For turtles, it’s a necessity. They need the sun’s warmth to give them enough energy to get through their days. Painted turtles follow a similar pattern each day during their active season: early basking, followed by seeking food in the depths, more basking, more feeding, until it’s time to find a place to hide for the night in the mud.
And while painted turtles are among our most numerous and conspicuous visual members of the tribe in southeastern Massachusetts, sometimes a lucky wanderer (like I was the day I took these pics at the Crowell Conservation Area in Duxbury) can stumble across another species or two, like this spotted turtle.
But hey, there’s no monopoly on the sun. Just ask the green frogs. They dig it, too.