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Category Archives: Blanding’s Turtle

We had been cooped up on the farm for a few weeks so we decided to drive up to Crex Meadows. It was a beautiful spring day, so When we arrived at Phantom Lake we were surprised to see what looked like ground fog along the road.

As we drove down the road it turned out that it wasn’t ground fog but a hatch of insects. The above shot was take into the sun and the shot below was taken with the sun.These were taken through the windshield because my wife wouldn’t let me open the window or get out of the car. As we drove along the lake the insects started gathering on the car. In a couple of places they were a half inch thick.

We were seeing quite a bit of wildlife but it was difficult to photograph because as soon as we stopped the insects tarted gathering. I saw this Blanding’s Turtle on the road. We stopped and I didn’t see any insects so I jumped out to get a few shots. When I got back in the car they were all over my jacket and we spent the next half hour swatting them with our hats.

I managed a few  Blue-winged Teal shots without letting any insects into the car.

I decided to drive back to the visitors center to put my camera gear away since we hadn’t seen any insects when we arrived. I noticed a couple of clumps of Pasqueflowers near the entrance to the visitors center.


The dog days of summer are not the best times to visit Crex Meadows but there were a few things to photograph. The water levels in some of the flowages had been reduced so the waterfowl only had small ponds to swim around in.

There were quite a few Monarch Butterflies on the eastern edge of the Meadows.


Trumpeter Swans were around with their young teenagers.


There were quite a few teenage ducks around.


I typically see large numbers of Blanding’s Turtles in the spring when they are on the road laying eggs. We found this one wandering across the road.


This Canada Goose was perched on top of a beaver lodge.


On a late spring trip to Crex Meadows we encountered more turtles than we saw on all of our previous trips put together.

The Blanding’s Turtle is on the endangered species list but seem to be doing well at Crex Meadows. Late in the evening we had to drive with great care because there were so many of them in the road laying eggs. The next morning when we drove the same road they were all gone.Blanding's-turtle-14-6-_5502

The  Snapping Turtles were also out in the roads laying eggs. Needless to say this is one turtle that I didn’t help across the road. I took this photo with my birding lens so I wasn’t all that close to him.snapping-turtle-14-6-_5687


There were also a lot of Painted Turtles out in the water sunning themselves.Painted-Turtles-14-6-_5807