Posts Tagged ‘reclaimed art’

Red-eared Turtle, 6/08

This is a very lucky Red-eared Turtle.  I first came across this old guy more than a week before this picture was taken.  Far from the river I found it stranded among the driftwood.  I thought that was unusual at the time, but dismissed it by saying to myself that the turtle got there without my help and could get away whenever it wanted to.  I turned and left it alone.

Red-eared Turtle, dorsal view, 6/08

Red-eared Turtle, ventral view, 6/08

When I returned to the site much later, I saw the turtle was still there.  It was then I realized that the last bit of flooding had in fact stranded it.  Looking to be in good shape, I picked it up and made these photos.

Russel Athletic Turtle, 6/08

Every now and then I come across some truly one of a kind turtles.  This is the Russell Athletic Turtle.  It’s carapace (the name of the top shell) in this case mimics the padding found in protective pads of football gear.  It’s usually found nearer the trees than the water, although it’s reputed to be a good swimmer when pressed.Russell Athletic Turtle, 6/08


The Russell Athletic Turtle is fond of grazing on the newest tufts of river grass found at the Falls.  It’s geographically limited and so is considered a threatened species worth conserving.

Black Softshell Turtle, 6/08

Black Softshell Turtle, 6/08

No where else on the planet can you find the spectacular Black Softshell Turtle, except for this park.  The above images are groundbreaking because this exceedingly rare turtle hasn’t been recorded in many years.  These are also in all probability the only known color images.  At the Interpretive Center a few, old grainy images of this softshell turtle are preserved in the library and the museum boasts a partial skeleton in its collection.

Black Softshell Turtle, 6/08

Like other members of the genus Trionyx, the Black Softshell Turtle lays it’s eggs in a sandy nest excavated by the female in a suitable riverbank.  I watched this specimen for several minutes before it returned to the river and hoped that I wasn’t watching the last of its kind slipping beneath the waters.  At least these images will help keep its memory alive. 

Wondering what happened with the Red-eared Turtle I started this post with?  I carefully picked up the turtle by the edges of its shell, being sure not to get my fingers in harm’s way, and placed it at the river’s edge.  At first, the water washed over the top of his shell and the turtle’s head and legs remained tight within.  Slowly, the water revived this turtle and I watched it disappear into the Ohio River.

Red-eared Turtle, 6/08

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