Tag: reptilephotography

Photography Challenge Day 95: Celebration of World Turtle Day

So today’s pictures all have a common theme: turtles!!! Today is World Turtle Day–a day to celebrate turtles and tortoises, and to maybe help keep them from tumbling over the edge into extinction.

Red-eared sliders sunning themselves at Boomer Lake

So far this year, it has been a good year for seeing turtles up at Boomer Lake. I don’t think I really got any pictures of turtles last year on my early morning walks (which isn’t surprising since it was basically as the sun was coming up–they were still snoozing in the water or wherever they sleep).

Red-eared slider swimming in Boomer Lake

Managed to get a picture of one swimming on Sunday as well. According to one person fishing, there is even a bigger one swimming around the lake. He claimed it should be about four times the size of this one.

Large box turtle moving through the park

I did see this box turtle last fall moving through the park. It had been the first time in quite a few years that I’d seen a box turtle in the area. They are one turtle that I do keep an eye out for in the mornings when I’m headed to catch the bus. I will usually try to help them across the busy road (in which ever direction they’re heading). Ten to fifteen years ago, they use to be extremely common in the neighborhood–not so much these days.

Sea Turtle at the New England Aquarium

And of course, there is my favorite–the sea turtle. I’ve seen them in the wild (when I went to Hawaii), in aquariums (such as the New England Aquarium), and rehabilitation centers as well. These majestic sea creatures are some of the most vulnerable species currently–due to climate change, hunting, and the daily dangers of living in the oceans. All sea turtle species are listed at some level on the endangered species list.

I would love to be able to see a leatherback sea turtle in the wild. I would also like to make it to the Galapagos Islands and see the tortoises in their natural environment as well.

Turtles and tortoises all play an important role in their respected environments–environments that we should be protecting and not destroying. So when you’re out and about–slow down if you see wildlife crossing the road. If it’s possible (and safe to do so), stop and help the turtle(s) cross the road–just be careful if it’s a snapping turtle. The world is dark enough as it is–lets keep the light shining by helping to bring some species back from the brink of extinction.

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Photography Challenge Day 73: The water snakes are waking up

So when I was on my walk this weekend, I decided to check on an area to see how many turtles were out sunning themselves–this has turned in an almost weekly occurrence–checking for turtles. Then I noticed that there was someone else on one of the logs along with the turtles.

Turtles and water snake sharing the log.

The winners of today’s photography challenge are the two water snakes that I saw on my weekend walk. While I’m not a herpetologist I’m only going to make an educated guess on the identification of the snakes—based on other pictures I’ve seen on different sites about Oklahoma water snakes. One looks like it could be a plain-bellied water snake. The main reason is that it does look to have a yellow belly.

I think this is the plain-bellied water snake.

Some interesting facts about the plain-bellied water snake include:

The female will give birth to 5 to 25 baby snakes in the late summer, and when they’re born the baby snakes are between half a foot and foot long already.

They can get between two and a half and four feet long.

They eat fish, frogs, tadpoles and salamanders.

They can be confused with the cottonmouth (due to similar coloring), but they are actually members of two different families. Also when swimming, the plain-bellied water snake has half its body above the surface & half it’s body below the surface; while the cottonmouth typically swims on the surface of the water.

Either a larger plain bellied water snake or a diamond back water snake.

The other snake is either a larger plain-bellied water snake or it is possibly a diamond-back water snake. Both snakes are found in Oklahoma, and they are both in the same immediate area (since I don’t know the specifics of the snakes—I don’t know if they defend a territory or not when it comes to the mating season).

I will admit that I’m not really a snake person—though if I know that it is harmless (like these water snakes), it is in an enclosed area (like looking at snakes at a zoo), or it is a very good distance away (looking at it through binoculars) I’m not really scared of snakes. I know that they are beneficial for the environment (eating rodents and such), and that they are better at pest control and if they’re around one wouldn’t have to use poison to get rid of mice and rats.

It will be interesting to see this year if we get enough rain if they start moving away from the lake area for hunting.

References:

http://www.oksnakes.org/plain-bellied-watersnake.html

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Photography Challenge Day 59: The turtles dove for cover.

At times no matter how quiet one is, there is always something that can startle the wildlife and some of them will scatter.

Going for cover…….

I was just starting to take the picture of the turtles, when I guess I somehow (and accidentally) startled a couple of mallards, which then in turn startled quite a few of the turtles.

At least I managed to also catch the water splashing as several of the larger turtles went back into the water to “escape” the threat (me on the shore, and no where near able to get to them).

But I noticed that when they get back into the water, several others usually “pop” up from deeper in the water and start swimming along with them.

I see several little turtle heads…..

I’m sure that they all came back out and started sunning themselves again once I left the little open area that gazes into the little cove.

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