“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;”
Song of Solomon 2:12 KJV
The conditions described in the Bible verse parallel the present. Timing is perfect for a Clark Lake turtle story.
As with many natural encounters, you have to be watching when it happens. Kelli Volk Bercik had her eyes open and cell phone recording as this female deposited eggs on June 2 in the backyard of the Gerald and Karen Burns. Earlier, on May 31, a turtle laid eggs in the Pearse’s driveway, next door. Both are located on Lakeview West. That’s a handy location for turtles. Pierces Bay is a well known home for the species. This photo of Flip and Linda Reynolds’ dock on April 9, 2021 shows its popularity.
The egg-laying process is fascinating to watch. The female digs a hole, deposits the eggs, and then covers the nest, all without looking. A minute later, no human could detect what had taken place.
That the eggs are not detectable to humans doesn’t mean that a stealthy animal might sniff them out.
In this case the nests are flagged so no human will disturb it.
As a teacher, Kelli has taught kids, preschool through 8th grade, about turtles. She adds the turtles should hatch between 70 and 90 days from now. NOAA notes that in most species, gender is determined during fertilization. However, the sex of most turtles, alligators, and crocodiles is determined after fertilization. The temperature of the developing eggs is what decides whether the offspring will be male or female. This is called temperature-dependent sex determination, or TSD. Warmer conditions generally mean more females will hatch.
Females don’t return to the nest. Once the eggs hatch, the offspring are on their own. Flashback to November 9, 2020. Bill Bendele was working on a project, just up the hill on Lakeview West. He came upon a surprise as he dug – three tiny turtles crawling out of their shells.
Once uncovered, Bill moved the three to a nearby hole that was covered in leaves. Returning to it a short time later, they couldn’t be found.
This website has multiple stories about turtles, including instances where their role was predator, and also, prey. Click here to learn about one local resident who could take on a enemy with no problem.
More turtle stories:
Note: some translations of the Bible indicate “turtle” is “turtle dove.”