Light of Morn
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Out In The Noon Day Sun
6 August 2019
Beatiful day to visit the lake.
Path through the forest very quiet. Not a lot of seasonal color.
Saw a few clumps of "Farewell to Spring" Clarkia. How appropriate!
Found evidence of a Stellers Jay kill, probably by a Cooper Hawk.
Going my way?
Found a spot to settle in the shade of a towering oak.
Handful of dragonfly species were active along the shore.
And damselflies were busy depositing their eggs.
Active too were some of the lake's pond turtles.
Pond turtles have excellent eye sight above and below the water line.
As they rise to the surface to breathe, any disturbance will cause them to instantly submerge again.
They can be surprisingly tolerant if they feel safe.
While foraging underwater for food, pond turtles can stay submerged for 10 minutes or more.
Hmmm, what's wrong with its right foot?
The lake's shallows are sometimes cloudy with drifting debris due to cattle wading in to drink.
Wonder what the floating green vegetation is?
None of the lake's turtles are tagged, making individual identification nearly impossible.
However, a damaged shell, or in this case, a missing foot is easily recogized from repeated sightings.
"Stumpy" has put in an appearance for at least five years.
But this visit, sighted another turtle with a missing foot.
 
A missing front foot doesn't seem to impede these turtles ability to swim or forage for food.
Another oddity, was what appeared to be a turtle with a fungal skin condition.
Turtles with this skin condition have been seen/photographed at the lake before.
In recognizing individual turtles, perhaps face markings can provide a clue.
Or maybe the pattern has more to do with the age of the turtle rather than the individual.
Throat markings, shape of snout is a way to distinguish males from females.
"Stumpy" takes a closer look at me.
What a sweet little face!
Saw no turtles hauled out in the usual basking sites on the opposite shores.
Foreground churned up by cattle. On hot days they enjoy settling down, chewing their cud in the shade.
What an enchanting place to spend an afternoon.
Set aside for the public. Protected from development. A haven for wildlife.
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Western Pond Turtles