Saturday, May 9, 2009

TURTLE TALES




Yesterday really was my day. I've been trying for a year to get a good shot of these Painted Turtles. "How hard could it be," you ask. "Turtles are really slow," you say. Well, let me tell you, when you want a good photograph or maybe to eat one, they are REALLY fast! This type of turtle is known for basking in the sun on semi-submerged logs. I don't know where they go on cloudy days, maybe to a bar with a big screen TV. You've got to have a long lens to get a close shot. That was my first problem last year. Once I had that solved, I had to wait for a sunny day and sneak up on them. That's where it got tricky. You can not sneak up on a turtle. No matter how quietly you walk, skulking along like an Abenaki hunter in buckskins, they can feel your footfall. The turtles in this photo are in fact, on alert. See how their heads are all up, looking for the noise source? Then, plip, plip, plop, plop, and into the water they go! They gave me such a headache I could have used some "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz!" No matter how long you sit and wait for them, they don't come back. I've done a lot of meditation while waiting for the Return Of The Turtles, to no avail. I've driven by these same turtles on this same log a hundred times. They idly soaked up the sun, taunting me. But yesterday, I finally got them! I observed that they werent' bothered by cars whizzing by, so I drove right up to them. They did not flinch! I kept the engine running and stepped out carefully, creeping around the body of the car like a cop with a suspect in his sights. I had two seconds, no more, to decide to aim for the heart or the head. I took both and the perps went down! So the question is, was that lazy man's wildlife photography since I drove up to them or was it patience, patience, patience?

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations on shooting the owls and the really fast turtles.

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  2. Thanks, Robin, for the turtles and the owls. You are the real thing. Also, “sincere” and “savage” in the (beautiful) pileated sense.

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  3. Robin.....I found your writing about cleaning out your Grandmother's home very interesting and touching as well. You see, my own Mother is now 100 yrs old and I will face the same experience as you sometime soon. Having reached my 72 Birthday this past week, I think of my own 2 children having to do the same when Fred and I die. C'est la vie. Keep writing and taking photos! Kaky

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  4. But you've got to love it when the turtles line up along the log to sun themselves. Congrats on finally outsmarting the turtles from some who has spent years trying to outsmart peabrain trout as a fly fisher and birds as a photographer. It's never as easy as it looks!

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  5. The old using the car as a blind trick... I so it all the time. Egrets are completely oblivious to cars.

    Nice shot!

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