“I’m Yertle the Turtle! Oh, marvelous me! For I am the ruler of all that I see!” said Dr. Seuss’s title character. While observing painted turtles stacked in the sun, I wondered, “Could this be Yertle’s descendants living in Ohio? Or perhaps Yertle himself and he’s forgotten his lesson.”
At the time I was sketching my ideas for this composition, several times I swam back into a cove where I often observe turtles from my kayak trying to sneak up on the turtles to watch them. While swimming, I kept thinking about the turtle’s eye view, not seeing much above water level unless they climb out and up, and the contrast of that to their ease of movement below water. I incorporated the contrasts of horizontal and vertical above water and below, and the viewpoint of being at water level into my design.
I also incorporated a humorous take on my feelings about the practice of leaving set lines (a.k.a. bank lines) for catching turtles or fish. The ODNR required name and address tag says “B. Beck Later, Lazy Lane, Chance, OH.” To me it just doesn’t seem very sporting to leave a line tied to a tree and come back 24 hours later to check it. I usually want to remove them when I see them around the lake, but don’t as they are legal in Ohio as long as the person who uses them follows ODNR regulations.