Well, hello friends! Yes, yes . . . this blog, though seasonally neglected, still exists. Thanks for sticking with me!
Several weeks ago, the boys and I went hunting for tadpoles in a flooded roadside ditch. I dipped Colin’s net into the water and scooped out a pile of murk, 15 tadpoles, and one baby Painted turtle! What a cool, unexpected surprise!
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Baby turtles, or hatchlings, are born in late summer. This means that the turtle we found hatched last summer and overwintered in its sandy nest with its siblings. Pretty amazing!
Turtles are cold-blooded reptiles and spend many hours a day basking in the sun to keep warm. They eat algae, aquatic plants and insects, and even small fish! Wild turtle hatchlings are difficult to care for, so we only kept our turtle (the boys named it Timmy) for the morning. They were sad to release Timmy, but understand that wild critters are best left in nature and not taken as pets.
Colin wanted to remember his fun morning with Timmy, so he made a Pattern Block Turtle.
I helped him trace the shapes from his favorite pattern block kit. He traced a pattern onto a white circle, while I cut out turtle legs and a turtle head from black construction paper. When the design was finished, Colin glued his colorful paper tiles onto the turtle’s shell. He was very proud of his beautiful masterpiece!
This time of year, Painted turtle Mamas (and other types of turtle Mamas) are busy digging nests in sandy soil and laying a clutch of up to 11 eggs! The digging/laying process takes several hours and many turtles return to the same nesting site year after year. If you find a turtle, please treat it kindly! (And if you are unable to identify it, please simply leave it alone – a good thing for kids to know as well! You don’t want to be bitten by a Snapper!)