Saturday, June 09, 2007

Art and Turtles in Downtown Columbus

I wore my turtle t-shirt to our trip to the Columbus Arts festival today, but I sure didn't think I would see any live reptiles! Megan and I traveled down to the arts festival this morning. We looked around a bit, saw some art, including several turtle themed pieces of jewlery, etc. and then decided we would head home. I wanted to walk down to the river, pictured below, to get a few shots of the Columbus skyline. Sure enough, as I glanced over the concrete side rail into the river, I spotted a giant cottonwood log. It had came to rest upon the retaining wall, and on it was basking a huge female map turle! Very we kept looking, we saw no less than four other turtles on the log. Male map turtles are pint sized compared to the egg laying females. We saw at least one mature male, and some even smaller immature guys or gals. These little turtles have brighter coloration on there heads-in the photos look for the yellow lines. Finally, the ubiquitous Canda Geese arrived on the seen, lured by food tossed over the rail by art fair goers. The geese didn't bother the turtles. They sat basking right on the way through. The female turtle was truly huge. I would say it was pushing 16 inches, and the head alone had to be three inches wide! It was great to see map turtles in this segment of the Scioto. Yes, it isn't what a natural river should look like-at all (it is dammed and really is more like a lake than anything else), but seeing map turtles, a riverine species, brightened the place up just a bit for me. So, if you do go to the arts festival, look for the turtles on the cottonwood log along the riverside sidewalk at the north end of bicentennial park!





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