Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hatchlings

The robins and phoebes are sitting on eggs by now, but nestlings are still a few weeks off yet. We did find one hatchling in our yard today -- a painted turtle. Srini is great at spotting these quarter-sized turtles. They overwinter as eggs and always seem to emerge as we tend the gardens -- weeding, adding compost and loam, dividing perennials. I've never accidentally dug up a turtle nest, so perhaps the hoeing and shoveling is enough ground disturbance to motivate the newborn turtles.




 The small turtles are always heading in the right direction - toward the wetland. I give them a hand up by airlifting them closer to the wetland. These little turtles are so young and yet they look so old. I am in awe of their ability to survive overwinter and then to trek a long distance (for a coin-sized animal) to the nearest waterbody. Yet they carry both protection and crawling tools with them. Just look at those legs. And they tuck completely into their shell as the need arises.

Each spring day reveals new treasures in our yard. Along with the turtle hatchling we heard some new arrivals: black-throated-green warbler and blue-headed vireo. The warblers are coming!

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