Turtles of Sleepy Hollow LakeTurtles of Sleepy Hollow Lake
A Photo Journal and Gallery from All-Creatures.org

Dedicated to the Preservation and Restoration of the Whole of Creation: Humans, Animals, and the Environment.
And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Turtles of Sleepy Hollow Lake
Table of Contents

Turtles of SHL - 01 - Logging-On in the Sun
(Turtles of SHL - 01 - Logging-On in the Sun) Sleepy Hollow Lake was frozen over until the 9th of April 2001 when the ice began to break up leaving wide gaps of open water.  By the 10th the ice was gone.  On Friday the 13th (no pun intended) the temperature was nearly 70 degrees when we put our canoe in the lake and ventured out over the cold water to see what had transpired during the winter.  As we neared a sheltered area near the northeast end of the lake, we spotted several turtles fresh from their winter slumber, sunning themselves on a log.  The reflection in the water added to our interest, as we hope it does yours.  They're all part of God's creation that we are commanded to protect.
Turtles of SHL - 01a - A Painted Turtle Basking in the Sun
(Turtles of SHL - 01a - A Painted Turtle Basking in the Sun) As our canoe drifted closer to the basking painted turtles, they became a little nervous, and one by one they slid back into the water.  The first to go was this turtle, even though his or her eyes appeared to be closed.  Isaiah tells us that one day the animals will no longer have this rightful fear of us, for we will no longer hurt or destroy one another or the environment (11:6-9).  May that day come soon!
Turtles of SHL - 03 - Last on the Log
(Turtles of SHL - 03 - Last on the Log) Our canoe continued to drift closer to the sunning log, and one by one the turtles slipped back into the frigid water.  We had disturbed their privacy and pleasure.  However, this turtle was undaunted and remained until we were only a few feet away, allowing us to take this picture.  In photographing these turtles, we have mixed emotions; for their sake, we don't want to intrude into their world, but for their benefit, we want others to know about these beautiful animals so that they will learn to respect and protect them and their environment.
Turtles of SHL - 02 - Last on the Log: A Closer View
(Turtles of SHL - 02 - Last on the Log: A Closer View) Every one of God's creatures has a right to live his or her life as the Lord intended.  Look closely at the marvelous detail that went into creating this living soul, and note the subtle differences in the appearance of the others that were upon this log.  Not only did God create this being, but He also created each one as an individual, just as we were created.  Our true thanksgiving is in our love and protection of all that God has made.

Mary from www.nuzzled.net wrote:  WOW!!!! The turtles I recognize :) they are painted turtles. My husband and I rescued one from our neighbor who only gave the little guy and inch of water, NO basking area, and no light. "Pete" is now very happy in his HUGE tank... his growth was stunted because of his horrible living conditions, so returning him to the wild will probably not ever happen.. But, I took him out of his tank so he could view the pictures of his relatives. I think I saw a faint glimmer in his eyes. The pictures bring tears to my eyes.. so gorgeous and peaceful. The way it should be! :)
Turtles of SHL - 04 - It Feels So Good!
(Turtles of SHL - 04 - It Feels So Good!) We could see the expression of pleasure of this basking turtle, as if he or she were saying "It feels so good!"  We watched silently from our canoe at the outstretched and uplifted head and the way he or she rested upon his or her plastron (lower shell) with extended rear legs reaching for the sun.  From the markings on the shell this appears to be a Map Turtle.  Let us all resolve to enjoy the wildlife around us without harming it.
Turtles of SHL - 06 - Basking Rock
(Turtles of SHL - 06 - Basking Rock) Like people flocking to the beach, or children gathering at their favorite swimming hole, these painted turtles hastened to climb out of the frigid waters and sun bathe on their basking rock.  Their desire for the simple pleasures of life is very much like our own.  In our position of dominion over the creatures of this world, let us resolve to protect and preserve the whole of God's creation for ourselves and the other beings of this world.
Turtles of SHL - 05 - Rafting on a Log
(Turtles of SHL - 05 - Rafting on a Log) While watching this and other turtles upon a floating log, I thought about my own childhood, when my friends and I attempted to build a log raft and float upon the water, but without the success of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  This turtle took advantage of a natural log raft where he or she soaked up the warming sun.  May we always allow them to enjoy these simple pleasures.
Turtles of SHL - 07
(Turtles of SHL - 07) On the first day of Autumn 2003 we spotted this baby snapping turtle in the grass on the edge of the road.
Turtles of SHL - 08
(Turtles of SHL - 08) This is another look at the baby snapping turtle.
Turtles of SHL - 08a
(Turtles of SHL - 08a) This is a close up look at the details on this baby snapping turtles tail, right rear leg, and part of the shell.
Turtles of SHL - 08b
(Turtles of SHL - 08b) This is a closer look at the baby snapping turtle's shell, head, and right front leg.
Turtles of SHL - 09
(Turtles of SHL - 09) This is another look at the baby snapping turtle walking through the grass and heading for the roadway.
Turtles of SHL - 10
(Turtles of SHL - 10) When we realized that the turtle was going to cross the road, with all it's dangers, and the fact that some unscrupulous drivers will actually try to kill animals on the road, as good stewards of God's creation, we picked up the baby snapping turtle and went down to the edge of the lake and let the turtle go. As you can see, he or she took to the water immediately.
Turtles of SHL - 11
(Turtles of SHL - 11) The baby snapping turtle then slipped under the water that was on top of this rock and began to try swimming.
Turtles of SHL - 12
(Turtles of SHL - 12) Immediately after snapping this final photo, the baby snapping turtle swam out into the open water.

Lamb-Right Lamb-Left Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.