Friday, February 24, 2017

Turkles! And a New Bridge

I've photographed this particular scene many times over the last 5 years, so look closely. What's different about this photo? Yup, that's a brand new bridge on the right. And what's missing? The massive Norway Maple that used to be behind the bridge. That Maple has been dead longer than I've lived here, and I'd always been more than a little paranoid walking under it. Well, a couple of months ago it came down in one of the big wind storms we've been having this past Winter, and shattered the bridge as it came down. Now they've finally cleared out the remains of the fallen tree and built a new bridge. I'm predicting that within the next month the Boy Scouts will come and paint the bridge red.

This was what greeted me as I walked through the Dykeman Spring Nature Park on my way to the grocery store this morning. We're having some unseasonably warm weather this week, and it's gotten into the 70s (21º - 26º C) yesterday and today; it's February and I've been sleeping with the windows open! In any case, I wanted to see how the warm weather was affecting the park, and I got an eyeful. There were Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds everywhere, chip-chipping at me as I walked along the trail in the wetland. Unfortunately none of them would sit still in camera range. But surprise, surprise! Something I didn't expect was a bunch of Painted Turtles in various parts of the wetland out sunning themselves. Below are shots of 3 of the 5 I saw on my walk. Enjoy!

A closer view of the new bridge
The view north toward the red bridge. This view was previously blocked by the massive Maple that blew down.
Two Painted Turtles sunning in the bog pond next to the north duck pond
A Painted Turtle sunning on a rock in the north duck pond
© 2017 by A. Roy Hilbinger 

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