Monday, April 20, 2015

The King of Washington Park Lake

Now that Spring is finally here, I've been taking walks around the Washington Park Lake to watch for turtles.  I'm rather fond of them and, so far, I've found quite a few of them sunning themselves on the matted remnants of last year's cattails.  Most of the turtles I've spotted this year are fairly small - not much bigger than my hand.  And then there is this handsome old creature; I've nicknamed it The King of Washington Park Lake.

Last August, I was standing a few inches from the edge of the water near the northeast edge of the Lake.  I was looking out over the water at nothing in particular when I got the feeling that I was being watched.  I looked down and there, not even a half foot from me, was a giant turtle.  I'm talking about a shell nearly as big as a Fiat tire.  It was floating there with its head just above the water, staring right at me.

I nearly had a heart attack and, of course, I didn't have a camera with me.

Since then, I've managed to catch sight of this huge turtle a few times.  Once, while trying to take a picture some dragonflies, it slowly swam out from behind some vegetation to watch me for a few minutes before diving away.  But I haven't been able to get a good photo of it...just some blurry shots of it floating out near the middle of the Lake.

Until yesterday morning when I spotted its peering from the matted cattails where a dozen or so smaller turtles were basking.  Such an awesome, ancient-looking face.


  1. YES! My boyfriend has spoken of this turtle, he said he saw it towards the N. Lake side of the lake. I am in the park so often and I have never seen the turtle and doubted its existence. Thanks so much for this great photo, and bringing the myth to reality.