Isolation Antidotes (32): Remembered Reptilian Repose

Thanks to the pandemic precautions, we find ourselves still here in New Zealand. We do love it here, as it is our main home now, but this is the first time in our lives together that we have not been at our cabin in northern Minnesota at this time of the year. With that in mind, I bring you a memory from just a bit over nine years ago, while I was fishing from my little one-person canoe in a small nearby lake that holds many sweet memories for me. I saw this painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) from a distance, and carefully approached it, making a series of photos as I neared it, expecting that it would slide off into the water at any time. As it turned out, it stayed in its carefully-negotiated position almost until the prow of my little canoe was about to contact its perch (I stopped before it did). As the days get steadily colder and more dismal here, I find myself dreaming of, and longing for, another visit to our other home, and more opportunities like this one, and am keeping my fingers crossed that circumstances will yet allow us to make our traditional pilgrimage.

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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22 Responses to Isolation Antidotes (32): Remembered Reptilian Repose

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    This photo is masterfully crafted. I like the dark green colour of the background which serves to highlight the turtle you captured in this magnificent pose. It is rare to find such a cooperative wild animal.

  2. Mike Powell says:

    I have often thought about taking to the water for photo opportunities and your wonderful photo, Gary, reminds me why. I have heard that birds and other creatures find us much less threatening when in a boat than when we are on land. I am hoping that you will get a chance to return to Minnesota this year, but trends here in the US make travel still problematic at best. There has been significant improvements in some part of the country, but new covid-19 cases have soared in others as restrictions are relaxed.

    • krikitarts says:

      My little canoe was a gift from CD around ten years ago and I love it dearly. It’s a 12-foot Meyers Sportspal, made of dark olive green light-gauge aircraft aluminum, and it weighs only 52 pounds, so it’s really easy for me to put onto our car and take it off again without any assistance. It also has a square stern, perfect for my little electric trolling motor. And it will take a second person, provided you’re good friends and don’t make any really sudden moves!

  3. Let’s hope you can get there soon, or you’ll miss the short summer that northern Minnesota gets.

  4. Vicki says:

    Realistically, I’d probably be planning for a cabin trip in summer 2021, not 2020.

    That’s a rather attractive looking turtle and it almost looks like its undercarriage is painted red. Great shot. :)

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    Beautiful picture, my friend. I hope you get to Minnesota, but feel that there is some way to go yet with this virus. And I see that NZ has just got 2 new infections, courtesy of travellers from the UK!

  6. shoreacres says:

    Looking at your turtle, I wondered if we have painted turtles here in Texas. In fact we do: the western and the southern. Both have quite limited ranges, though, so I don’t think I need to worry about distinguishing them from our sliders. What I did learn is that the red-eared slider is a sub-species of the pond slider, so I may have been misidentifying that one from time to time.

    There are a lot of people who take to the water in kayaks here, for fishing and for photography. Canoes are rarer, and I don’t really know why. I just know I’m a little too nervous about the alligators to indulge in the sport myself. You’re certainly right that it opens up possibilities, though — as your photo proves!

  7. This is a very nice shot of the painted turtle, Gary. I get to see them often here and occasionally am lucky enough to photograph them before they slip into the water. I’ve yet to kayak or canoe for photography and the ability to get a shot like this certainly would be a draw.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks, Steve. The unique perspectives offered by a small, stealthy water craft are well worth considering. And as an aside,I don’t know if you are into fly fishing (I think you might be), but as a fellow fan of waterscapes, did you know that there is a genus of caddis fly named Hydropsyche?

      • No and yes. I am not a fisherman of any style but do know of some baits. Probably the scariest thing I’ve seen is a Hellgrammite…Dobsonfly larva. I’ve only shared pictures of that on Facebook from my phone and don’t have one on my computer to share.

      • krikitarts says:

        Yup, hellgrammites are pretty scary-looking for sure. And they can give a painful bite, too. They are like something out of a horror movie; it’s a good thing they are so small!

      • Small is relative. They are pretty big compared to most nymphs. I can just imagine having one clomped on my finger while I dance around in pain.

  8. Wonderful photo of the painted turtle. I can imagine missing scenes like these.

    • krikitarts says:

      I’m sure that I do miss a few when I’m on the water, but not very many, I’m pretty sure. I always have a camera handy and I try always to keep a sharp eye out for anything especially interesting, near or far, up or down. And it often pays off!

  9. bluebrightly says:

    A good story well told and a wish sent your way for restrictions to ease and possibilities to open up. :-)

    • krikitarts says:

      I really appreciate your kind wish, Lynn, and I still have high hopes, though some signs are pointing the other way with a couple of new cases here due to folks not following required (but not adequately enforced) precautions. Will some people never learn?

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