Jasmine was barking like crazy at something in the middle of the back yard.
It was a turtle, laying eggs in a not-so-secluded spot.
I shooed the dog away, took a few pictures, and left her to it.
I went out later to try to find the egg site, but couldn't relocate it.
It finally did dawn on me later, that some previous mystery sites (small wet shallow holes) were places where turtles had recently laid eggs. Aha! I felt so smart. I mentioned this to my husband, and he said something along the lines of, "Of course, didn't you know that already?" Well, maybe I just forgot.
Anyway, this happened a few weeks ago. I found the turtle pictures again when moving some photos off the camera's disk. So I set out to identify the turtle.
I found a couple of good ID sites. One is the Turtle Field Guide. But it asked a lot of questions that I didn't have the answers to.
Then there's the Turtle Identification Guide and Checklist. I like that one better, because you don't have to know each answer before moving on to the next question. Plus, there are the drawings, and satisfying little check boxes.
But I'm still not sure which turtle this is. That would have required
1) Washing the turtle off, to try to make out the pattern on her back a bit better, and
2) Turning her over, to examine the pattern on the bottom.
Doing either of those things would fall into the "harassing wildlife" category though, I think.
I checked as many boxes as I could, but still came up with 11 possibilities. I think she may be a Florida Cooter, Pseudemys floridana. Or she could be a slider... Maybe a painted turtle. But I'm leaning towards Cooter.
Submitted to the Friday Ark.