Painted Turtle

J. Parnapy
One of my families favorite spots to visit in the winter is the Wild Center.  Since William is still to young to go snowshoeing very far we hop in the car and take the trip up to Tupper Lake to see some wildlife up close and personal.

My personal favorite is the pond exhibit.  Watching the fish, turtles and wood ducks play!  William thinks it is hysterical watching the little webbed feet of the wood ducks paddling under the water.  The painted turtles are very friendly.  My husband found out how friendly a couple of years before we had William.

While taking on one of my bad habits my husband had to reach over and touch the turtle.  He was jokingly dangling his finger in front of  one, while I was giggling and saying... your going to get bit.  He didn't believe me, be it chipmunks or turtles in a tank, my husband gets bit.

J. Parnapy
 It was a slow motion grab for the finger that must have resembled a nice piece of lettuce.  In the end, we learned that while the grab starts slow, turtles are faster than they appear to be.With no harm done to my husbands finger, or the poor unsuspecting turtle, we enjoyed the rest of our visit and many more with our son, who yes, tries to reach in and "pet" the turtle.

J. Parnapy
Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) are common and widespread within the Adirondacks.  They don't get very big, topping out at a little over 7 inches in length.   Painted turtles are the first to emerge from hibernation, usually in March.  They breed between March and June when females will store the sperm from several males to help fertilize multiple clutches of eggs.  Hatching takes place 10-12 weeks later with a peak in August to September.  Both adults and young are actually freeze-tolerant.  Painted turtles feed along the bottom of wetlands and ponds on a wide variety of plants and animals and can live for more than 40 years.   When you visit a pond, you might see a large female surrounded by smaller males trying to initiate courtship.
J. Parnapy

In a few short weeks, the painted turtles will be coming out of hibernation and enjoying the beginning of spring.

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