One of the Belle Isle mama turtles looking for a nurturing spot to lay her eggs apparently found the Swilers' front garden on Pheasant Loop a perfect place to do so. Miriam unearthed these babies while shoveling dirt to plant more flowers. "They just started scampering as soon as I removed the dirt and so I took a photo quickly. I went to get some water for the hole and before I got back they had all crawled off." As eggs, these hatchlings may have been in the ground since the spring-summer mating season.
Miriam's daughter, Beth McCall, is a public school teacher in Mount Pleasant and is always on the job. She identified these babies as "yellow-bellied sliders", a popular pet species prolific in our part of the country which can live for over thirty years in the wild. They are mostly carnivorous as hatchlings, but as adults will eat exclusively plant material.