Turtles catching a tan at Essex Street Marsh

Posted Sept. 21, 2011, at 9:49 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 21, 2011, at 11:55 a.m.
A painted turtle climbs on a rock to sun with his neighbor, yawning as if to say, "Man, I'm tired!"
Dave Small
A painted turtle climbs on a rock to sun with his neighbor, yawning as if to say, "Man, I'm tired!"
Dave Small
Dave Small
Dave Small
Dave Small

My expectations were minimal while heading down the path that circles Essex Street Marsh, after all it was sunny, bright,warm and late in the day — usually not a good time for critters to be out and about.

It wasn’t long, however, until I started seeing painted turtles sunning themselves on whatever object brought them above water level. With that in mind, please remember that I love turtles and will not, usually, forgo an opportunity to photograph them and share the results. One of my subject turtles was stretched out to the point that I don’t believe it could stretch any more.

I was next taken by a painted sitting on a discarded truck tire. While I was imaging the turtle, a neighbor began climbing out of the water onto the tire. It slipped back into the water three times before successfully making it onto the tire … it yawned right in the

middle of my capture. I imagined it saying, “I’m all tired out!”

The juvenile pied-billed grebe was a first for my lens and I

was happy to capture it. I never seem to tire of seeing ducks bottom up while feeding … these mallards provided a show that I really enjoyed.

The remaining pictures are from early spring and summer.

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