Sunday was a new experience.
It started out like many others had before. It was a gorgeous afternoon that begged me to be outside and enjoy it. Not too hot, sunny, wonderful. So, I went over to Lone Lake, camera in hand, no plan but to walk around and see if there was anything interesting to shoot.
The water lilies and lotuses were OK, but not close enough to get anything worth keeping. I almost got a longed for shot of a dragonfly in flight, but it wasn't sharp enough for me (they move fast). So I started walking around the lake, hoping there might be some deer, or birds, or butterflies, or wildflowers. But nope. None of those were around.
I did come across a nice lady walking her dog who hadn't been to the lake for a long time and wanted some directions. So we walked around the path, stopping occasionally to shoot something that didn't really turn out. We helped out a couple who had gotten turned around somehow. I pointed to places I had seen interesting things in the past.
For instance, there was the place I had come across a snapping turtle in the middle of the path.
and where there were some jacks-in-the-pulpit a couple years ago
Then, when we were almost at the end of the path, we saw something unexpected. A painted turtle sitting by a pile of mud, no where near water.
So, we went a little closer and saw something neither of us had ever seen before:
Yes, she was laying eggs! While I wandered around, trying different angles, my boon companion started counting. 1..2..3..4. And I realized how really strange it felt to be zooming in on the back end of a turtle. 5..6..7..8. Noticing that many seem to come out in pairs (one quickly after the other, not two at the same time). 9..10. And the turtle would push them down and backwards into the mud, always with the back left leg. 11..12. Amazing! How can something that size hold so many eggs? How can eggs that size come out of such a thin turtle?
She eventually stopped laying (or, at least, took a long breather). So it was time to leave her in peace, having had an experience that will probably never be repeated.
Unless I head back there in approx. 72 days to see the baby turtles hatch.