The Legend of the Painted Turtle

On a recent visit to Niskonolith Provincial Park, just outside of Chase, BC, I took a walk down a steep pathway toward the lake. I looked down a little hill and I saw a painted turtle just sitting there. He was about half way up the hill.

I wasn’t sure if he was going up the hill or if he just wanted to sit where he was. I left him alone and stood watching him for a few minutes and snapped a few photographs of him. I was actually on my way to take a picture of an osprey that I had seen in a nearby tree. I left the turtle and went on my way to take some pictures of the osprey.

Now, what I didn’t know about the painted turtle was that he was actually stuck in the mud and couldn’t move. He was exhausted when I got to him and that is why it appeared to me like he was just sitting there. Also, what I didn’t know is that when I stepped over the hill to see the osprey, I loosened up the mud enough for the turtle to wiggle himself out of where he was. The turtle was forever grateful to me for getting him out of the mud and this is something that I didn’t even know.

If I didn’t come along right when I did that poor painted turtle would most likely have died. Not only that, but he was trying to hide himself from the osprey that was in the nearby tree because he knew that the osprey was going to find him eventually.

It was lucky for the painted turtle that I didn’t try to help him get off the hill because that might have caused the osprey to notice him sooner and I’d be pretty sure that the osprey would have had the turtle for dinner.

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