BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘turtle’

#365daysofbiking Slim slow slider

May 8th – It’s always nice to welcome seasonal characters back into one’s life and none more so than the local canal’s resident reptile, Mr. Miyagi, the yellow-bellied slider.

Clearly a discarded pet, many canals and pools in the UK are home to these gentle, but surprisingly speedy vegetarians. The will live happily in our climate although being native to the Americas, but will not breed, even if they managed to find a mate. These turtles were popular a while back and sold as small animals, many were set free as they grew.

Mr. Miyagi is the size of a dinner plate, and likes to sun himself on the bank or any suitably buoyant drifting debris he can find on warm days, and his statuesque, head raised posture marks him as a real sun worshipper.

However, get a bit close or make a sudden movement – as I did today by sneezing – and he darts into the water with remarkable acuity.

I thought last year someone may interfere and ‘rescue’ the dear old soul, but he remains, reactions as sharp as ever and it was good to note his presence for another season.

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#365daysofbiking A small bimble

October 2nd – I was recovering after the hospital appointment, but fresh air called and I took a spin out in the afternoon, enjoying the sun for a circuit of Brownhills, Walsall Wood, Pelsall and Clayhanger.

Slow and leisurely, I wanted to see if I was up to riding. Thankfull I felt no ill effects.

At Clayhanger Bridge I met the Watermead family, all now large birds, having a communal preen by the canalside. They tolerated me, and only went for my ankles a couple of times.

Beautiful, adorable birds.

To my surprise, Mr. Miyagi the turtle was basking too, but slid back in the water before I had my camera. Didn’t expect to see him out so late, but always nice to see.

The fresh air improved my mood and it was nice to find my riding wasn’t impeded.

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#365daysofbiking An Indian summer lover

September 18th -The unusually fine, warm autumn weather meant probably the last public appearance for Mr. Miyagi, the local feral yellowfins belly slider turtle who lives in the canal near Clayhanger.

He was sunbathing happily in his normal spot with admires passing by gently as not to scare him.

For a discarded pet, he certainly has many fans. He’ll soon retire to the deep mud where the cold doesn’t get, before re-emerging in spring.

An unusual local celebrity.

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#365daysofbiking Sun worshiper

September 10th – The weather is generally agreeable and warm at the moment, and there’s no finer indicator of than than passing on the way to work local sun worshipper Mr Miyagi (turtle wax on, turtle wax off) as I’ve decided to christen him.

He was sunning himself in his usual spot, head out and enjoying the day.

This feral yellow belly slider is becoming quite the local celebrity.

He’s a handsome chap for sure…

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#365daysofbiking Slider rule

August 27th – Oh gosh, a local celebrity. On the half-shell.

This yellow belly slider turtle has been living in the canal for years – I’ve seen a few of them in my time; there was one at Chasewater for years and several on the Black Country canals.

They are all discarded pets that are now illegal; they are normally southern US residents but survive fine in our climate, but won’t breed.

I’ve had fleeting glimpses of this one before near Clayhanger, but today, I caught it enjoying the sun at the edge of the canal.

It’s large, healthy, and apparently content. And boy, can it move fast: One whiff of danger and it retreated back to the water at top speed.

A fascinating curiosity.

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May 22nd – Turtally awesome!

Spotted at James Bridge, on the canal between Pleck and Darlaston on a bright, warm, sunny day, a female, adult yellow-bellied slider turtle drifting down the canal on some drifting detritus while basking in the sun.

She was probably released into the canal by some idiot who couldn’t keep her any longer having no idea of the size she’d grow to be. Fortunately, this animals will live happily (but not breed) in the UK climate.

This is the urban Black Country, post industrial, inner city in 2018. We have non-native turtles drifting on the cut, enjoying the sun.

Just one of the many reasons I love this place with all my heart. There really is something new every day.