Whilst cycling along the Britannia bike path near mud lake, I was lucky to overtake this Ottawa resident.
She took a moment to rest. I like to think she was comfortable with me guarding her. She was returning to Mud Lake having just laid her eggs in the soft grass-seeded dirt on the south side of the path. Ample scuff marks showed where the nest is.
Back to the lake …
I wonder just how safe her precious cargo of eggs are. She laid them in the top soil covering a recent City excavation. The soil has been sprinkled with grass seed. It is right between a soccer field and busy bike path. The area is frequented by house cats from the adjacent houses (nice kitty, go kill some frogs and wildlife and go poop out there then come back to mommy and daddy…).
I would like to think someone is rushing out there today to install a snow fence around the soft turf to give the eggs a bit of a chance. But it’s not likely.
I have seen turtles before along the River. Trying to climb the 8″ concrete walls that line the Ottawa River Commuter Expressway so they can lay eggs in the soft sand of the adjacent houses. What percentage of those young make it back to the River? Does anyone zooming to and from Kanata notice? Or care?
Maybe it is time we got beyond the see-the-nice-grassy-landscape-at-60-kph-style of the NCC and restore some of the shoreline to a more natural function.
We could start by building a few more protected sand mini-beaches, and asking humans to stay out of them at nesting times. In a few places along the River, there are semi-rings of large rocks to prevent shoreline erosion; behind them are bits of gravel beaches in which I have seen turtles (and small humans with plastic shovels).
The City sewer folks have inadvertently demonstrated the value of installing a few freshly turned sandy or soft soil spots along the River for the mommy turtles.
It was their River first.