Thursday, July 19, 2012

Skies, Scenes, Birds, Turtle Love, Butterflies , Insects, Chipmunks and Red Squirrels of the Vermilon River. A Post to SWF.

 We had some rain this week which cooled things off. So hiking was good, as long as I was out early in the morning. The skies are from the east track area and the scenes from Mystic Lake.

I'VE SET THE POST UP TO WORK ON THE SLIDE SHOW FORMAT. BUT YOU SHOULD READ THE COPY FIRST, ESPECIALLY FOR THE TURTLE SEQUENCE, SO YOU'LL KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING.

 A post to SWFCamera Critters, and Scenic Sunday
Looking NE


Mystic Lake

 I had photographed this female Snapping Turtle in the spring on her way to lay eggs in a sandy spot. You need to take a close look at her in this photo and in the side view below to see what's front and back, and top and bottom.
 Notice that her head does not retreat into her shell. There's no room. Take a look at her claws and her tail. These guys are from the dinosaur era, and have successfully survived until now. But they're at risk now because of loss of habitat, mainly. Her shell length is about 12 inches, which indicates she's about 22 years of age or older. They start to breed around 13 to 17 years of age, laying 40 to 50 eggs in late May or June. Incubation temperature determines the gender of the young. They live up to 70 years of age, and can weigh up to 30 pounds. If you have occasion to lift one, do not lift it by the tail as you'll injure them. Lift them by the shell, but be wary as out of the water they'll bite and the neck is quite long.

 In the water they live at the bottom of the pond on fish, frogs, and other pond life. They're not good swimmers so they tend to walk on the bottom of the pond, and they can hold their breath quite long. The male mates with the female by climbing on top of her; holding her shell, and aligning his vent with hers.
 They mate anywhere from April until November.The female holds the sperm until needed.

There are a number of web sites on snapping turtles, all of which are good, but Biokids.umich.edu is the best on the reproductive habits.
 I saw these two in the east track wetland coming up from the bottom like a sci-fi film, complete with air bubbles and murky water. The whole episode took more than half an hour.
 They seem to spend a lot of time getting the position tight.
And rolling around.

Now one of them is sideways.

Here's the other one.







 Now it's all over.
  Canada Geese or Crackling Geese? They've been re-classified.
Chestnut-sided Warblers.

Same

Same.

Male Common Yellow-throat Warbler.

Same

Rear view.

Northern Flicker-Male.



Ruby-throated Hummingbird.



Juvenile Song Sparrow in a wind.

Northern Harrier. 





Canada Thistle.

Common Mullein

Evening Primrose.

Phlox?

Ripened Berries.

Dragonfly

Fritillary on Dogbane.

Same

 Usually Chipmunks are hard to get as they're at the bottom of the food chain. Bur this little fellow almost posed, or maybe he just wouldn't give up the food. They're ground squirrels, and true hibernators.


 In the last two photos, he's eating a grasshopper.
Red Squirrel

He's shucked the covering and gotten the berry.

62 comments:

  1. So wonderful photos of nature!I love the photos of the red squirrels!Great shots all!Thank you for sharing and have a nice weekend!

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  2. Love it!
    Have a great evening!

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  3. How fabulous to find a turtle. I didn't know they existed in Canada in the wild.

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  4. Another marvelous post, Gary, - chock full of information and entertainnment.

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  5. Gorgeous photos as usual, Gary. I'm amazed at your photography.

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  6. Gorgeous. Happy sky watching and a great weekend to you and yours.

    My Sky shots.

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  7. the chippy is adorable! i witnessed 2 snappers mating here this week, as well. doubt my shots will be as close up as yours are, though. i'd prefer not to have them here as they take ducklings and even break adult duck legs.

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  8. I love the turtle photos!

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  9. Excellent series of photos, I like these tortoises at Lake Mystic.

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  10. I love those photos Gary, that harrier is spectacular.

    Shaun

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  11. You do have an incredible variety today, Gary!! Beautiful skies and colorful flowers, the turtles are amazing, delightful birds and -- of course, the adorable chipmunks! Delight captures as always! Have a great weekend!

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  12. what wonderful photos. I will have a photo of a chipmunk who has been in a fight on my blog on Friday.

    Had to stop the other week to let a snapping turtle cross the road........very slow process!!

    Gill

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  13. I always like to see your photos because they are pretty good. The snapper and the chipmunks looks they are showing of. ^_^ Thanks for the visit.


    SWF

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  14. interesting sequence of the turtles. :)

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  15. What a beautiful hike filled with the wonders of nature. Those turtles looks enormous. All the shots are great.

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  16. Cool shots of the Snappers. They do look big. And I love all your birds, wonderful shots. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. your wildlife photos never fail to amaze me once again.

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  18. Great photos as usual! The turtle shots are amazing. We used to have many huge snapping turtles in our pond, and we did manage to safely remove them... I always love your bird shots. You caught marvelous light in some of these. Wonderful series

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  19. Fantastic pictures, Gary. And interesting info on the snappers.

