This past weekend I made a trip to The Hocking Hills State Forest with some friends for a weekend of relaxiation and of course...a little adventure. The original plan was to do some river canoeing but mega thunderstorms Friday evening pushed the high water marks of the Hocking River to its limits. The river was angry Saturday morning my friends and the river was closed down to canoes...so instead we went out exploring on good old Lake Logan. I was particularly excited when I learned that there was a very shallow cove at one far corner of the lake and our expedition set a stream lined course in that direction. It wasn't long before I was out of the canoe and into the mud. The sky was pretty over cast and the temperatures were a little low for any real reptile activity...but alas...I managed to find some scaly beasts.
Going after a water snake I happily stumbled upon this little lad...a fairly good sized Common Musk Turtle, also known as a Stinkpot.
Don't confuse this guy for a Snapping Turtle, despite its strong beak...which by the way I must add managed to accidentally clamp down on my pointer finger and crush my finger nail. Moral of that story...never take your eyes off a Musk Turtle...if given the chance...they will gladly give you a good bite!
This particular turtle, determined to be a male, was very interesting looking, he had an incredibly large beak and his field marks were pretty faded as compared to most turtles of this species...part of me really wonders if this specimen is some sort of subspecies of the Common Musk Turtle that has evolved for lake life, as opposed to bog or swamp, where these turtles are more commonly found.
After a nice set of photos he was released back into the lake where he happily buried down into the mud and disappeared into the murky abyss of Lake Logan.
As the adventure continued we stumbled upon another Stinky...only this one...was about as small as a turtle can possibly get! To be honest, I have no idea how I even saw this little friend. A bubble literally caught the corner of my eye and instinct just told me to reach into the water and sure enough, there in the palm of my hand appeared a hatch-ling, no bigger then a quarter.
We are so used to showing you ugly, monster sized snapping turtles, it is kind of nice to be able to share the polar opposite of the spectrum...a tiny, cute little friend!
Enjoy some more pics of our tiny discovery!
I'm Coyote Peterson...and this, is The REPTILE Show!