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Post Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:07 pm   Miss our wild friends

In Florida, we lived in a mobile home park and our place had ponds on 3 sides. One was just a few feet from our door. There were ducks living on the pond, and we started feeding them floating pellets. One day I noticed a yellow bellied slider (Big Momma Moss, or Momma) eating the pellets. Over a period of at least 6 months, I gradually coaxed her in closer to shore until one day she took a pellet from my hand. Over the next couple months, other turtles saw me feeding her and joined in. Eventually we had hand fed nearly 2 dozen individuals. After living in Florida for 26 years, feeding those terps is the only thing I miss.

This is me with Amber. Red-ears are not native to FL but we counted 5 in our little pond. Amber was awesomely friendly. She would sit on Dar24's (my wife) foot and wait for her treats. If we had a place to keep her when we got here, we were seriously considering bringing her with, but couldn't just take her from a pond and put her in a tank.
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This lineup is Amber (top) and Magenta (Maggie, another RES) Ruby, a red-bellied cooter, Momma and Mis Scarlet (RES)
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Momma, in our driveway during transit between ponds
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Videos:
Gamera, Florida soft shell. She was at close to 24 inches with a 15+ inch neck. She was amazingly gentle, like most of them were, when feeding
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Ruby
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Momma, without the moss, lol
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More to come
Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:48 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Zilla, Florida snapping turtle
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roll call
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NOt a great video, but this is Wolfie, a large mouth bass
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The pond
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Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:17 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Really fun pics and vids, I especially like the lineup photo. Also, the wife is very brave feeding those snappers :)
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steve
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:04 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

steve wrote:Really fun pics and vids, I especially like the lineup photo. Also, the wife is very brave feeding those snappers :)


Dar is the turtle whisperer. I fed the first few but after that she was to first to feed almost all of the rest. There was one old softshell that she refused to hand feed. Goldie was the least experienced and could get fairly aggressive. She was huge.
Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:38 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Beautiful pictures. I loved your story. :msgreen:
AngelaAndMikey
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:29 am   Re: Miss our wild friends

Steve,, this was Jet, ( came by that name cause he was jet black and he was very skittish and don't kid yourself aquatic turtles can move..lol) He showed up early spring this year (2015) and stayed around till 5 days before we moved,(late August) that is when Sheldon our main Male yellow bellied boyfriend of Momma's came back to the pond. Sheldon had been missing for over 9 months we thought that maybe he was a goner and five days before we moved he showed back up, at the time we had JET and another new comer YB male we had named Vader coming to feedings for weeks.. All of a sudden Sheldon is back and those two boys disappeared. Sheldon was very unassuming, slow to come in and eat and very gentle, but somehow he ruled that pond with an iron claw, cause when he was in the house, he was the ONLY male in the house..lol One reason I hesitate about adding new friend in with Philbert, in our experience the different females we had were very tolerant of each other but it appeared that only one male be allowed, so I don't want to make the mistake of having two males. Gonna be a while till we know what Phil is, but man does he have a long tail at the moment..lol

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Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 7:42 am   Re: Miss our wild friends

This was Vader, he was a very gentle soul. He was not shy but he wasn't pushy either, just what I would call laid back kind of guy. I guess he is probably what you call melanistic too? I just got the impression Jet was younger and this old guy was old. He was pretty big for a YB male.

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Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:50 am   Re: Miss our wild friends

My male RES turned melanastic pretty early, so it's hard to judge their age. Vader is a bit big, though I would have guessed female if it weren't for those claws.
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steve
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:04 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Well Vader is a Florida Yellow Belly, they do get much bigger then RES turtles. Male Adult Yellow bellies in our pond were slightly bigger then the adult female RES. They had more of an elongated shell then The RES. did.

Hmmmm looking at this picture more, I wonder if Vader was a Red Belly male. Just looking at his redness underneath.. That would explain his size. His head looks like a Red Belly too..
Trying to locate a pic of Sheldon. Sheldon was definately not Melanistic..lol
Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 25, 2015 12:19 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Haha this Pic shows Sheldon in his favorite spot, On top of Momma. We never saw one turtle without the other in the middle of the pond. I really don't think he was always trying to mate. He just appeared to ride on her back everywhere. It's why I wondered if turtles bonded cause if any turtles had a bond these too did. When Momma showed up back this summer without Sheldon we thought for sure he must be gone, cause you never ever saw one without the other. As I said in another post, he finally showed up weeks later, just before we moved. But this boy had all his stripes, this is the way he looked when we first saw him in summer of 2011 and he never changed. Of course we have no idea how old these two are. But if any turtles were a couple these two were..lol

Momma and Sheldon ( just after a shed, Look how pretty their shells are.. within a month they had growth all over their shells again)

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Midland Painted--Philbert--SIP :(
1-2 1/4" Mississippi Map Turtle(Male)--Atlas
1-2 1/2" Western Painted Turtle (male)--Titan
40 gallon tank
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unclejoe
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Dec 7, 2015
Location: sw VA
Gender: Female

Post Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:09 pm   Re: Miss our wild friends

Wow, so many turtles I love it! :D You are a very fortunate man. To have an easy access to several ponds, and meeting a whole generation of turtles yearly is something only one could ever dream of, especially for a turtle hobbyist.
"You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
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Protracturtle
 
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