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Georgia on My Blog: Basking, Diving and Watching for Predators

April 21, 2014

I love to watch turtles.  I get great pleasure out of seeing the first turtle of the season basking on a rock or log in the warm sun. Here, near Nelson, I enjoy watching Painted Turtles.  Turtles need to maintain their body temperature by basking – and the glacier waters of Kootenay Lake are definitely chilly – even in the warm summer shallows.   Getting a picture of a turtle is a matter of sneaking as close as you can without disturbing the turtle and sending it diving back into the water.  Here in the Kootenays, the turtles are back up on their warm perch fairly soon after you move on.

Georgia is alive with turtles – several species live here, including Painted Turtles.   There were often several turtle heads poking out of the water watching as golfers golfed or walkers walked.  But these turtles took  far longer to craw lout of the water and back to their perches.  Could it have been a species difference?  Or a difference in predation risk?

I have a theory.  Georgians would argue adamantly that the water is NOT warm in Georgia in April.   But face it – Georgian waters are far warmer than the spring glacier waters (probably even the summer waters) of the Kootenays.   If I were a turtle near Nelson I would be back up on that warm rock in the sun as soon as possible.  Georgian turtles may have the luxury of lingering in the shallow, warmer waters of  Georgia, watching for predators (or the golfers) at their leisure.  Kootenay turtles may need to get back into the warm sun to maintain a “healthy” body temperature.

I suppose only the turtles know.

Enjoy the photos!


Several Turtles Basking in the Sun

Turtles basking in the Georgia sun

Turtle in Water

Probably a Mud Turtle

Turtles on a Log

Chicken Turtles? on a log in Georgia


Mud Turtle ? in stream


Mud Turtles about to take the plunge

Rescued from the Swimming Pool

Probably a River Cooter rescued from the swimming pool

Snapping Turtle hidden in the waters of Okefenokee

Beware the Snapping Turtle lurking in the depths!

Watching the Golfers

Watching the golfers golf


all photos copyright J.A. Siderius 2014.






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