Sleuthin’.

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Well, despite Parker’s antics that I described in detail yesterday, I did not don a disguise after all.  Instead, the high dew points and humidity made me subtract clothing – I shed two layers and I was still warm.  Slowly, these past two days, we’ve inched back to the uncomfortably warm weather again, but I won’t whine about it since Florence trumps ALL weather at this time.

I do my best thinking while walking back and forth to the Park, and, except for watching out for cars and uneven pavement, most days I just let my mind be a blank canvas as I walk along and enjoy the sights along the way.  As you know, once I’m down at the Park, my furry pals pre-empt any woolgathering on my part.

Today was no different.  I did my three loops, and, at the tail end of the trail, fellow walker Mike called out  to me:  “Hey, you missed the chicken hawk – it was back near the beginning of the trail, same as before.”  I sighed and told Mike I’ve been scanning the skies ever since the big hawk swooped down on Stubby back in early August, just minutes after I fed him.  Luckily, Stubby ran under the picnic table in the pavilion and escaped.  I know I will rethink putting small apples out for my little buddies when they are cheap and plentiful, as I usually do each Fall, because I don’t want the squirrels being sitting ducks for the hawks – perhaps I’ll hide them under the picnic tables.  In the second loop I saw Stubby and Midnight, then Parker again before I left the Park, so, in counting noses, I know those three were present and accounted for.  I worry about all the squirrels getting nabbed by a hawk.  I can’t really I.D. most of the squirrels – there are way too many of them, and, finally the youngsters are coming around and are not so timid as before, probably taking their cue from the adult squirrels who are similarly in hunting-and-gathering-mode.

It dawned on me enroute to the Park, that perhaps that hole I saw adjacent to the turtle nest might have been the escape route for the hatchlings.  I’ve been following the larger parks on Facebook this Summer to check out local nature events.  Last night, a post by Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve about turtle hatchlings made me stop and ponder that post, then take a screenshot of it.

crosswinds info

I wondered if these baby snapping turtles, just the size of a quarter, did indeed climb out of that small hole, and not the big nest area hole, to make a beeline to the nearby Creek?  Brilliant!  Why didn’t I think of that before?

So, I went past this morning, peered into the hole to get an idea how deep it was, but I couldn’t tell and didn’t want to disturb anything.  I decided to reach out to Crosswinds and see if that might have been their exit route.  When I got online, I sent a picture of the nest as well as the adjacent hole and an enlargement of the small hole.  I said I wrote a blog about walking and many people were anticipating the “birth” and growing anxious.

Nest showing hole

Hole by nest

Soon I received a nice reply from Jennifer, which I’m going to share, because it was full of facts and since so many of you have been interested in the turtle hatchlings.

crosswinds info part two.JPG

When I thanked Jennifer, I told her I knew those eggs had to be incubated properly due to our very hot Summer, so she responded to me with this turtle tidbit:

“Yes, with this hot Summer, there were probably a lot of female turtles coming out of that nest! Most turtles have temperature dependent sex determination – hotter incubation produces females (usually those eggs at the top of the nest) and cooler incubation produces males (usually the eggs at the bottom).”

So the takeaway here is “girls rule!”

Perhaps there are still turtle eggs in the nest, so, I will keep my eyes peeled for these hatchlings.  I’d better still watch where I step or put up a sign “Turtle Crossing” … just imagine these quarter-sized critters streaking across the perimeter path!

P.S. – The header picture for this post is a card I got from my friend Carol several years ago.  I liked the verse and the picture and have it in a small frame where I can see it every day.

 

 

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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30 Responses to Sleuthin’.

  1. Trail Walker says:

    Fascinating, Linda. You are very observant and a good caretaker of the wildlife. Thanks for sharing this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting! Good for you for caring so much… we need more people who take the time to protect wildlife. I never knew that some turtles had temperature-dependent sex determination. Since nature always does things for a reason, I wonder why that is so.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Janis. I thought it was interesting too, and when I saw that post last night, I thought maybe I could pursue more info – I am so glad I did! I never knew that about turtles either and I started to write that more “girls” meant more Mamas giving birth to turtles next year, then decided to check how soon that could happen. I saw various sources … one said snapping turtles don’t mature to reproduce for 8 years, another said 10 years. That amazed me as well. I never knew any of these facts either.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Rebecca says:

    These are interesting facts! I had no idea that the babies were that small. I guess that it’s a good idea to be careful and aware of where you walk.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I thought so too Rebecca and I am glad I reached out to Crosswinds to ask more questions. The eggs are ping-pong sized but I would have thought after 90 days they would be bigger than a quarter. Also, I learned snapping turtles don’t reproduce until age 8 to 10 years. I will look down going forward!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………………….I like”Girls Rule”!………………………………..interesting to know more about turtles………………….thanks to Jennifer’s information too………………………………….yes I like the picture heading too……………………………with the little turtle in it

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I enjoyed learning all that info too Ann Marie. Jennifer was very helpful. I have had that card which I put in a small frame (I cropped the frame out of the photo to enlarge the image) and I decided I would use this photo when I saw the baby turtles or I realized they had left the nest. I thought it was a meaningful picture and the fact that a turtle was in it made it even more special. I am glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I watched the area of a turtle nest once. I jotted down the approximate date for the little ones to appear, but I missed them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      I wonder if they come out at night to avoid predators … I can’t imagine they can see the Creek, but perhaps it is an innate sense. I may have another chance next year as I learned that turtles often build the nest in the same location several years in a row.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. AJ says:

