Barb and Joe gave us Painter in May of 2008; 12 years ago. We kept him all summer and winter feeding him primarily fish worms until he was fat. We released him in the pond by our house the summer of 2009. Last fall we (or honestly Cullen) found Painter on the lawn and we returned her (we think Painter is a she). The picture was taken when we released her last September.
Yesterday Kathryn and I were planting Elderberries on the bank of the pond when we paused to look for fish cruising in the pond. I saw one large catfish, but even better we spied Painter swimming. She looked graceful – like a big green sea turtle. I read that Painted Turtles can have a life expectancy of 25-30 years – very cool, eh?
We put the tree planting shovel to good use yesterday planting 10 Elderberry bushes and 50 white spruce trees. The planting shovel is ideal because it has a narrower blade than a regular shovel and that’s important because we are planting in very rocky ground and the fewer rocks encountered the better. We have been planting trees for many years – the large spruce trees on the west side of the house were planted by Ed and I and are now 30+ feet tall. But I think we are running out of places to put additional trees. Most of the plantings this year were replacement trees for previous plantings that failed.