Folks, sometimes the things you find in the woods will amaze you…meaning they don’t belong there. I was going for my usual leap, some distance from the nearest lake, when I spotted a bit of green. A bit of moving green. Being a wise old squirrel, I dropped down for a closer look.
Since this is ‘Thirsty Thursday’ I sure hope none of you humans start declaring this to be a box turtle. Yes, the young turtle was in the woods, but take a look at these feet!
Webbed! This is a water turtle, though it is a bit hard to tell with his feet pulled in. While he was walking, I could see the red spots on the sides of his head. The green patterned scutes on his back are very distinctive, with their lighter central line and the yellow edging, so this is a Red-eared Turtle.
A year ago Nutmeg and Hickory found an adult of this kind in the lawn of our neighborhood. Here’s the link to see that bigger fellow.
What was he doing in the woods? Red-eared turtles do lay their eggs on land, so the young turtles must travel across country to get to water. This one didn’t look newly hatched – no egg tooth, or egg spot on the belly–but maybe he got lost. Or, it is possible a human plucked him from the water and didn’t return him. I guess he could also have been out for a walk, like I was.