Of Turtles, Bees and Other Things on 03-12-15

Because I worked late yesterday and will be working on Saturday, I left an hour early today and took the dog for a walk at William Land Park. Along with the ubiquitous ducks, geese, and squirrels, I also came across what I at first thought was a rock poking out at a weird angle under a bush.  On closer inspection, I realized it was a Pond Turtle.  It was in such a weird position, I thought maybe it was a “she” and was laying eggs but I didn’t see any eggs, and what she was sitting in didn’t look like a normal “nest” for this kind of turtle  (they usually like hard-pan dirt they can cover with vegetation), so I don’t know what she was doing there.  I took some photos of her and then put her back…  Along the shore of the island in the middle of the duck pond there was a whole “bale” of Red-Eared Slider Turtles, including a handful of babies.  (Apparently, the name for a group of turtles is a bale, or a nest, a turn, or a dole.)  Red-Eared Slider Turtles are invasive… maybe they’ve overrun the island and that’s why I found the Pond Turtle in the park…Don’t know.

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Some of the short bushes there were being buzz-bombed by about six golden male Carpenter Bees.  They weren’t gathering pollen or sipping nectar; instead they were dancing back and forth, showing off in the afternoon sun for female who seemed more interested in eating than she was in mating.  I think the males are so neat-looking.  All golden fuzz with bright green eyes and coppery wings…  I tried to get some photos of them, but they wouldn’t hold still.

The dog and I walked for about an hour and then headed back home.