Waking Up

You know what they say about the best laid plans...  Despite my best intentions, I have been rather slack about posting.  It seems that everything I think of to post has already been posted by others who are more eloquent and more skilled with a camera.  Guess I'm just feeling redundant.  But, insecurities aside, I do have a little something to share today --

Things are really starting to wake up around here.  It is not unusual to find the aquatic basking turtles out any time the weather warms for a few days in winter.  You see them sitting on logs, soaking up the rays.  What is unusual is to find the turtles that spend their winters dug in underground or in heavy leaf litter making their way out in late February and early March.  It's a risky venture.  What if the weather turns cold again?

The past couple of days have seen the emergence of some of our "yard" turtles.  The little mud turtle in the picture below almost got itself stepped on by my big ole feet.  She was out by one of the raised beds in the garden.  I have a feeling she spent her winter buried in the soft dirt of the main garden.

We have two species of mud turtle here.  Unfortunately, I was unable to determine which this was because she wouldn't stick her head out - I needed to see if she had stripes on her head or not.

The next turtle to make an appearance was this eastern box turtle.  I recognize this one from last year.  She looked to be in good shape and felt reasonably heavy for this time of year.

Soon after the first box turtle showed up and in the same area, Treebeard found this tiny little boy.

I worry most for this little one.  Life for a young eastern box turtle is fraught with danger.  If he can avoid becoming a tasty little snack for some predator, he has the potential for a long life but that particular "if" is a big one.  They are so vulnerable at this point in their lives.  Their shells are relatively soft and they can't "box" themselves up yet.  Yet, if all goes well, I could be walking in my yard in some far future spring and happen upon him again.  Let's hope that is the case - for both of us  :~)


Woodswalker said...

Aww! What a cute little baby! Let's hope he makes it to adulthood. Thanks for posting, I've missed you.

biobabbler said...

oh, the poor little creature. It is for just such native strugglers that my cats are INDOOR cats. Well, that and I don't want my cats killed by dogs, bobcats, coyotes, cars, disease, etc.

Best of luck to the little cutie. =)

Ellen Rathbone said...

That's a baby box turtle, eh? Hm! I'd have said it was a snapper, but then I've never seen a box turtle in the wild, juvenile or adult. Guess they look a lot different when young - kind of like trees.

Caroline said...

That looks like way more fun than finding daffodils and crocuses coming above ground!

swamp4me said...

Thanks for the comments. Hope everyone is having a good late winter/early spring!

Patricia Lichen said...

Oh man, I want to find turtles in my yard! (This is not likely to happen.) Very fun post!

Murr Brewster said...

Fireflies and box turtles in the yard. That's what I miss about Virginia. I'm not as familiar with turtles as I'd like to be, and I thought only box turtles could box up like that, so what's a mud turtle? Sure it isn't just a muddy turtle?

Off to look at field guides.

KaHolly said...

I hear you on the blogging front! Every once in awhile I get inspired. I don't see turtles too often. There is only one species in Cape Breton and it is pretty elusive (and if not endangered, of significant concern). Apparently, the weather up there isn't condusive to breeding. Summers just aren't long enough, I guess. Have a great weekend!! ~karen

Sybil said...

Don't let what others are posting bother you. Don't compare yourself to them. Your blog is unique and I really enjoy it. Please keep up with the interesting posts.