Kip’s Comments 8-27-20

Two Painted Turtles on Log - Image 648565 (© Kip Ladage)


More Learning Tonight

As I moved quietly down the Wapsipinicon River tonight, i noticed a pair of painted turtles enjoying the warm evening not far from each other on a log hanging over the water. Knowing the turtles saw me before I spotted them, the best I could do was a slow, quiet drift toward the reptiles. As I moved close to them, my hope was that neither turtle would spook before I was able to photograph the two so close together.       

My plan worked and I was able to make a number of images from different angles. Eventually one of the turtles pushed forward with its back legs and dropped into the water with a “plop.” My composition with emotions was gone. Now all I had was a lone turtle and I did not make any more images.   

After I left the turtles I began to wonder a few things about what I had just documented.

    * How did the second turtle know the first turtle was on the log, or was it just a random pairing? 

    * Before I entered their scene, were the turtles communicating? From what I found when doing research, turtles do make noises at levels humans cannot hear.

    * Were they making noise when I was close?

    * After I left, did the two turtles move back close to each other?

    * Were the turtles mates or siblings or just wandering reptiles of the same species?

Once again I went home wondering more than I know. I sometimes think I have a pretty good knowledge of wildlife. Incidents like this make me wonder.

Two Painted Turtles on Log - Image 648565 (© Kip Ladage)

Two Painted Turtles on Log – Image 648565 (© Kip Ladage)


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