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Monday, July 9, 2012

A Turtle Laying Eggs

Several weeks ago, I was photographing a family at Gull Lake Resort. While walking to a new location during the session, I spotted a large painted turtle along the way. Knowing that the kids liked turtles, I pointed it out and we went to look at it. But because we were in the middle of the session, the kids agreed to wait until after to play with it.

After we wrapped up the session, we headed back over to the turtle. The kids ran ahead and soon started shouting for us to hurry up. "Dad, come look at what the turtle did!"

As we walked up, we saw that it looked like the turtle had maybe had to go to the bathroom, and had made a mess below it. But then, we looked a little closer and saw that it was digging a hole with it's back legs.

Upon close investigation, we discovered that it was a mama turtle and she was going to lay her eggs! My clients and I stood around this turtle and watched her as she finished digging the hole for her eggs, proceeded to lay 8-10 eggs in the hole, and then start to cover it back up. It was like National Geographic, right in front of my eyes! And of course, since we'd just finished up a session, I had my camera with me.

If you don't want to watch a turtle lay her eggs, don't keep reading. If you want to see it, let's watch!

First, the mama turtle peed in the dirt to make mud. Then she used her back legs to push the mud aside and made a hole to lay her eggs in. LKR_3042 LKR_3045 LKR_3053 LKR_3057LKR_3060 Then, once the hole was deep enough [she would check by sticking her leg in the hole and extending it to check the depth], she was ready to lay her eggs. The first egg she laid was too quick for me to capture - I wasn't ready. But once I knew she was laying eggs, I got ready and got lucky. LKR_3065 LKR_3062 Then, once she finished laying the 8-10 eggs, she started covering the hole up with her back legs. LKR_3073
I was so excited to tell my parents about it [they love nature]. Then, I got a text from them a few days later saying that while they were out on an evening walk, they came across another turtle laying her eggs! It must be turtle-egg-laying season, and we both got really lucky to be at the right place at the right time to watch it happen!

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