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Pond Swimming, Swallows and Turtles

May 16th, 2007

A day spent cutting grass… after yesterday’s rain a cool front came through so the opportunity was perfect to get more things done outdoors.  But there was time to see the sights and take the dog swimming for a few retrieves.  He loves the water now and dives in with abandon.  I threw the orange bumper way out in the pond today and he swam for it… but missed it and swam in circles several times!  He almost swam across the pond, but came back at my call and finally saw the bumper floating in the distance.  He was ready for more when he finished.  

 yellowlabretrieve

We have a pair of Barn Swallows that migrate to South America and back and return each year in mid-April.  In May they begin to nest… using the same nest each year above the garage on top of some outdoor lights.  I don’t know how many years they’ve been coming, but it’s at least 5 or 6 years now.  Once they begin nesting they become a little pesky and swoop at you when you stand too near the nest. But their flight is beautiful to watch and they eat many insects each day.  Last week there were five barn swallows all flying around the garage area… I’d like to think they were last year’s young birds returning to say hello.  In some places they can become a problem, with many birds building nests.  But we’ve only had one pair and that’s just fine with me!

 barnswallow

barnswallownest

We have several turtles in the pond, but I’m not really sure of the species.  Missouri has quite a few different turtle species if you want to see them here.  We did see a Snapping Turtle last year, walking through the grass to look for a place to lay eggs.  The turtle in this picture is about 10-12 inches long, and probably a Slider or Missouri Slider, especially with the small indentation in the side of the shell at the rear.  I took the photo from a distance with the telephoto lens… when you walk anywhere near them, they slide quickly back into the water.

pondturtle

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