Peter Baye and Will Ericson were exploring the newly exposed river bed of the Gualala River when they spotted a juvenile Western Pond Turtle.
This is the first juvenile that Peter has seen in quite some time, good news as these turtle are on the endangered species list.
Western Pond Turtles favor a habitat with boulders and logs where they can sun themselves. They are very wary of people. Peter tells me he is usually made aware of one of these turtles' presence by hearing the sound of the turtle disappearing into the water. This little guy must have wondered what happened to the water. It was walking across the newly exposed stream bed when Peter and Will noticed it.
Thanks to Peter for allowing me to share his photos with you here. May there be many more juvenile Pond Turtles in the Gualala River!