Monday, June 7, 2010

2010.14.183 - Shell Games

2010-06-07 Thetis Lake 001
Okay, forget what I said Saturday about the fact that maybe Summer was finally here. It isn't. Maybe soon, but not yet anyway. Yesterday, we were hoping to possibly head to Sidney for a paddle, but, no, we had rain instead. And today, it was blowing a stiff breeze. So Louise and I decided to head to the shelter of Thetis Lake. As least we'd get some paddling in this weekend!
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Sheltered on the lake, we didn't feel the wind very much, although occasionally it swept little ripples along the water. I was hoping to see an eagle or two today, but wasn't having luck. But quickly it became obvious that I should be looking down instead of up.
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As we paddled down one of the arms of the lake, a saw a lump on a log. As I moved closer, the lump turned out to be a turtle, most likely a Slider and probably a former pet turtle released into the wild. (And if you're a hardcore turtle fan, you can click here and find a survey prepared for local municipal governments on the Western Painted Turtles habitats in local parks.)
The turtle was camera shy and disappeared, but these otters weren't the least bit put off by my camera.
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With one turtle spotted, we wondered if we might find some more. They're fairly rare in this area. We've only seen turtles in the lake a couple of times before, but both times they were on an old fallen tree we call Turtle Log.
The lake's water level was higher than normal, so Turtle Log was under water, but on another fallen tree across from it, we saw another turtle. (That's #2 for those of you counting at home.)
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This turtle quickly fell into the water, but as I had my video camera out just panning around the trees, Louise called out to me:

The turtle had climbed back on the log, and he was posing.
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Wow, two turtles, and some otters! We could have gone home at that point and be satisfied with a great paddle. But the turtles had other ideas. We continued down the lake's arm and turtles starting popping up everywhere. (They were popping up slowly, mind you. They are turtles, after all.)
Number three...
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Number four...
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Number five...
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We finally exited the arm, and headed back into the main body of the lake. The sun had come out and the day began to warm.
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But even here, the turtles were about.
Numbers six and seven...
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...okay, you'll have to trust me about number seven. He jumped off the rock he was sharing with number six before I got the picture.

These turtles were really fuzzy for some reason.
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The reason is that they were actually goslings, not turtles. Mom and Dad gathered them up and took them on their way.
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You think we didn't have a good paddle? Check out that smile!
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2010-06-07 Thetis Lake
Trip Length: 6.80 km
YTD: 88.08 km
More pictures are here.

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