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Time to head to the lake!

While it may not be the best time of year for a full day in the water, it's the perfect season for observing aquatic life from the edge of a pond, marsh, or stream. The warm sunshine and water temperature makes for active adult amphibians and reptiles, and my favorite baby reptiles: turtle babies!

Any relatively calm body of shallow water is a great spot to look for turtles and their babies, especially if there are some downed trees or partially submerged logs nearby. The turtle species you're most likely to spot in this are snapping turtles or painted turtles. Even though these turtle species spend most of their time in and around water, their nests are dug into the ground on dry land. The turtle hatchlings are quite self-sufficient after making their appearance out of the nest, so if any stragglers are still heading to water, don't disturb them! Soon you’ll see them safely basking on a log in the middle of the pond.

Turtles are excellent candidates for observing with young children because they are easy to spot, and they don't startle quite as easily as frogs or toads. If you've got a kid in your life who can appreciate the joy of a good sneak, and whom you trust around water, don't wait any longer! These beautiful late summer days are perfect for turtle watching.

If you'd like to learn more about turtles and want to give your child a fantastic morning of exploration, come join me at Fontenelle Forest for Hands-on-Habitat on September 15. We'll have a great time outside on the trails as well as inside the nature center, discovering some things that make turtles unique. Register today to attend for free! I'm looking forward to seeing you for some great turtle time.

Lindsay Cooley

from Fontenelle Forest

Lindsay is an environmental educator at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. She was born and raised in Omaha, and is happy to be back after spending the past four years interning and working at various nature centers around the country. Lindsay has a background in environmental science, and is passionate about cultivating a love of the natural world in children and adults alike. When she's not cutting out craft materials or taking kids on hikes, Lindsay loves birdi ...

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