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painted turtle by river

Wildlife Spotting Along the Menomonee River

May 17, 2021  |  Topics: Places

By Scott Mason

I shot these photos on a leisurely bike ride through the Village of Wauwatosa, through Hoyt Park, and up to the Monarch Trail on the Milwaukee County Grounds. There were tons of people out on the trails, these garter snakes emerging, and this intergenerational moment of spotting a turtle on the banks of the Menomonee River.

The garter snakes appeared to be emerging from a hibernaculum; there were numerous ones in the area right next to the trail. These were all small and the ones on the stump shown here held still long enough for me to get this shot.

The three people were walking the trail on the opposite bank toward me when they noticed the painted turtle sunning itself.

Scott Mason has been following The Natural Realm for some time. This is his first submission. If you have a story to tell or images you’d like to share, please see our submission page or send an email to