    Thank you, I learned something new!
    I also use my outdoor time to think on things or whatever comes to mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      Too bad a turtle’s nest didn’t find its way near your school. I learned new things too AJ and I’m glad I reached out to Crosswinds. Maybe next year I will have more success. I enjoy the quiet time too … sometimes there are nature things happening in the neighborhood, or birdsong, but yes, it is a wonderful “me time” isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. That is so cool! I’ve never seen turtles around here but then again I’m not always observant! We’ve been getting daily visits by a hawk. I have bird feeders out plus we have chipmunks and bunnies. It’s a food market for hawks. I try to keep an “eye” out. I want to chase it but it’s nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Now knowing how small those turtles are, you may have seen them and not known what they were. I did have a pet turtle years ago as a kid, but it was about two inches in diameter. On Facebook there is a crime site for most cities. I was horrified to be reading the daily crimes and matters of interest for my city and saw people had posted pictures of hawks with their young having flying lessons and also describing them going hunting with the youngsters and taking out bunnies, small birds – even pigeons. I know it is nature, but it sure was horrifying. This is not a rural neighborhood at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    What a lot of nature information you shared. Thank goodness all the little creatures are counted and accounted for. There are three new kittens in my group now and two missing adult ones( disappeared- one male and one female). The little kittens like to nest inside my car which is a low engined Camry. Last week I had to call the watchman to get them out after I had driven the car a short while. Today it looks one one travelled quietly in my engine and fell off onto the road and got run over. Thats why I wrote, thank God the squirrels are all accounted for. I don’t like the kittens any more than anyone else but I hate to see them die.
    Your posts seem like chapters from James Heriots’ books. The climate of the world is changing. Back home, after the extraordinary floods, the state is in for a drought.( El Nino effect). A lot of people are using the time to see these are the “signs of the times”- sexual misconduct in churches, sexual misconduct among film actors and so on.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I really enjoyed learning all that information for that post Susie. Today I saw these two strange-looking (and acting) large birds at Heritage Park. I believed there were Cormorants but wasn’t sure and Anne Mehrling has confirmed that they are indeed Cormorants. They kept raising their wings up in the air and holding the out – very interesting.

      Sorry to hear about the fate of the kitten who was sitting on your engine – I have heard of that happening here, but more in the Wintertime, when ferals would go into the engine area to warm up. That is very sad and a horrible way for them to die. I am afraid for Parker following me out into the street and getting hurt or killed by a car. I hope it doesn’t happen, and more so, that I don’t witness it. It is bad enough to worry about the hawk(s) circling overhead, planning their next meal.

      I liked the James Herriot novels very much and my mom bought all the books for me in paperback – had them all at one time and read them over several times and then donated them to the library.

      I believe about the climate change too – how odd for those extraordinary floods and you sent me that news article and I saw them, and now drought. We had drought the entire month of July … it was very hot and I don’t believe it rained at all. Lawns and flowers all crispy. Then August, it rained and rained or was hot and humid. This morning was 70 degrees F (21C) and 97 percent humidity at 8:15 a.m. – we should be headed toward cooler temps. We are part of El Nino as well … they are forecasting a milder Winter this year – last year’s was wicked, with a lot of cold, ice and 62 inches of snow.

      That’s interesting about people seeing a correlation between the weather and the sexual deviance.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG I am loving all this fascinating information about the turtles!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I knew you would enjoy it Diane as you had been asking about the turtles all along. So it appears that they hatched – maybe a few are still in there in the nest, and I will be on the lookout for any stragglers whenever I am there. I had no idea they were that small.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful post, Linda. You love nature as much as I do. That is probably why I love cycling so much. Once Michele and I rescue a tortoise that was in the middle off the highway. It was really hot and was probably disoriented. I found this exciting video about a cyclist who rescued a turtle and brought it back to the lake. It is an emotional moment see the turtle swim away, happy ever after I hope. https://www.newsflare.com/video/229755/animals/us-cyclist-rescues-disoriented-turtle-found-on-trail

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Martha!

      That is a good deed that you and Michele did, and this bicyclist too – she even named him Ralph and he was in good shape once she put him in the water, he started paddling those short legs right away. That makes me feel good as well. I am so glad that I reached out to the Crosswinds Nature Preserve and I think it was providence that I should have read that post, otherwise I would have thought they were going to overwinter in the nest or they had all died.

      I do love nature Martha, and the reason I am really late responding to this comment is because I went to Heritage Park today and saw so many ducks and geese, and there were new waterfowl at the Park today, including a heron that I spent a long time following around the Park. I had a wonderful day and took so many pictures that it took forever to sort them out and pick the ones to include with the post. Here in Michigan, you have to savor the days when you get out and about and see as much wildlife as possible, since soon the birds and butterflies will migrate South and we have to wait until Spring to see them again. You are lucky you have temperate weather all year around – for that I am envious.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mackenzie says:

    This is just too cool! I am tempted to say you could go by the title, “Mother Nature” 🙂 I love how much you care about the sweet turtles too

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for sharing your wildlife watching. I have been telling my mother about your squirrel interactions and turtle updates and she is loving it. You really are the wildlife whisperer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you for saying that Zena and I am glad your mother is enjoying my nature expeditions as well. I went to Council Point Park yesterday and today and Parker followed me out to the street again, but at least he did not run into the middle of the street to eat peanuts!

      Like

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