Finally, one that wasn’t in the road.

Shortly after lunch, Beowulf wanted me and the Best Mom Ever to know that there was something weird out in the yard. We ran to the window to look and didn’t see anything except…what looked like a rock, wandering toward the woods. Turtle! I lamented that we’d eaten all the strawberries the night before and bolted out the door with the camera. I have rescued fifteen or more off the road around here, but this is the first time I ever had some leisure to get a good look. She was most obliging, too, not bothering to box up since I didn’t touch her (although I was tempted to take the cobweb off her back, but figured she wouldn’t appreciate it).

An Eastern Box Turtle looks at the camera from an indifferent and thin bit of lawn.  Turtle faces always look angry.  Her eyes are a deep orangish-red, set in a striking face of bright yellow with black lacing.  One foreleg is forward, caught in the act of taking a step, and the same bright yellow scales with black edges can be clearly seen on it.  Her shell is a dusty black with darker, orangier yellow markings on the scutes in patterns suggestive of alien handprints.  Her shell is also mildly deformed, the sides tucked and a bit steep rather than being smoothly domed, with clear growth ridges on the scutes.  The edges of her peripheral scutes are rough and damaged.  She has clearly been crawling through a cobweb, the remains of which are caught on the back of her shell along with bits of detritus.

A top view of the same turtle, showing the darker yellow pattern on the top of her head, clearly damaged scutes at the edge of her shell, especially in front, and one extend back leg, which is black and scaly and looks a little as if it is wearing ill-fitting trousers.

Still the same turtle, this time viewed from behind.  From this angle, you have a fetching three-quarters view of her face as she keeps an eye on the photographer.  You can also see that her tail is tucked to one side, which marks her as probably female.  Another charming detail visible from this angle are the two yellow racing stripes that run down each black back leg.

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Comments (0) | Pictures,Wildlife — Tags: — Andrea @ 1310 on 5 June, 2010

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