Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Turtle Tuesday - Florida Softshell

A new series is born!

While I can't promise turtle postings every week, Tuesday's will be Turtle Day for this blog :)

I saw my first Softshell a little over a year ago and was amazed at its size.  It had to be a female. This species' females can grow to 24 3/4 inches!!!

 A deliveryman spotted the turtle crossing the street and was making sure this amazing creature made it safely across. Of course I had to stop, too :)  He tried to pick it up and the turtle was having nothing to do with that.  It gathered its legs underneath and lunged into the air each time he tried to grab it... feisty one!

When trying to help a turtle, it's best to stand back and just direct traffic.  Turtles know where they are going and always have a purpose connected to their walk.  If you do pick one up, when you set it down, make sure you point it in its original direction.

Last week was Camp Spring Island at work.  For three days, the grandchildren of Spring Island members get immersed in a nature camp.  Tony Mills, our Education Director, brought in several species of turtles for one of the programs.  When I spotted the softshell, I knew I'd be staying late to sketch :)

She wasn't too bad of a model.  Every now and then she'd get curious and lift her head a bit. Equally as feisty as the one I encountered before.... Do not touch my shell!  Apparently, their neck is so long, they can reach around very easily and bite whoever is trying to pick them up from behind.....  now that gives me pause!

I'd like to credit a Peterson Field Guild by Roger Conant and Joseph T. Collins 
for the information included on my journal page.