Soaking Up The Sun

photograph a turtle sunning on a rock in the James River by Doug Couvillion

A great time of day to spot turtles in the river is at dawn.

Since they are cold blooded the turtles need the warm of the sun to really get moving.  Rocks in the middle of the river provide a great opportunity to soak up the sun’s energy in a place where they won’t likely be disturbed.

When I found this Eastern River Cooter warming on the rocks the sun’s rays had just made their way over the trees on the river bank.

Home At Last

Photography by Doug Couvillion: Two Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles resting on a black sand beach

Despite the rough surf and rocks of Panalu’u Bay, Hawaii the beach is frequented by Green Sea Turtles.  These two were taking a well deserved rest on the black sand after braving the conditions to make it to the beach.

Eastern River Cooter

Photograph of an Eastern River Cooter on the Rappahannock River in Virginia

This small Eastern River Cooter was basking on a sunny log in the Rappahannock River as a paddled my canoe past it last July.  I don’t know much about the turtles of Virginia so I may have misidentified this one.

Brown Anole Cave

photograph of a brown anole on a rock

This brown anole was basking in the sun on the rocks.  There was a large gap in the rocks, a cave relative to the size of the lizard.  It never strayed too far from the safety of its hideout there.

Rat Snake Resting on a Branch

photograph of a rat snake resting on the branch of a tree

The Rat Snake is quite a capable climber.  This individual took to the trees when we met each other on a lakeside trail in Central Virginia.  It seemed to be just as happy making its way through the branches as it was winding across the forest floor.

Perfect Camouflage

photograph of a cricket frog camouflaged in the mud

A tiny Cricket Frog sits still, assuming its nearly perfect camouflage will keep it safe.  I never would have seen it had it not hopped right in front of me as I walked down the lakeside trail.