Turtle Hatchlings

I am still digitizing some old 35mm slide photographs via my D800, and this series I came upon is from 2002.   We had a few yards of dirt delivered to our backyard, and covered it with a tarp to keep it from blowing around too much.   That tarp sat undisturbed for awhile due to the intended projects being postponed.   I remember lifting the tarp one day to find a nest of eggs.

turtle hatchling in egg

Blandings Turtle in Egg | Nikon F5, 105 f2.8 macro lens, Fuji Provia 100F film, photographed Aug 2002, – digitized by D800 July 2014

We had only been in our house for a couple years, enjoying our proximity to the woods and the critters we encountered.   This however, was a real treat.   I remember not knowing exactly what kind of eggs they might be at the time, they seemed too big for a snake, so I felt pretty comfortable in assuming they were turtle eggs.   I left them alone and placed the tarp back how it was.

Every day I would go and take a peek, monitoring their safety and progress.   Upon one inspection, I saw some eggs missing and one of them starting to crack open.   The missing ones may have fallen victim to a predator.   I could see some slight movement in the cracked one, so I grabbed my camera.

I was able to witness and photograph the first emergence of this little guy into the world.   Over the course of the next week, I was able to photograph another one mostly out of the shell.    To date, it remains in my memory as one of the best backyard wildlife encounters we have had.

turtle with egg shell photo

Blandings Turtle with broken eggshell, Nikon F5, 105 f2.8, Fuji Profia 100F film – photographed Sept 2002, redigitized Jul 2014

I am enjoying the memories brought up by going back and looking through some of my old slides.   Rephotographing them with my digital camera not only has allowed me to apply my current know-how in processing, but also some alternative routes as well.   I thought these particular shots worked well as monochrome conversions.



  1. Aww how cute! And good timing!
    Alanna St. Laurent recently posted..Light Painting in Abandoned BuildingsMy Profile

  2. AS you might imagine, I can relate to the backyard experience of a lifetime. This was a very nice find for you…and the hatchlings. At least a few escaped whatever predator got in there.
    Steve Gingold recently posted..07.12.2014 Super Full Buck MoonMy Profile

  3. That’s quite a story and quite an experience to be sure.
    Cedric Canard recently posted..Tempted by lightnessMy Profile

  4. It would seem such a loss if you didn’t “recapture” at least the best of your old slides, Mark. Glad you’re having success doing it with your D800. These photos would be prized even if you didn’t have such a wonderful story about them. Nice work and thanks for sharing with us.
    Earl recently posted..Northern Spain by carMy Profile

    • Thanks Earl – glad you enjoyed them. It is still a bit of a double edge sword going back into the slide archives. At one time, I was scanning all my favorites, but as you know, time gets away from you and many were put on the “some day” shelf. So I tend to gravitate towards the ones that I do have some vivid memories about now.

  5. You were able to experience a part of nature many of us will never see. I’m envious. A female friend of mine found a large bull snake shedding it’s skin in one of her window wells. She freaked out and called the human society while I would have watched nature’s show. Each experience like that connects more to our natural state in the world. We are so isolated from nature and one reason we treat it poorly. Awesome!
    Monte Stevens recently posted..A late post.My Profile

    • I thought it was rather unique also Monte, and feel fortunate to have it happen right in my own backyard. We definitely need more exposure – I couldn’t agree more – and thanks.

  6. Definitely difficult to get everything done. But this was well worth it for sure. What an amazing treat. The experience and the photos!

  7. These are amazing, Mark! What an awesome experience to have in your backyard — especially since you didn’t know what laid them in the first place.

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