Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Week of Box Turtles

I was heartented to see old Scarback. I had not seen him all summer and was concerned that maybe he was not able to find water during the severe drought. In fact, he was in the vicinity of our air conditioner when I spotted him, so when I released him, I placed him near the puddle of water that forms under the condensate drain.

Then, a few days later, I spotted another eastern box turtle that I had not seen before. The notch in the anterior marginal scute of his carapace will make it quite easy to re-identify him should he return.

Then, a few days later, a female showed up, and again, one that I had not seen before. Oddly, she also has some damage to the anteriror cervical and adjacent marginal scutes of her carapace that, in addition to her rather bright carapace markings, will make her easy to identify in the future.

Why did I see three turtles in the spand of one week? I do not know. It is too early for them to be searching for a place to hibernate. Perhaps it is drought related.

(Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus 1819)

Habits of the Box Tortoise by Alfred Goldsborough Mayer ~ Popular Science Monthly, November 1890

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