Sunday, August 28, 2011

Creekside Revisited

During my last recent ramble through some parts of Manitoba, I again camped overnight at Creekside.  Actually, I was surprised the place was open as it must have been flooded earlier in the Spring since 'creekside' means along the shore of the Assiniboine River. 

This sign looks like it has recently got some new legs but still needs a bit more of a wash-up. 

Anyway, this is a friendly, quiet bit of refuge for a weary RVer, tired of battling the big trucks and usually heavy traffic on the TransCanada.  It's 40 kms or so east of Portage la Prairie.

The birding is usually pretty good there too.  The park has good variety of big old trees.  Chestnut-sided Warblers, American Redstarts, and Red-eyed Vireos were among the feathered types near my site.

The resident Canada Goose pack were sunning on the lawn when I drove out the following morning.

Creekside is the place I camped two Springs ago when Western Painted Turtles  (Chrysemys picta bellii) were laying eggs. 

This is one of those female Painted Turtles.  They were everywhere. 

This one deposited her load a few meters from where I was parked.  She dug, and dug and dug a hole in the damp sand, as deep as her back legs would stretch. 

She would deposit an egg, cover with some sand, lay another....

On and on - 20-25 eggs

She covered the rest of the sand, and then laid on the 'nest', resting.  It was dark by then.  The whole process took about 3 hours.

When I awoke next morning, the turtle was gone, the only indication of some sort of activity was a wet spot the size of her body.  She must have emptied herself of a fair amount of fluid.

I didn't get a chance to ask the park owner about the turtles or flood damage when I checked in. 

Oh, and yes, I like turtles, too.

More info about Painted Turtles at Wikipedia

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