Saturday, April 21, 2012

Turtle Time!

Today on the river was Turtle Time! Well, at least that's what I called it.  Soaking up the warmth from the sun's rays, turtles lined the left and right banks of the Charles River.  They were perched on top of logs and settled upon rocks.  They were convened in large groups (like 10) or small groups of two or three.  There were adult turtles and baby turtles.  Turtles not on the banks, logs or rocks were swimming in their playground showing off their freestyle prowess. 

We slowly paddled past trying not to disturb their solitude, however it was often to no avail as we would hear...plop! plop! plop! Unwanted visitors sent the turtles scurrying back into the water's safety zone.

Eastern Painted Turtle Facts:
  • known for it's yellow and red markings on its head, neck and limbs
  • considered cold-blooded (that's why they like to bask in the sun)
  • omnivorous feeder (eating plants and animals such as earthworms, insects, tadpoles & more)
  • life span 5-10 years in the wild
  • the sex of the turtle determined by the temperature in the nest (cooler temps
      Interesting Vocabulary:
  • Carapace: hard top shell of a turtle
  • Scute: the small plates that make up the shell  
      Colored using

      The beautiful weather paired with the sitings of so many wonderful creatures made our kayaking day extra special.  One might think you would tire seeing so many turtles, but it was quite the contrary.  To see them all just 'being' brought smiles to our faces and made me want to write the following:

         Painted Turtle on the Riverbed

      The painted turtle with yellow and red
      Did bask upon the river bed.
      Soaking up all the sun’s warming rays
      What better way to spend their days?

      Spread evenly upon a downed tree
      Lined up near one another, one, two, three!
      Their peacefulness broken as we paddle by
      Jumping into the river as if in reply.

      Soon they’re back upon the logs, warm and dry
      Poking their heads up at the deep blue sky.
      Outstretched are their tiny legs and claws
      Their simple beauty gives one pause.

      The sun winds down and day comes to a close
      The turtles return home as the evening shows
      Hoping to reclaim their spots once again
      To soak up God’s goodness whenever they can.


      Eastern Painted Turtle

      Painted Turtle Life Span

      Painted Turtle Facts


      1. Your poem is beautiful! It was a beautiful day out there and the sunburn on my arms proves it! I don't think I have ever seen so many turtles! You are right. Who could get tired of seeing them! Nice post Nancy!

        1. Thank you Carol Ann for commenting. There is something unique on the river every time we go - it doesn't matter if we have paddled the same section over and over - always something new to see.

          Sunburn - I have one on my arms and chest and my face (even with SPF 30!).

          Good time had by all.

      2. Nan;

        You are a poet even as simple as a turtle
        You make just as easy as they hurtle
        Back into the water where they live
        and breathe thanks to God they do give.


        1. Hi Dad,
          Love your poem too - where do you think I got that talent???

          Who knew turtles could bring out such wonderful thoughts. Love you.

      3. Nancy, how cool is this sighting of the turtles!!!! You amaze me with your journeys and your talents!!! That poem is magnificent!!

        1. Christy,
          Really, there were so many turtles it was incredible. Everywhere we looked we could see them. Thank you for the compliment on my poem - I find writing them enjoyable. One day you will have to come along on the river with us!


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