Painted Turtle

The seasons turn. The years go ’round. Last March, I photographed a painted turtle, Chrysemys picta, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Japanese Pond. It was surrounded by numerous eastern red-eared sliders. This past Saturday, I found the same — or, hopefully, another? — painted turtle in the same area of the Pond (where the rocks are). To recap: most of NYC’s freshwater turtles are red-eared sliders. This species, native to the southeastern U.S., has been moved north by the irresponsible pet trade and idiot “owners.” Painted turtles — not to say this one wasn’t introduced to the Pond as well — are a species native to the northeast. One of the basking types of turtles — which means we’re more likely to run into them — painted turtles can live for upwards of five decades. Although you can see the red stripes on the margins of this carapace, the real “paint” is on the plastron.

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