Last Saturday was very warm in Maryland and turtles were out basking on logs in the Big Gunpowder Falls River. These northern red-bellied cooters were out in large numbers downstream from the second dam of Loch Raven Reservoir. Red bellied cooters are easily identified by their reddish orange color on the underside of the shell.
I believe the turtle on the far right might be an older red-eared slider as it lacks the reddish orange markings on underside of its shell. Red-ear sliders are known for having a red stripe behind their eyes that becomes darker as they age. However, I won’t stand firm on that identification because it is a bit hard to tell from this single photograph.
I caught a shot of this swimming turtle that I would guess is a red-bellied cooter, but it is too hard to tell for certain.
Turtles are surprisingly hard to get close to as they are very shy, and will slip into the water if you are clumsy in your approach. I was behind a tree when this turtle swam up, but he quickly submerged when he spotted me.