Friday, April 17, 2009
Turtles in the Lake
This lady was focused, trying to dig a hole to lay her eggs. The dogs were interested, a few barked for a moment and then moved on to more important things, like chasing and playing and swimming. Madison listened to a stern "Leave it," and didn't look back.
She has Esther Williams action to perfect. Water ballet to work out. Moves to synchronize.
Every morning, the turtles plop into the lake when we arrive with the dogs. They hover in the cool deeper water, watching the dog action with the periscope-like heads, diving down and then poking their heads up to see if it is safe to head back onto the sunny little stretch of beach.
Lots of the turtles in our dog lake are Red-eared Sliders, not native to Florida, but well-established populations from released pets. They are semi-aquatic and get their name from their distinctive red "ear" coloration, and from the speed with which they slide off the shore or rocks to escape perceived threats. The large turtles have shells about 10" in diameter. Their eggs hatch in 90 days; hopefully the raccoons and the dogs stay away.
H-Mom had three of these turtles - little ones - when she was growing up in Paris. The turtles lived an arty, European life, floating and diving in the bidet of the little unused W.C. on the third floor of the house. It was a great home, better than an aquarium, with its running water, spray jets and "deep end."