Sunday, May 23, 2010

Loves Labor, A Mother Turtles Tale

Last night Renita and I were treated to a very special sight, that of a turtle preparing a nest and laying her eggs. Its the first time we have ever seen such an event, other than on the internet or tv and so we feel that we hve been treated with a special gift from God.
Now Renita had been telling me to check the rear stabilizers legs as it seemed to feel like there was some movement. Of course I had ignored her for a while as I would never forget to lower the rear stabilizers.....
So I went out last night and saw a dark oval shape next to our campsite. As I looked closer I saw it was a turtle and that she was digging quite a deep hole with her hind legs. Slowly she would reach down the narrow opening and then scoop out a small amount of wet dirt and mud,(it had just rained hard in the afternoon).
Going inside and telling Renita she came out and we both watched her slow movement as she would stretch and dig and then switch legs. I took several pictures and then we left her alone, not wishing to disturb her as it was her time and her place.
Later I went out and saw that she was motionless and covering the hole. Surely she was laying her clutch of eggs, but we couldn't see them and so I took another image and then went back inside.
The next morning she was gone and the hole had been covered over. It was such a good job that we would never suspect that a nest had been made and filled and covered. If not for the slightly damp looking earth it would be almost impossible to find. Her nest was on a south facing slope and about 50 yards/meters from a pond.
We wonder if we should tell the park people or if we should leave well enough alone? All I know is that we have been blessed to see such a sight. Clear skies.

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