If Only She Could Talk

It's been so dry here that box turtles have been hard to come by. I found this old girl on the highway one morning after one of the very few showers we've had. She looked familiar, and it could be that I have photographed her before. I need to go through all my box turtle pictures to be sure.

Wouldn't it be interesting to hear her life story? If only box turtles could talk...

After I took her picture multiple times I let her go where I found her - moved to the side of the road in the direction she was headed, of course ;) Live long(er) and prosper.


Monday's Paddle

We headed out onto the pond Monday morning to get a little paddling done before the heat of the day set in.  It was beautiful -- the swamp roses were blooming everywhere, lending a delicate fragrance to the breeze.  The trees provided ample shade from a blazing sun and there was life everywhere we looked.  What more do you need?
Under the trees the very air seemed green.

Many of the stumps hosted swamp rose in full bloom.
In turn, the rose bushes played host to an assortment of critters.

 Black Saddlebags dragonfly

Hmm...how'd that get in there? ;)
The requisite green treefrog.

There are some unusual looking trees out on the pond.  I have written before about the effects of the mistletoe on the growth of tree branches.  The mistletoe that grew on this tupelo gum gave it a decidedly unicorn-like appearance.
Okay, so what if it is a pencil-necked, mule-faced unicorn?

While paddling out on the pond you have to be prepared for youngsters trying to hitch a ride.
I have absolutely no idea which species of damselfly this is.  Identifying teneral (newly emerged) odonates is a bit beyond my abilities.

And there are plenty of teneral odonates out there.  Just about anywhere you look you can find a shed from a naiad.  Here we found the exuviae of a dragonfly naiad as well as that of a spider.  There's a lot of growing going on out there.
Speaking of spiders, this one found a spot of shade in the top of a mushroom growing on the side of a dead tree out on the pond.

We found a number of bird nests while we were out paddling.  I opted not to photograph them because I didn't want to stress out the parent birds.  Instead, I will offer up this iridescent feather.

When the temperature crept up into the 90s, we decided to call it a morning and head in.  We're not as into basking in the blazing sun as this yellowbelly slider.