even richer in wildlife than ours; although there are many deer in the wider area, we do not see them in the neighborhood. I have seen a fox twice, and there was an extremely scrawny looking young coyote that ran by off and on for awhile a couple years ago.

  4. I like the photo of Maggie looking at the turtle and pastor Mark holding Maggie. So Maggie can see the turtle. I like that photo very much.

  5. Thank you for your kind comments.