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turtle

During my visit in Vancouver, I witnessed something amazing; I followed a Red-eared slider turtle from the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, she walked a bit further into the park and started digging a hole. It took ~3 hours, and then she laid 11 eggs! Each one was the size of a quail egg, but they all fit in the hole. Afterwards she covered it up with dirt and grass, removing all traces of the nest. All in all, it took ~4 hours and afterwards she was quite exhausted. Here’s a picture of her walking back to the lagoon:

turtle

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46 responses

  1. Nessy San

    What an amazing experience! You witnessed her creating life. 😀

    October 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    • It was amazing, Nessy! I really hope there will be any life, but unfortunately I doubt the eggs will make it..

      October 14, 2013 at 5:46 PM

  2. So cute!

    October 13, 2013 at 10:48 AM

  3. Wow, what patience you have.

    October 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    • Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself! 😉 Honestly, it didn’t feel that long, I was completely fascinated!

      October 14, 2013 at 5:36 PM

  4. Sounds like an awesome experience….very cool!

    October 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

  5. Wow…cool story.

    October 13, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    • Thanks Mark! I just posted a more detailed version, if you’re interested please take a look!

      October 14, 2013 at 5:38 PM

  6. What a great experience that must have been to watch! Do you have other photos still coming of that? This one is great – it looks like it has a story to tell and it does.

    October 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    • Thanks Lyle! I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

  7. It’s so wonderful that you were able to witness this and capture her journey back…i love it!

    October 13, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    • Thanks Lola! I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:40 PM

      • I just found it and am reading it now – thanks for the update!

        October 16, 2013 at 1:56 AM

  8. What a wonderful moment to witness, Camilla! Truly precious. Imagine how much effort must go into that. Amazing.
    Did you happen to photograph her when she was digging the “cradle” or laying the eggs?
    Very cool, thank you for sharing!

    October 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    • Thanks Stefano! It was the first time I saw something like this, and I’m so glad I got to see it. I was super impressed by this little turtle, how strong she was. I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      • Thank you for posting more details and more images, Camilla: I loved the new post – it really was a special moment and you captured so well! 🙂

        October 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM

  9. Love the story of the turlte and of her creating a safe place for her eggs to hatch. Nature is so interesting.

    October 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    • Thanks Yvonne! Nature never seizes to amaze me. I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

      • Yes, I was/am inteested. I watched the slide show and it is a very good one. I’m so glad that you documented the dear turtle’s attempts to further her species. One egg out of 11 might survice. If I can remember I will look up the success rate of egg to hatchling to adulthood. For the life of a caterpillar the mortality rate is 90%. That is very high. This morning I found 6 cats of the Monarch are on the Mexican Butterfly Weed. I wish that I had the time and a place to keep the cats indoors so that they could morph to the adult Monarch. Tonight the weather will become cooler and down to 55 degrees. I don’t think they can survive temps that low but I will have to look that up as well.

        October 14, 2013 at 5:55 PM

        • Unfortunately, I fear the success rate for these eggs are 0%. There were several skunks and racoons around, checking her out as she was laying the eggs. If they don’t dig up the eggs, I think the next threat is the cold. This was in Vancouver, so likely to be a cold winter. And if the eggs miraculously make it through the winter, the small turtle babies will need to make their way up through the tough grass roots, then all the way down to the lagoon. But, let’s keep our fingers crossed… 🙂

          October 14, 2013 at 6:09 PM

  10. I LOVE this!

    October 13, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    • Thanks Lisa!! I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

  11. Camilla, what a magical event you witnessed! I really like the quote.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

    October 13, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    • Thanks Wendy! I like the quote too 🙂 I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

      • I will, indeed… just got in the door from an outing where I photographed an eagle and nest. I hope they turned out even half as nice as your pictures always do. 🙂

        October 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        • Wow! I can’t wait to see those pictures!! And it’s not true, you’re pictures are really nice and they keep getting better! 🙂

          October 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

          • I don’t have a good zoom lens, and I was without my tripod at the time; but you can still see the mother eagle sitting in the nest while dad sits on a nearby branch.

            October 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

  12. Snapping turtles would lay eggs in our yard every spring, when we lived in Michigan!
    Turtles are awesome! 🙂

    October 13, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    • I agree, they’re awesome! 🙂 It was the first time I saw a turtle lay eggs, it was amazing!

      October 14, 2013 at 5:47 PM

  13. What a wonderful experience!
    Thumbs up to you, my friend.

    October 14, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    • It was an awesome experience! I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look! 🙂

      October 14, 2013 at 5:48 PM

  14. E.J.L. Gotlieb

    Yes, she looks very tired in the picture indeed.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    October 14, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    • I don’t blame her, I was quite exhausted just watching her… 😉 What a tough little turtle!

      October 14, 2013 at 5:49 PM

  15. Love your post. We have a pond across the street from us, the turtles regularly come into our gardens in the front yard and dig their holes to lay their eggs. It’s an incredibly long process, but when they are done you’d never know a nest with her babies are waiting to be born. Very cool that you were able to see this – first time I saw it I couldn’t imagine what she was doing.

    October 14, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    • Thanks Mary! You’re so lucky you get to see this more often!! This was a first for me, and it was awesome to see 🙂 I just posted a more detailed version of this story, if you’re interested please take a look!

      October 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

  16. That was an impressive gallery! Commend you for your willingness to follow through, capturing and publishing the complete story. I had a similar experience this past spring and like you, my thoughts drifted ahead to the fate of the eggs. Would love to capture the young turtles seeing daylight for the first time – that would really complete the story!

    October 14, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    • Thanks so much, Nick! I would love to follow up and see what happens, but unfortunately I don’t even live on the same continent as the turtles so that won’t happen. Would be really cool if someone else could pick up the story though!! 😀 [PS: Any Vancouverite out there who wants to pick this up??]

      October 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

  17. You were privileged to see that, and I really like the photo!

    October 15, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    • Thanks so much! 🙂 (If you’re interested, the full story is in the next post “turtle-2”)

      October 15, 2013 at 4:46 PM

  18. Great image and composition. I wonder what a B&W version would look like. I think it may help the isolation and “long trip home” visual of this image.

    October 15, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    • Thanks Mark, I didn’t even think of that but just tried it in b&w and it looks better! More drama and atmosphere. 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

      October 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

  19. I love visiting your blog!!! Fabulous photos. You were in my backyard! Did you see the grave of E Pauline Johnson, which is close to Lost Lagoon (her favourite space)? She is also known in Mohawk as Tekahionwake and was famous for her poems and performances that celebrated her First Nations heritage.

    “I know not why, but all my being longed
    And leapt at that sweet call;
    My heart outreached its arms, all passion thronged
    And beat against Fate’s wall,
    Crying in utter homesickness to be
    Near to a heart that loves and leans to me. “

    October 17, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    • Thanks Rebecca! Had I known before it was your backyard, I would’ve got in contact with you while I was there! 🙂 Perhaps you can make a post of “Turtle – the Sequel” when the babies come out.. 😉

      October 20, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      • I’ll keep a look-out!!! So glad that you enjoyed Vancouver!!! 🙂

        October 21, 2013 at 3:38 AM

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