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  20. I loved the information on the snapping turtles. The info about the incubation temp determining the gender is fascinating.

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  21. Another beautiful hike and another beautiful photo-story!

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  22. Beautiful blue sky and nature at its best.

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  23. Another fabulous set of shots! I have never seen snappers rolling over like that.

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  24. Hi there - the turtle and the chipmunk are my favs here - what great animals.

    Stewart M

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  25. Great series again. The photo's of the turtle are very special, but the last bird is my favourite.

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  26. Amazing photos, great documentation of the turtles. Love the chestnut sided warblers, never seen them before.

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  27. Hi Gary

    Your sequence with the Snapping Turtle was wonderful and I really enjoyed your chipmunk and squirrel photos you got great shots.

    Hi to Boomer.

    Guy

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  28. You always have the most fascinating posts about nature!

    «Louis» thanks you for your visit to San Francisco Bay Daily Photo.

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  29. these shots are just awesome. very scenic. mind-blowing

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  30. Oh, wonderful photos! And the chipmunk is so cute ;-)
    Thank you for visit my blog!

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  31. Don't think I've seen pictures of snapping turtles before, great series. All the birds are wonderful, I think the flicker my favorite. And of course the Chipmunk ...ahhhhh.

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  32. The information about the snapping turtles was especially fascinating. Quite incredible that you caught them mating, and excellent shots too. That they don't breed until at least 13 years of age is amazing to me, as is the number of eggs laid. I wonder how many of those survive to live a full life.

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  33. ✿彡✿⊱╮¸.•°
    Fotografias maravilhosas.
    Feliz Dia do Amigo!
    Bom fim de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil
    ✿彡

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  34. Magnificent turtle pics and stunning Blue Warbler!

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  35. Such beautiful nature shots! Your series on the turtles is very interesting. And I always love seeing your birds. :)

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  36. Why aren't you working for National Geographic?? (Or are you?) :-)

    I think your raptors-in-flight photos are your best sky pictures, especially that last one, where he's looking right at you!

    My husband adores turtles of all kinds (including those caught in flagrante delicto) , while I think chipmunks are among the cutest, and prettiest, critters around. Love your photos!

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  37. What an opportunity to see the snapping turtles. - Margy

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  38. Brilliant captures and oh so informative!!

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  39. These are great shots, Gary! Fun to see the turtles as they don't seem to be anything I ever come across. And of course your birds are lovely, as always. We have Flickers, too, who insist on trying to maneuver their way onto a suet cage that's set out for the little Finches. Apparently, they're both beautiful and persistent...:)

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  40. It was Boomer's profile pic that drew me over to visit and wow am I glad I did. The bird photos and chipmunks were such a joy for me, have never seen anything like them. Thanks so much for sharing and presenting such amazing photos.

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  41. Your posts are always so beautiful and this was a lesson about turtles too! Thanks for stopping by my blog :o)

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  42. Fantastic capture of the turtles in actions. Have a nice weekend.

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  43. a wonderful feast of photos here again..love the flight shots...great and turtles are so fascinating..yes cute chipmunk too....I admire how much work you put into your blog and into each posting. This is a serious blog!!

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  44. Ah, I want chipmonks, what cute pictures, they are adorable ! but in our &$%"* clima, they probably wouldn't survive !
    The turtle pictures are amazing !

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  45. Beautiful photos as always. The squirrel is so cute.

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  46. Wonderful series of images as usual , the turtle and the chipmunk are my favorite here.

    Ottar

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  47. Again, a lot of wonderful shots - great :0) Have a nice weekend :0)

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  48. Last June, I saw a very big turtle... I really scared Σ( ̄[] ̄;)! but I like turtle though!
    ヾ(  ̄▽)

    Angie MinWookEe

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  49. Fabulous photos, Gary, especially the turtle shots, but my favorite has to be the young bird being ruffled up by the wind. How cute is that?
    K

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  50. Such a cute series of characters and beautiful flowers! I am intrigued by the turtle and all the different postures in the water as he rolls around!

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  51. The snapping turtle shots are amazing!

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  52. Wow..these are all great photos and such a wonderful bunch of birds and animals. Your world sure looks more lively then things around here. Very interesting snapper shots. I've never seen them mate. They are so prehistoric looking...and a bit scary. Love the chipmunk and the warblers.

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  53. The turtle shots made my day. What a beautiful series. They sure do work hard to keep the line going! Thanks for the story. I totally respect these solitary survivors.

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  54. Wonderful series of the snapping turtle, thanks for sharing. Love the Chestnut-sided Warblers and the background color is beautiful. Have a great week!

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  55. As always your photos are excellent. I especially enjoyed all the info on the snapping turtles. I did not know all of that. The chipmunk shots are my favorite.

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  56. Incredible pictures Gary, so many different creatures. The turtle series was very interesting and informative, we don't have snapping turtles here in the UK.

    I found your your blog via camera critters and am now your newest follower so I can keep up with your adventures.

    Paul

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  57. I think the phlox-like flower is called Bouncing Bet.

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