Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘turtle

Estuarium

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Before stopping at Bayside Park on August 10 we’d visited the Estuarium on Dauphin Island. The cleverly named Estuarium, on the model of aquarium, highlights the ecosystems in the Mobile Bay estuary. Most prominent among its exhibits are those dealing with animals, many of which are living. Take, for example, this diamondback terrapin turtle, Malaclemys terrapin pileata.

Photo talk: even at ISO 1600 the low light forced my macro lens to open up to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, so I focused on the turtle’s eye in order to get the most important feature sharp, knowing that only a small nearby area would likewise come into focus. For this picture I also composed at an unusual angle. In fact the turtle was positioned horizontally, but as I’ve asked before: what’s reality, anyway?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2019 at 4:51 AM

Posted in nature photography

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A different kind of camouflage

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Snapping Turtle at Creek Edge 8381

You recently saw — or initially didn’t see — a caterpillar well camouflaged on a Maximilian sunflower. Here a much larger animal, a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) that I estimate was a good foot-and-a-half long (45 cm), was trying to remain hidden at the edge of a tributary of Bull Creek in Great Hills Park on October 27. The large woody vine across the upper part of the photograph is a mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis). The tangles of reddish-brown roots are from a black willow tree (Salix nigra).

If you’d like a much closer view of the turtle’s head, you can click the following thumbnail.

Snapping Turtle's Head 8380

The site of today’s photographs was no more than 30 feet from the culvert you saw in yesterday’s abstractly shadowed picture, which I took two days later.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2015 at 4:51 AM

A snapshot

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Common Snapping Turtle 0550

Let’s go back to earlier days in the rainy spring of 2015, for which drought-afflicted Texas is mostly glad (the flooding in various places being exceptions to the gladness). I went out on the morning of May 6th to see how rapidly Bull Creek was flowing and to experiment with pictures of churning water. At one point I walked down a small trail and was startled to confront a turtle at least a foot (30 cm) long. It remained largely unperturbed as I made portrait after portrait of it, and often from closer quarters than you see here, but that may have been a bit foolhardy because Tim Cole later identified this for me as a common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina. Fortunately I was the only one of the two who did any snapping.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 23, 2015 at 5:20 AM

Red-eared slider and entourage

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Red-Eared Slider with Fish Fry 0766

I’d photographed a red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) several times before, but never with as attentive an entourage as I found at the Riata Trace Pond on July 30th. Everywhere the turtle went, the fry were quick to follow. What they got out of that I don’t know, but what I got out of it was a different sort of picture from my previous ones of red-eared sliders.

I took this photograph about 11 minutes before the one of the bearded robber fly you recently saw.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 31, 2014 at 5:29 AM

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