Sunday, June 28, 2020

Turtle Visits

In June, we had visits from three Woodland Box Turtles (Terapene carolina carolina). Formerly, these were named Eastern Box Turtles. The first one to see on June 6 was a delight because he was rescued 3 years ago. Here is the post from then:

https://joansnaturejournal.blogspot.com/search/label/box%20turtle

"Flame" Rescue Turtle, Male, June 6, 2020


A non-scientific post I looked up online said that you could tell an approximate age of a box turtle by counting the rings on one scute on the shell. Two rings will form each year so I counted 16 so divided by 2, that makes Flame, the rescue turtle, about 8 years.

Flame has only 3 legs (one amputated during his rescue) and a scar from a likely vehicle encounter. He was found close to the road and in the driveway about 500 feet from where he was released.

"Shy" Turtle, Male, June 9, 2020

One morning, my husband alerted me that a turtle was in the mud puddle in our driveway. By the time I dressed, grabbed my camera, and went down there, I could not find the turtle. He had already left. I kept looking and finally found him hiding behind a tree on the hillside and about 10 feet from the puddle. I did see he had a red eye before he escaped into his shell to determine that he was a male.  He also has about 16 rings so he maybe around 8 years old.



I named this female box turtle "Cook" because I imagined that one of the patterns resembled a cook. I believe this is a female because her eyes are brown.  Once again, my husband alerted me but this time she was still in the puddle when I walked down there.  She was just walking around and drinking the water, creating a trail in the mud.  She did not seem afraid of me at all.



This view from the other side shows slightly different patterns. I am hoping I will be able to recognize her again from her patterns if she stops by again. I estimate she is about 6 or 7 years old.

We will probably have turtle visitors again when the blackberries ripen in about a week or so. They always come to get those that fall on the ground.