Monday, October 4, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Thanks to everyone who sent in an entry for the Sept. 26th "What IS It?" contest.  This was a particularly tough quiz, and we received a large number of highly creative guesses.

And the winner is . . . . Doug, who correctly guessed that the original photo showed a thundering herd of turtles.
(We interrupt this blog post for the obligatory immortal dialogue:
     "Herd of turtles?"
        "Sure, I've heard of turtles!"
     "No, no.  A turtle HERD!"
         "What do I care what some turtle heard? I got no secrets from a turtle!"

Doug, send your snailmail address to slowboat@emailias.com to claim your fabulous prize of a genuine, honest-to-gum tacky postcard.

So now you want to know MORE about these turtles.  Where did we spot them? As you know, usually when a place has a nice outdoorsy name, like Fox Hollow, or Willow Grove, that means developers have come in and bulldozed the heck out of whatever natural feature lent the name to the place.

But earlier this week, we stayed at a marina called Green Turtle Bay, and amazingly enough, the bay is indeed full of turtles.

These particular turtles were photographed from the dock beneath the marina restaurant (a building that is up on stilts).

Judging by the appearance of their heads and shells, I think the herd included mostly red-eared sliders with some painted turtles and a few common snapping turtles.

We were told that guests often throw bread from the dock around dinnertime, and the turtles have learned to gather for the daily feeding. (Note: Some wild turtles eat water plants; others eat "meat" such as small fish, worms, snails and water insects; other turtles are omnivores.  A bit of bread probably doesn't hurt but steady diet of bread is likely not a great thing for a wild turtle.)

Fun turtle fact of the day:  The sex of a turtle is determined, not by its complement of XY chromosomes, but by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated.  Cooler water produces males; warmer water produces females.


  1. Bet the fishing around there is terrible! Not so much that the fish don't bite, but so do the turtles! I hate inadvertently catching a turtle! It's nearly impossible to get the hook out of their mouth, especially when their tongue is trying to push it out too and when they pull in their heads, forget about it! I usually have to cut the hook in half so I can extract it in two parts.

  2. Turtles. I never would have guessed. BTW, a group of turtles is called a 'bale'.

    I'm enjoying your blog. I think it's neat that you're solar-powered. I can't wait to begin my trip on the loop (in a few dozen years).