Today is turtle-hatching day at our house. I found a dozen or so scattering to the various water bodies around here, from their eggs buried under the driveway. Doomed because turtles are declining in population so you can assume that from an average female fewer than two babies survive to reproduce (otherwise the population would grow). So out of an average of 40 eggs per year for 40 years of reproduction, only 1 in 800 survive to have their own offspring. Pretty bad odds I think. Once they get to be mature, they are ornery enough to have not many enemies except cars running over them, so most are dying in the first few months and the rest in the next few years. Wish this one luck!
This one strayed from cover but no raccoons, skunks, owls or other predators will attack while there is a photographer around.
These are snapping turtles. They can’t withdraw fully into their shells, but as I said, the adults are nasty enough that nothing around here will attack them, except humans. I have been told they are barely edible so these days not many humans will try either.
It is probably no coincidence, with fifty or so of these guys “running” for cover, that this kestrel showed up, but wouldn’t get close enough for a clear picture.
Handsome fellow, isn’t he. That’s about as close as I can get. For the technically minded, the camera is a Canon T2i with a 100mm Canon macro lens, 65mm worth of extension tubes I got cheap from China, a Neewer LED ring light to get enough light that close (also cheap from China) and an Aputure timer/remote controller so the camera stays steady when I have the shakes (it also does timed release including time lapse – guess where I got it from, cheap).