Eastern Painted Turtles love to sun themselves in large groups at the northern end of Silver Lake, but they quietly slide into the water at the slightest sound!
REPTILES, AMPHIBIANS & MAMMALS
From Snapping Turtles to Bullfrogs and River Otters, Silver Lake offers a delightful diversity of nature for visitors. You never know what you might see, so bring your camera! Keep a watchful eye, too, because you may be seeing creatures unawares — they have an amazing ability to mask their presence.
Snapping Turtles eat almost anything they can catch, including ducks! This mallard swam about 50 feet with the Snapper hanging on to its tail! You see the Snapper holding on upside down in this shot.
Eastern Box Turtles are uncommon at Silver Lake, but they are striking when you have the opportunity to see one.
We have enhanced the photograph of the Snapping Turtle above so you can see it more clearly. As murky as it appears here, it can be murkier still in real life! A snapper’s shell can be about 11 inches long and the tail may add another 11 inches. At possibly 45 pounds in weight, a snapper can be a formidable opponent!
Rare full view of a Snapping Turtle (above) and a recently hatched baby (below).
Muskrats are very common at Silver Lake, and you will often see them swimming at the southern end. They burrow under the concrete berms and create lodges that they enter from under the water.
This Beaver showed up in 2001 and was furiously cutting down trees for about a week. He disappeared, and there has not been another Beaver since!
Mink will rarely be seen and will often be a group of three to five juveniles. They are fast and difficult to photograph!
Do you see the snake? This one is in the left center of the photograph. Its body is wavy looking. They are often hard to see in the water!
A visitor at the Mill captured this photograph and gave us permission to use it. The Common Water Snake, often mistaken for a poisonous snake, captured this fish and proceeded to swallow it whole! (yes! Really!)
Above, a Water Snake shed its skin – something that happens between four and twelve times a year.
On New Year's Day 2020, a Northern River Otter spent its holiday at a farm pond next to Silver Lake. It swam and fished and napped and just had a great time!