Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Turtle and the Strawberry

This weekend I was putting out some fruit for the birds (didn't get any takers) when I stumbled upon this Eastern Box Turtle (a relatively common sight in this area, though it is a species of Special Concern in NYS).  I wanted to take some photos of it with my macro so I put it on the outdoor table adjacent to the fruit.  I went to get my lens and when I came back he decided to have a snack.  I watched as he munched away most of the strawberry and was laughing most of the time.  If you have never seen a turtle eat, especially eat something bigger than it's head, it's an amusing sight.  Add to that all of the strawberry juice that was getting on his face and well I'm sure you'll laugh too.  After it had devoured most of the strawberry, I set it free in the yard and will hopefully stumble upon him again soon.  For those concerned about me "feeding" a wild animal, let me state that Eastern Box Turtles are incredibly omnivorous and will eat anything they can catch up to.  They even have the ability to eat mushrooms that are toxic to humans and the strawberry it ate on is just a giant version of the wild strawberrys that grow in my yard.

This turtle can be ID'd as a male due to its red eye (the females have brown eyes) ans is probably relatively young (they can live 60-80 years in the wild) based on its vibrant colors (older adults are much more dull).  I have entitled the photo below 'The Carnage' because of the blood red flesh and juice all over its face.

An extreme closeup of the eye:

He was a bit shy at first, but quickly warmed up to me and my camera:

A very messy eater....

BIG bite....

This is what a very happy Eastern Box Turtle looks like:

Now we go from cute to creepy.  This spider (ID unknown) was found unfortunately in my bedroom... but I was able to capture it and take it outside for a photo shoot before letting it go to the woods where it should be.  And yes, it was huge... the body alone was about 1" in size.

The "perch" that I photographed this spider on is an old odd shaped piece of drift wood I picked up a few years ago that has been sitting around in my yard.  I started off using just the macro 105mm, but added the teleconverter later to allow an even closer view (as if I needed one) of this spider.

Super closeup:

And I'll round this post out with some cute and furry groundhog photos.  This is from EPCAL and is (likely) the same groundhog I previously photographed in early April.

Doing its best prairie dog impression:

ATTACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I really started laughing when I saw this photo after uploading my images to my computer:

1 comment:

  1. We have a Western Ornate box turtle, which is common in the Southern Midwest and she will eat fruit and bugs. But I do love watching her eat and it always makes for good pictures.