A couple of weeks ago, I joked that my workplace was looking like a maternity ward. Tonight, we received two more 'patients' in the ward... I was walking not too far from the location in which a large snapping turtle when I noticed a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) laying her eggs in a nest she had dug out of a nice grassy spot:
In what is becoming a routine, I drove a stake into the ground at a short distance from the nest and laid a couple of parallel sticks flanking the nest in order to mark it so nobody runs a lawnmower over it. I then walked on a few paces and saw another painted turtle laying her eggs not far from her conspecific:
Here's a closer view of her head, note the yellow strips under her 'chin', which lend her species its common name:
Once again, I marked out the nest, then I sent a text message to the gentleman who is tomorrow's Manager on Duty. He's an animal lover, so he's as happy as I am about the beautiful mothers who happen to be raising their families on our property.