As I was returning home yesterday, on a beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon, I turned onto our road to spot a turtle shuffling off the edge into the grasses. Though it wasn’t necessary for me to hop out to move him, I hopped out anyway, with my camera. The warm sun had kicked his metabolism into high gear, and he had no intentions of just pulling into his shell and waiting for me to finish playing with him. He dug his claws in and motored away from me. Even when I picked him up and moved him back to the open road to try for a photo, he was too quick to get anything but his backside as he turned away from me and ran off again. When I picked him up to hold him for the camera, he looked boldly right at me. I’m calling it a him, but I admit that none of the photos I took clearly show the characteristics that would separate a him from a her: presence or absence of a notch in the back of the shell, and the position of the cloaca underneath the tail. A notched shell and the cloaca partway down the tail would make this a him. It’s still a tad early for females to be out looking for nest sites, but if this was a male then he might be on the hunt for females to mate with; I’m not sure what the “gestation” time is for a turtle. Raven found a Painted Turtle at the lake house last year, and I wrote more about it, including other notes on behaviour and physical characteristics, in this post.