Residents of the Clear Fork seen in their neighborhood this week:
When I was misspending my youth on Sycamore Creek, softshell turtles, which look like a snake that swallowed a pancake, were always the most exotic critter to catch and take home to put in the washtub aquarium. I have seen few softshell turtles in the last fifty years and none the size of this one: about fourteen inches across. I asked it to pose next to a familiar object like a soft drink bottle to provide some scale, but it just muttered something about “darned paparazzi” and took its leave.
This is a six-inch softshell sunning at the same location.
Heron with goop du jour.
A mossy ten-inch version of the silver dollar-sized red-eared sliders that we bought at Mott’s or Leonard’s for forty-nine cents.