Turtle, Times Two

 

Late on Christmas afternoon, two turtles had trundled up this tiny snag to enjoy the sunshine and the gift of an especially warm day.

Cold-blooded, turtles control their body temperature by basking in the sun to absorb warmth and UV rays. Heat is radiated to their bodies from their shells, but they often will stretch out their legs to collect additional heat. In the photo below, you can see how far their legs are extended, and how they’ve widened their feet to increase the surface area even more.

I usually see turtles lying prone on logs, but these seemed comfortable at about a 60 degree angle. It’s clearly a favored spot. I’ve seen this pair of what I presume to be red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) on the same snag three different times, but this is the first time I’ve caught their reflection in the water.

 

Comments always are welcome.

Just Reflecting

(click image for greater detail)

 

Down on the bayou, when the wind lays and the water calms, even the creatures seem to enjoy the respite.

Here, an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) lazes away the early morning: his chunky profile a notable contrast to the delicate dawn pinks and lavenders reflected around him.

 

Comments always are welcome.