Female Spotted Turtle
Warm sunshine and Saint Patrick’s Day brought out the best in nature. Turtle Journal visited the pond at Brainard Marsh on the South Coast of Massachusetts to see what might be stirring. Sue Wieber Nourse found a mature female spotted turtle and a tiny spotted yearling basking on the moss covered banks of shallow Brainard Pond, and a fire red wood frog catching the late morning rays on the surface of the pond.
Mature Female Spotted Turtle with Head Withdrawn
The mature female, caught unaware in the act of basking, withdrew her head inside her dark shell adorned with yellow spots. The yearling spotted turtle was so camouflaged that it lay hidden in “plain sight.” Once Sue recognized that the tiny leaf was actually a spotted yearling, she crept stealthily toward it. When just within grasp of the tiny critter, it hopped like a spring-loaded frog from the bank into the pond in a single leap.
Mature Female Spotted Turtle in Brainard Marsh
The short video clip documents the discovery and the release of the mature female spotted turtle at Brainard Marsh in Marion, Massachusetts on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Mature Female Spotted Turtle Carapace and Plastron
Spotted turtles are a real beauty!
Wood Frog from Brainard Marsh Pond
Basking on the surface of Brainard Pond, a fire red wood frog caught Sue’s attention. If you’ve never tried to capture a slippery frog in its own milieu, then you haven’t the slightest concept of the phrase “Mission Impossible.” Undeterred, Sue plunged into the mucky water and snagged the wood frog in a swingle swoop.
Wood Frog Released Back into Brainard Pond
While wood frogs are reportedly plentiful in the Northeast, this one represents the first that Turtle Journal has identified on the South Coast of Massachusetts.
Spotted turtles and a gaudy wood frog … not a bad showing from nature for Saint Patrick’s Day.