Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm fond of them but I don’t usually notice them.

Instinctively I’ll stop the car and run into the road to save a poor, misguided Eastern Box turtle from harm. Look at that turtle lady go! Yep, that's me.


There are times when I give them my undivided attention. Painted Turtles rest on a log, lollygagging, doing nothing much except examining moss, until they catch a whiff of my perfume – blip-blip blip blip-blip-blip in succession like dominos they drop into the murky water. I’ve learned that you need to work your camera quickly for Painted Turtles because when photos are concerned, they’re no different from most birds.


Why are they all facing in the same direction?


Their eyesight must be superb because this Snapper saw me moving closer at least fifty yards away. Slide’n dive. How rude. I was on my way to introduce myself.

Life is full of surprises. Oh, I’d rather not be surprised but I’ll admit that most of them are usually pleasant.


Have you ever reviewed your photos at the end of the day to see there were things going on in a particular photo that you didn’t notice? Dragonfly surprise! Cameras with zoom rock.


Here is a series of photos taken within minutes of each other. I had no idea there was a turtle sharing the bark.



My answer to your question is, “Yes, I’m tired of and bored with my Great Blue Heron photos.” I need to kick them up a notch, somehow. Great Blue Herons don’t do much besides stand perfectly still so to find one striking a pose isn’t remotely possible. Maybe if I inflate a raft and attach a blind to it I can paddle my way to the big bird and sit for a while… It would not be difficult to do, although I would attract local news media and possibly get arrested. Someone must dare me.


I count four. What a nice surprise to see them in an otherwise dull Mallard duck photo.

The Hooded Mergansers have arrived and I have been trying to get near them without a bit of luck. For the past few weeks it has been overcast, gray, and actually dark quite often in Charlotte but I’ll show these photos anyway because a few of them contain a pair of turtles. I laughed out loud because, again, I was unaware.


Cute Mallard, cute duck feet. (no turtle)



Male Hoodie – not a good shot, by any means, but colorful, at least. (no turtle)


And there goes his girl. I stood in the rain and waited for the couple to come together. They did, far, far, away...


After reviewing the last few photos, the miniature paddle boat/canoe/raft/blind idea is sounding real good to me. Hmmm.


Susan Gets Native said...

I double DOG DARE you to float a blind out to the herons.
And I LOVE the dragonfly hovering near the heron's butt. A Mary Classic.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

They sell waders attached to an inner tube. You just slip your legs in, float out and dangle. Then you just need to come up with some of that camo fabric and toss it over your head! Voila!!

The hoodies need some Dippety-Do!
Let's see who's old enough to remember that blue hair goo in a tub. Remember the bubbles in it?

Mary said...

I saw a man on a small motorized raft in a blind last weekend in Maryland. He was surrounded by Swans. The waders attached to an innertube? I don't think so! I'd find a way to strangle myself, for sure ;-) And yes, Linne, I remember the air bubbles in Dippity-Do. They still sell it, I think... I thought it was sold in a tub

Mary said...

Last word should'a been Tube.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Here ya go-

KGMom said...

Whatever floats your boat--or tube.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I've often been tempted to get a birdblind, but I'd have to draw the line on getting into the water.
Great nature captures, Mary!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Perhaps try the turtle approach?
Float out on a log--they'll never suspect a thing.

A New England Life said...

What we have here, is a herd of turtles. Turtles of all shapes, sizes, and dispositions.

I like the friendly turtles with the Heron. Opposites attract.

Susan Ellis said...

oh my...gosh dang golly..your shots of the heron with the turtle between its legs is just plain...holy shit wow. So impressed Mary!

The Reeds said...

Now that's a t-shirt waiting to happen:
"Crazy turtle lady".

I'm thinking there's also a club in the making.

Beautiful pics! I like the first one.

Vickie said...

Love the blind idea! That Lynne is so helpful.

Your Hoodie photos are gorgeous...all that contrast and reflection! And I'm one who never gets tired of Great Blue Herons. You should know my first giggle (this 6:26 a.m.) morning, was your "blip, blip, blip..." So familiar!

Jayne said...

I am in your club Mary. I always slam on the breaks, get out, and move the turtles across the road. Don't give a whit about the people behind! Love all the photos of your turtle friends.

jemkagily said...

Hey, crazy turtle lady! Me, too! You can get one of these for your car: to alert other motorists when you stop to boost one of our hard-shelled friends across the street. I've hinted and hinted but nobody in my family seems to get it, I'm just going to have to buy one for myself.

Dog_geek said...

Aww, I love me some turtles! Great photos, as always!

Kerri Farley said...

Love your shots Mary! That last couple is GORGEOUS!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this post just got better and better as I came down through.

Wendy said...

I DARE ya too!! That's 2 or 3 of us so far, now you've got to get out there!! Oh yeah, dippidy doo! I remember that too. It looks like goo. And smells like p..... Haha - don't know where that silly poem came from.

Love your photos. And the comments underneath. You must have great fun capturing these sweet little creatures. I am NOT bored by your heron shots. They are so magestic. Love those hoodie ducks. I've never seen them before. And the turtles are all facing the same way because they're waiting for you to get out in a boat (forget the blind), you're the entertainment! LOL!
Have a great day. Can you believe it's December already???

NatureWoman said...

I dare you, Mary! Your photos never cease to amaze me. I love looking at them. Wish I had longer to spend just staring at them.

jason said...

The amberwing flitting about behind the heron is a great catch! Most wouldn't have noticed it. You have a keen eye, Mary!

I do so love the turtles. I'm always fascinated by how they face the same direction--usually--each stacked up on the one in front of it. Too much fun...

I will admit I stopped on a six-lane road to help a red-eared slider get across. A police officer pulled up behind me wondering what I was doing. When he noticed, he turned his lights on and pulled out a bit behind my car so he could block both lanes. It lasted only a few seconds for me to run, grab the turtle, fetch it to the other side of the road and get back in my car, but during that he gave me a smile and a nod as he watched me. Police escort while saving wildlife = The Best!

Shelly Cox said...

Considered yourself DARED! But, you must above all else take an accomplice to capture a picture of you in all your glory as you float out to meet that great big bird....and when he suddenly pokes a hole in your trusty raft...we all must be a witness! LOL

Iris said...

Great shots as usual. Love the turtles. I paid the neighbor kids $15 a couple months ago to free the box turtle they had living in a 5-gallon bucket. Now it's hibernating in our woods. That's how much I love the turtles. Heck, I'd have gone to $20!

Murr Brewster said...

Embrace your zoom! I did Turtle Monitoring this spring for a local gov entity, and they had strict rules: no approaching sunning turtles within fifty feet. Might have been fifty yards--anyway, a long way. They utterly require their sunning time if they are to be successful digesting, breeding, etc. And they're very quick to dive away. This public service announcement brought to you courtesy of the Metro Regional Government in Portland, Oregon.

John said...

Nice turtle pics.