Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why did the turtle cross the road?

Driving back from the Black Hills Shelley swerved to miss what she thought was a rock on the road. As she went by she realized it was a turtle. We were worried that it would get run over so we turned around and went back to "rescue" it.

By the time we got back to it, it had already made it to the shoulder. (These turtles can move quite quickly at times.)

Western painted turtle

Of course, I had to take photos!

Western painted turtle

From the top it looked quite similar to the red-eared sliders commonly kept as pets. But the underside is quite different and colorful and identifies it as a western painted turtle. These are semi-aquatic turtles that spend most of their time in the water or basking.

Western painted turtle

Hopefully picking it up didn't disturb it too much. I couldn't resist getting a better look.

In case you're waiting for an answer, I'm sorry but I don't know why she (guessing from the short claws) was crossing the road. The side she'd come from had a small pond, but I didn't see much water on the side she was heading for. It could have been to lay eggs.

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