Another guy to identify; what am I?

Walking around the second pond, which was completely iced over, I spotted an odd shaped blueish blob just under the surface of the ice. It did not move as I approached.

Another guy to identify; what am I?

I got too close to the boggy edge and one leg sank in up past my knee! Trying to hold my camera up out of the muck and reach a small stick to put under my other foot, I made quite a bit of noise, but the blueish blob showed no signs at all of hearing me. Was it even still alive?

Finally free of the muck (with the muck-&-water-filled boot still on!), I found a way to get close enough to break the ice with a stick. Even this ruckus did not disturb blueish blob. I finally poked at her tail and she stretched out her hind feet a little, then eased away from my stick and resumed her quiet wait – for a meal to pass by?

Below the Sparkling Ice…

As I looked at the sparkling, cold, and very solid ice, I speculated that all the frogs, turtles, and snakes must be safely hibernating for the winter.  Then I looked down at the clear ice near the edge of the pond, and look who I saw!

back_forty_winter__january_2_2013__0045_turtle.jpg

He turned and swam off, but I snapped a shot. I am glad I had the camera set to record in camera RAW, because my other settings were still for bright light, like the last photo! I was fumbling with the settings while taking a couple more steps, and another turtle swam off before I had all my settings adjusted! Were they looking for access to the air? Should I have opened a hole in the ice for them? These were good-sized turtles, maybe 8 or 9 inches from the front of their shells to the backs, so they have already survived several winters with iced-over ponds. Surely they have some way of getting air?