Carlos Avery Turtles

While driving around at Carlos Avery WMA, we found two turtles on the side of the road. Since we see turtles through there that have been hit by cars, we decided to move them away from it, hoping they would wander off some other way. But first, pictures!


This is the painted turtle, pretty much the most common turtle in Minnesota. You see them on the sides of roads, in ponds, sunning themselves on logs…this one was feisty, trying to get out of our hands and struggling the whole time. We found it in the open area of the park, near a marsh.

The other turtle, on the other hand, was more exciting. We found it in a much more forested area, just sitting there. It was really docile, and we didn’t know what kind of turtle it was at the time. It didn’t even walk away, and just pulled back into its shell when we picked it up.




As it turns out, this was the endangered Blanding’s turtle. It was considerably bigger than the painted turtle, and cute too. This was pretty exciting to see.

Carlos Avery Wildfire

It must, I thought as I viewed it, be the outcome of a fire; but why had nothing new ever grown over these five acres of grey desolation that sprawled open to the sky like a great spot eaten by acid in the woods and fields?

- H.P. Lovecraft, The Colour Out of Space

We recently visited Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area again, since the roads going through it just recently reopened. This is also the start of fire season in Minnesota, especially since we have not had much rain this Spring. We don’t have wildfires all the time or as large as places out West, but up in northern Minnesota, where there are vast areas of wilderness, they can get big. Just around the cities, we could look to the horizon and see 3 different small plumes of smoke at once. So, driving around Carlos Avery, it wasn’t too surprising to find some blackened ground.

Carlos Avery Charred Panoramic

Still experimenting with panoramas. I think sometimes they can be annoying to view, but they are fun to take, and look good pulled up larger.

To make it even weirder, there was a big flock of Sandhill Cranes out in the charred bushes for some reason.

Carlos Avery Charred

I wonder if the burning released or exposed some seeds in the soil they would eat? I recorded a video too, which I debated posting because of the distracting flecks on the lens that the sunlight is hitting, but decided to anyway. I will just have to remember to clean the lens off next time.

It was surreal how it almost seemed black and white. It reminded me of the blasted heath featured in the short story A Colour Out of Space. I think it would make an interesting photograph if you found somewhere that was all Birch or Aspen trees, and that a wildfire recently went through. Then you would just have the black ground and underbrush and the white tree bark.

We spent some time in Carlos Avery last year too, I talked about that in this post: Visiting Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Thanks for reading!