Tagged: Snapping Turtle

Who Would Have Guessed

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My new Fujifilm X-T1 camera arrived and after waiting for the battery to charge, I walked across the road and photographed this snapping turtle.  I used my 27 mm prime lens which isn’t exactly a wildlife lens, but it is the only lens I have for this camera.  I have assumed that I would give up photographing wildlife to keep the weight down … and one of the first things I photographed was wildlife.

Two Turtles

I was crossing over the bridge behind the apartments when I saw what I thought was a snapping turtle in the water.  I stopped and started taking a few pictures and then realized it was two turtles.  When I started taking the pictures the second turtle was underneath the one I saw in the first picture.  The last I saw of them, one chased the other under the bank.

Snapping Turtle

The above are a few pictures of a snapping turtle that was in the road on Plum Tree Lane the evening of July the 4th.  She was probably looking for a place to lay her eggs.  This is the time of the year we see them out of the water since they lay their eggs in soft soil somewhere away from the water.  The shell of this one was about 14 inches long.  They are rather large and heavy.

Something you might not have known, the incubation temperature plays a role in determining the sex of the turtle eggs.  Eggs hatched at cooler temperatures tend to produce males, and those at higher temperatures, females.  A couple of degrees can drastically change a generation of turtles.

Most turtles withdraw into their shell as a defensive posture, but a snapping turtle can’t.  Its defensive mechanism is snapping with its powerful jaws.

They provide a valuable service in helping to keep our ponds and rivers clean since they eat the foliage and the weaker small animals and ducks.  The baby snappers also are one of the favorite foods of the herons.

Problem with my new K-5

The above picture was a quick shot the other day when I surprised a snapping turtle in a small creek.  It rapidly swam under the over-hanging foliage to hide from me.  Its’ head was already behind the leaves by the time I was able to get the picture.  What the above demonstrates is that there is real value in having the longer zoom mounted on the K-5 and in having the fast focusing ability of the camera.  I was able to raise the camera up to my eye, zoom to 260 mm while composing the shot, focus, and shoot before the turtle got totally out of sight.  I don’t think I would have gotten this shot with my G3 and the 100 – 300 mm lens.  But all is not well.

I have been carrying the K-5 with the 55 – 300 mm lens around trying to decide whether to keep them or maybe wait and hope that a new light-weight micro 4/3 camera with better ergonomics is announced.  After taking the above shot I decided to take a bunch of test shots with the camera and that is when I determined that the level is off … way off.  I could use the camera without using the leveling function but since I have astigmatism, and rarely ever manage to take shots that are level, having the self-leveling feature saves me an extra step while developing my raw files.  Therefore, the camera is going back to B&H Photo for an exchange.