This is Tooga, an Eastern Painted Turtle (to my untrained eye and googling), she came to the yard in front of my home and laid eggs in late May. This is a photo of her laying her eggs - she didn't like it when I went around her, so I stayed on this end, further away, so that I could get a shot without bugging her too much. It took quite a while for her to lay her 9 eggs in a fairly deep hole in the yard. It was on a patch that hadn't taken to grass - mainly clover as you can see in the photos. I am posting about it now because, as usual, I've been struggling the epic battle of freakishly severe fibromyalgia.
Anyways, the scene was beautiful - a sunset, soft breeze on a nice warm Spring day.. All quiet and almost no one noticed me sitting with a sketchbook on the ground - sketching Tooga as she did her thing. I made sure no neighborhood dogs got to her - which was a little scary. We live next to a "no leash" park.. which don't get me started on it.. I'm so bitter at people who don't care if their dogs bite human children or adults. I would never let my dog out of my control unless I knew 100% that I had control over him not to do harm to anyone.
Anyways - here is Tooga towards the end of her laying..
It took her a couple of hours, then she rested on our lawn under a pine tree all night - and my Mom escorted her safely out of the way of the street.
Tooga was not seen again, and we left the eggs alone. Many dangers began to show themselves over the next month, and so something had to be done if these eggs were going to make it. Urban sites next to roads and no-leash parks... I wanted to give them a better chance.. and good thing I did..
Next: Egg Excavation!