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I go on vacation, take a picture of a turtle, and feel bad

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:44 am
by ljapa
So, the family took a long deserved vacation to a state park in Ohio. We brought the dog and stayed in a cabin. One morning, while coming back from a walk with the dog, I saw an Eastern Box Turtle about 4 feet from the edge of the woods. I made sure the dog didn't see her, took the dog in and came back with my camera. Here's a couple of shots:

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I took these with a telephoto lens and tried not to disturb her.

I went back in and told my son, who was still abed. After waiting a bit and realizing he was moving very slow, I went back out, and she was almost back in the woods:

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I was so proud of myself. I'd kept the dog from bothering her. I had stayed far enough away taking my pictures that she hadn't gone into her shell.

I was feeling pretty good.

Then, I looked at where she had been when I first saw her:

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I'd disturbed a female who had just started digging to lay a clutch of eggs. I felt awful. I know she'll find another spot soon, but I think about the stories of keepers here with frantic females, and to think that I interrupted a wild one who had finally started....

Re: I go on vacation, take a picture of a turtle, and feel b

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:11 am
by steve
Wow, she looks beautiful. I think you did right thing and shouldn't feel bad. They go into a trance when they are laying their eggs and you can get very close when they are in that mode. They are very vulnerable to predators and there are other reasons why she could leave that spot.

Re: I go on vacation, take a picture of a turtle, and feel b

PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:14 pm
by xcristina
She's so beautiful.
I'm sure there were other reasons she left the spot, Bobo did the same thing while digging for the first time, she hit harder soil and abandoned. The next two times she dug, she couldn't care less about anyone near her. Trance is really the best word for the state she was in. So don't worry.