A wildlife and landscape photographer in Minnesota recently captured a peculiar sight by the lakeside which left social media users stunned.
Scott Rykken, 64, was watching the lakeside with his wife Anne, as he often likes to do, at their Cabin in Lake Miltona in Alexandria when they saw an unusual scene.
Previously, he and his neighbor had installed a floating device in the water for wildlife to congregate on, and on this particular day, it was well populated.
Among the creatures frolicking there, they witnessed a scene like something out of a fairytale: a turtle piggybacking on a loon which had planted itself on the platform and was basking in the sun.
Scott was fortunate to have his camera ready to snap a picture of the unique and somewhat perturbing sight—which he did—otherwise, no one might have believed him had he recounted the story.
“Never have we seen a turtle even attempt to climb on the loon,” said Scott in an interview with Bring Me The News.
The turtle made several foiled attempts before getting atop the loon, apparently in search of a prime spot in the sun.
The loon, meanwhile, hardly seemed bothered by the clambering turtle, and even seemed to offer support, putting a wing out to prevent further sliding.
Once snuggly in place, the turtle stayed for about 10 minutes, as both turtle and loon sunbathed together, and then it slid off.
Amazed by the spectacle, Scott took to social media, where he posted the bizarre show.
“Our nesting loon has the patience of a saint. She shares her platform with two muskrats and multiple turtles,” Scott captioned on Facebook.
“She even let this one climb on her back this weekend and sun himself,” continued Scott, adding that the loon had, more recently, also hatched two babies.
Scott, a retired science teacher, and his wife Anne both have a passion for wildlife and spend plenty of time animal watching from their cabin, which they bought in 2001.
During their childhood, both grew up traveling to the lake with their families, swimming, fishing, and adventuring—which instilled a love for the outdoors.
A fellow cabin owner approached Scott three years ago and asked him if they might install the floating platform for loons to lay and incubate eggs, which they obviously went ahead with.
The platform is frequented by loons, turtles, and muskrats, which coexist with little discord.
Scott’s social media post attracted over 2,000 likes and numerous comments.
“When I first saw this I didn’t think it was real! Amazing shot. Someone needs to come up with a funny caption,” commented Patricia Schultz Schneider.
The full-size photo is available for sale on Scott’s website.