Tale of a Tiny Turtle & Other Swamp Stuff

(I have decided that it's just too hard to update two blogs -- I have trouble just keeping this one up to date. So, from now on I plan to post images from the work swamp here on SwampThings and let SwampStuff go by the wayside.)

There has been some land clearing going on at the work swamp in preparation for the construction of a visitor center. The felling of trees and the clearing of underbrush is not something I enjoy seeing - I feel the loss of each tree and fret over the destruction of critter habitat, but I know that the visitor center will be of benefit once it is constructed. You could say that the guys doing the clearing feel my pain and have been really sweet about it. Yesterday they were doing some grading and uncovered a turtle hatchling. One of the guys gathered it up and brought it to me. I appreciated that.

Isn't he beautiful...

Check out the "egg tooth" on the upper jaw.

An unexpected visitor...as I was coming out of the swamp yesterday, I felt a little tickle on my cheek. I reached up and found that I had a hitch-hiker. This is an agrarian sac spider (Cheiracanthium inclusum). According to some sources, this spider's bite is somewhat painful - similar to the sting of a bee or wasp. Since it did not offer to bite me, I can't confirm that. It does have some pretty impressive chelicerae though. (Sorry, FC!)

Mornings have been foggy the past few days, giving the canal an air of mystery. Tundra swans passed overhead this morning, their mournful calls adding to the ambience.

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job?


Floridacracker said...

GAWD ALMIGHTY! You have a fat spider on your finger and you let it stay there for a photo! Shudddderrrr.
Did you see that news story about the Hobo spider bite out in Oregon? Shudder again.

What a cute turtle, he's a late hatchling isn't he?
I still have my hatchlings in the kitchen, I've decided to keep them until spring ...I'm not saying which spring.

Cathy said...

Awwww. Sweet little turtle, but scary little spider - I think I had read recently that their bite is not a pleasant one.

The fog and the call of the tundra swan - I feel and smell the moist air and hear the call - thank you. Things are so wintry here in Ohio - it's good to be reminded of of softer places.

Kentucky Brat said...

beautiful pics Swamp! *again*

I of course can't be sure, but that spider looks like one I got to know to well. I don't know why he was so mean to me, I was washing my car and flooded him out from somewhere. I took care to pull him from a puddle and placed him in the bushes next to me. About 2 minutes later I felt this extreme pain on my ankle, looked down and he was trying his best to make lunch of me. I killed him. I didn't want to, at first anyway.

Glad to see you again! Been awhile.

swamp4me said...

Aw, come on FC, it's just a little bitty spider :)
The hatchling appears to be a painted turtle. They sometimes hatch and then just hang out in the nest until spring. This one was rudely awakened by the construction guys. They said they looked around and didn't see any others.

We've had some cold days, but only a few. It has been really mild the past week - thus the fog.

Thanks. Sorry about your spider experience -it's never fun when something decides to munch on you :)
Being super busy coupled with having a dreadfully S*L*O*W internet connection has limited my blogging of late. Worse yet, it keeps me from reading my favorite blogs. What a pain!

meresy_g said...

very sweet turtle. So what did you do with him?

swamp4me said...

I found a sheltered place and let him go. He should be fine as it has been quite mild around here. He has easy access to the water and easy access to an area where he can dig in for the winter. It is against policy to keep any reptile in captivity at the park, so I couldn't have kept him.