When I went out the other morning to do a little weeding in my vegetable garden, I was surprised to find an egg nestled in among the lettuce.

It was just sitting there, on top of the dirt, perfectly intact. It’s fairly small, about 1.5” long, and completely white. No other color or markings. No sign of a nest or attempt to dig one or build one.

I’m puzzled.

 It couldn’t have fallen from a nest in any of the nearby trees. It’s also unlikely that it could have been carried there, only to be left. So it had to have been laid there.

There are ground-nesting birds in the fields nearby – killdeer, bobolinks, meadowlarks, and others, but all their eggs look quite different, but their nests are usually tucked away in the tall grass.

My first reaction was that it was a bird’s egg. But could it be a turtle egg? The size is about right, but I didn’t see signs of any attempt at digging. Turtles bury their eggs. They don’t just leave them out in the open. And the soil is all wrong – as far as I know, turtles tend to look for lighter, sandier soils. The soil in my garden is dark and heavy, with a lot of clay mixed in.

When I got back in I did a bit of research, trying to find out what the differences are between turtle eggs and bird’s eggs. Not much, as it turns out. And in a few of the question-and-answer websites people had found eggs in similar situations and had the same question. None of the answers were satisfying.

So for the time being I left it sitting there out by the lettuce. It won’t hatch because there’s nothing to incubate it. In another day or so I may break it open to see if that’ll shed any light on things.

 

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