Top Photo: Yellow-bellied slider out basking?
At approximately 11:30 AM on January, 29 a yellow-bellied slider decided to haul out of the water and bask in the sun on the north side of the wetlands. The air temperature at the time was in the mid 30s though it was a bright sunny morning.
I can only speculate as to why this turtle came ashore on such a brisk morning. Sliders are known to stir on sunny winter days, even out basking on rocks and logs, and I’ve seen them moving about on the pond’s muddy bottom under the ice. This, however, seemed odd to me, as though the reptile was coming ashore to lay eggs, or relocating to another pond somewhere over the horizon. Unlikely, but why come ashore exposing itself to danger on land unless it was driven by some powerful instinct to do so. Basking could easily, and safely, be conducted on any number of rocks or logs surrounded by water out on the pond, and out of harms way.
Whatever the reason for this turtle’s decision to hit the beach, we’ll probably never know.