Monday, August 29, 2011
On Father's Day we were lucky enough to witness this mother Florida softshell (below) turtle laying her eggs in our backyard. We did a little research and learned that the eggs take approximately nine weeks to hatch. We marked the calendar and waited patiently.
Nine weeks came and went. We thought we had either missed the big event or perhaps the eggs weren't viable. Then yesterday afternoon (at the ten week mark) we saw ten baby turtles emerge from the ground and immediately start walking to the lake behind our house. It was amazing!
We captured them so we could study them for a few minutes. Then we walked them closer to shore and released them. It was so interesting to watch their instincts guiding them. It was also interesting to notice the hawk lurking nearby.
What a wonderful experience for our family! It just goes to show that you never know what kind of wonderful natural learning opportunities are waiting for you in your own backyard.