Blanding’s Turtle

Philo

This weekend we celebrated my brother’s 30th birthday with a family trip up north to the Traverse City area. After staying and playing at the water park we headed to my Grandpa Philo’s home for the afternoon. He lives in a beautiful area of Thomsponville near the Betsie River and Crystal Mountain. The property has a tiny pond and is surrounded by forest. Right now he has six adorable Australian Shepherd puppies, so our nature walk time was mostly consumed with puppy fun.

Our daughter with one of the puppies.
Our daughter with one of the puppies.
Our son with one of the puppies.
Our son with one of the puppies.

We were able to take a quick walk down to the Betsie river, but were disturbed by the neighbor’s dog and my Grandpa’s dog loudly introducing themselves. We weren’t able to spot any birds (more than likely they were scared off by the dogs) and the kids were anxious to get back, but we did spot a turtle near the pond right in my Grandpa’s front yard.

Our first sighting of the turtle.
Our first sighting of the turtle.
Underside of the Blanding Turtle.
Underside of the Blanding Turtle.

This was the first time I have come across this turtle, so we took a picture of the shell and underside before tucking it back by the pond. On our way out I wanted a few more pictures with the turtle’s head out, so we stopped the car and I jumped out for a couple more. He had moved about five feet down the edge of the pond toward the little creek that ran to the river.

The kids were super excited and we did a little research on the way home to figure out the type of turtle it was. We came to the conclusion it is a Blanding’s Turtle. (If I am wrong please let me know!) Now I am looking for a nice wildlife guide to go along with our bird books!

To learn more about this turtle, check out these helpful sites –

DNR – Michigan’s Turtles

DNR – Blanding’s Turtle

Know Your Michigan Turtles

Talk to you soon!

Kristy

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