I was quite surprised to spot this little one as I was walking down the driveway. A car just used it and luckily the little turtle was close to the grass.
It is a Red Eared Slider and probably made his way from the nearby lake. Mother turtles lay eggs and they are left on their own to hatch and feed themselves. Turtles can carry salmonella, so I put on some gloves to handle it.
The turtle has very interesting markings and patterns. Red Eared Sliders can live as long as 30 years. After observing and photographing him for awhile, I walked him to a wet area near the lake where I hope he will live a good long life.
A large turtle showed up in the wooded are of the backyard. It was a little more than 9 inches long.
I tried to identify it and the closest I found was Red Slider Turtle. There is a red line on the side of its face. Red Sliders live in and near water. This one is on the big side.
The nearest body of water is two blocks away. The most direct path would have taken the turtle through thick growth until it reached houses. At that point the turtle would have had to get under a back fence and then the front fence. Next, the turtle would have to cross a street without getting hit by a car.
Finally, the turtle had to crawl up a small hill that is my front yard and make it under my fence. (The front yard also has a wooded area.) So why is the turtle in my back yard? My best guess is that this is a female and she may be here to lay her eggs. This property is the highest on this side of the lake, maybe it has been a traditional place for turtle to lay their eggs where they would be high and dry. I will keep my eye out for baby turtles.
Or maybe, the turtle was just out for a walk.