May 1, 2009 [LINK / comment]

The merry, merry month of May

"I was walking down Bell's Lane one day..." Actually, it was a few days ago, in April, but it was warm enough for May. The recent heat wave was a welcome relief for the cold-blooded animal species who depend on sunlight to maintain their body heat. Which leads me to this large reptile that I saw on two consecutive days a few hundred yards apart on Bell's Lane. It's possible it was two different turtles, but I saw it get up on its legs and start walking, to my surprise, so he could have covered that much ground.

Snapping Turtle

This Snapping Turtle was trying to cross Bell's Lane early on Sunday morning.

Jacqueline was entranced by the beast, and I had to warn her that she could lose a finger if she got too close. Granted, turtles aren't what most people think about when they think of spring, but they are among the most seasonally-sensitive of all wild animals in this part of the country. The wild birds and flowers are the clearest sign that spring is really here at last.

Dogwood flowers

Dogwood flowers, one of the nicest things about spring in Virginia. Click on the image to see a larger-size version.