Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tiny Painted Turtles

 {our painted turtles just making their way through the ground to the surface}

Dear Friends,

Remember back in May, I mentioned that Seth Tudor had seen a few painted turtle nests? And if you came on our garden tours this summer, you saw the nests carefully marked off with bricks and a sign. Well, on September 7th, we happened to all be gathered when the nests started to make a rustle. I can't believe how lucky we were! Nearly twenty teeny-tiny painted turtles emerged, one after the other, their faces dusty and their bellies burnt orange. Oh, how Tasha would have loved to capture these in watercolor!

A quick dip in the rain barrel brought their trademark colors to life. Aren't they just the cutest little things? About the size of a quarter I'd say, though some were a bit smaller and some a bit bigger.

{Sophia with her daddy, looking at the little turtle}

Of course, Sophia was fascinated. She kept yelling, "They're so cute! Awww, look how cute they are!" which was quite entertaining, and I'm sure a bit startling to the sleepy little turtles!

{Sophia and her mommy, watching the turtles make their way out of the ground}

We safely transported them to the pond so they wouldn't have to brave the trek themselves, and watched them swim out.

{Sophia letting the turtles into the pond}
I can imagine Tasha dropping everything to do many quick sketches to save for future use. I think she would get those colors just perfectly vibrant in her illustrations. I can see the turtles peeking out of her flower borders near the edges of ponds, or a sweet tow-haired child enthralled with the prospect of watching them swim out. Tasha painted from real life. And when we live with nature, it never ceases to amaze and invigorate us with simple pleasures, if we take the time to alert our senses.

Take the time, dear friends!


  1. This is such a fun post! LOVE the turtles, they are TOO CUTE! WOW they are late season babies. Our snapper nests are much earlier... I have SO Many wonderful pictures of them and LOVE,LOVE,LOVE living side by side with nature... Thank you for these incredible pictures...
    Hugs to you,

  2. I appreciate your sentiments 'Take the time' this is so true. Such sweet turtles and a lovely post, I imagined Tasha's borders as you described them : )

  3. This is a precious post. I think the wee turtles are too sweet;). And your remembrance of Tasha is also just too sweet. What wonderful, lovely memories you are blessed to carry with you as you go about your days!

  4. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful experience!

  5. Dear Natalie,

    I just love the painted turtles. So glad you had so many hatch! In "The Lord is My Shepherd", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, there is a little turtle in the right hand corner of the page across from "He leadeth me beside the still waters." There is a small turtle near the letter e, on the cover of Tasha Tudor's "1 is One". It was so dear to see the wide eyed wonder of Sophia experiencing the little turtles!

    Back in January 2009, I found a chickadee one cold morn, upside down, quivering in the snowy cold. It looked stunned, as if it had flown into something and fallen. It was laying in the impending path of my husband's snow plow. I picked it up and brought it into the house where I held it in the warmth of my hand for awhile. After a bit the chickadee started moving about and I took it outside, opened my hand and 'twas most exhilarating for me to see the chickadee fly off free to a tree limb. I wrote about it back in January 2009 on my web site.

    Your fellow admirer of nature,

  6. Oh my goodness. I showed my children these cuties - so amazing.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

  7. One of my favorite books when I was little was Yertle the Turtle, Dr. Seuss. I have a soft spot for turtles because of it!