Thursday, April 8, 2010

golfcart constitutional, nature edition

While at my dad's house this past weekend, he informed me that the local sand hill crane couple that lives in his park hatched babies since i was there over Christmas. I've only ever seen them around the lakes, but apparently they go foraging in people's yard sometimes.
You know what that means... jump in the golf cart and go looking for them.
Hello there.
It looked at first like all four of the birds were foraging for themselves, but once i watched them for a while i could see that each adult was teaching one of the chicks to forage by going through the motions to peck out and catch some tasty morsel, but then the chick took it from their beak. Each pair continued in that way until one of the adults caught sight of its reflection in the living room window and proceeded to go peck at the window to chase it away.
Back at the house we were talking about the various wildlife around the park, including the resident alligator, while watching the ospreys dive for fish and Dad said Well, you've seen the turtles, right?
What turtles?
Back into the golf cart we went, down to the gazebo on one of the lakes.
I expected a few sliders or painted turtles so i was surprised to see this long-nosed guy swim by. Nope, i have no idea what it is, but there were several of them in various sizes. Once i tossed in some crumbs they were quickly joined
by sliders and mud turtles as well as some really fast fish.
In fact, it got to be a bit of a frenzy
with animals swimming in and out of frame like mad and piling right on top of each other.
I never got a good shot of the mass, but at one point there were 21 turtles in about a 3 foot square area with who knows how many fish.
That's some wildlife.


Anonymous said...

Your mystery turtle appears to be a Florida Softshell.


Kaaren said...

We have a pair of sandhill cranes that come to our yard almost every day. Boy, if they had babies?? Isabel would melt into a puddle of happiness.

David said...

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