Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zen: Turtle Tracks In The Sand

This post was submitted to House of 'Herps #4 - St Patricks Edition.' Visit 'Kind of Curious' to read a bunch of neat posts about herps.

There they were. Tracks of something that wandered – somewhat aimlessly it seemed – across the sand exposed under the pedestrian bridge by the Section B boat launch (segment 1-17).

A closer look...

A close-up. It was when I looked at this magnification that I could see that something had dragged on the sand between the tracks. And then it suddenly dawned on me that they were turtle tracks. Although I have seen one River Turtle, Yellow-bellied Sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta) are the most numerous turtles in the lake. Based on size, at least two turtles wandered across this section of sand. There were more tracks. They wandered around between here and the water.

I wonder what happened. I wonder if the turtles were confused when the water level was lowered and wandered for a while before they realized that there was no worthwhile body of water upstream and wandered back to the lake. It is clear that they didn’t wander back this way again. When I visited this area last weekend, these tracks had aged and lost definition and there were no new tracks.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Related posts:
- Marburg Creek Reservoir: Fort Yargo State Park

- Yellow-bellied Slider: Trachemys scripta scripta

- Yellow-bellied Sliders: Basking In The Sun


Joy K. said...

Those pictures look like beautiful abstract artworks.

I'm jealous--I'd love to find tracks like that. Right now, I content myself with the tiny handprints of raccoons.

JSK said...

That was my first take too. Abstract art.
I was delighted when I realized what they were. I had never seen turtle tracks 'in the wild' - only on TV and, then, only ocean turtles like Loggerheads. When I searched Google Images, I only found one image for Yellow-bellied Sliders from Audobon - South Carolina.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Turtle tracks! How cute, and really neat texture photos too. I see turtles often, but not their tracks so often!

JSK said...

Turtle tracks are a rarity here too. The water level is normally high enough that the turtles don't leave the water. I think the fact that the water level was lowered by 8-9 feet confused them. The tracks wandered around and didn't go further away from the water here.
The water level is higher now and this area is under water again. This may have been a 'once in a lifetime' viewing.