Box Turtles

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by WRHC TopGun, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. WRHC TopGun

    WRHC TopGun Supporter Supporter

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    86A619F7-15F2-45EC-8444-D45EE46ECF0A.jpeg 0B309EBF-95CC-495E-858A-A4E4685FCA80.jpeg C6CA8E3B-0875-4083-B00E-B7A7FDEB3690.jpeg 157D4D17-DE33-4FF5-93B6-0130702D5FF7.jpeg 4CF22115-B82F-4BCF-B6C6-D452EEB3F163.jpeg 1670D78C-D7FB-4C1F-AC86-E3F059653572.jpeg E2E377E4-8588-4D23-96AB-F6D7139AE600.jpeg Where I live in VA we’ve got a good population of turtles. My very favorites are box turtles. I’ve seen a bunch this year in all types of habitat from my back yard lawn to the vegetable garden to hardwood forest floor to the the very top of a mountain at about 1000’ feet elevation. There’s just something I find so cool about them. Here are a few I’ve run across recently.

    I practice 100% photo and release with these critters. Only really handle them if I feel like they’re vulnerable to being run over by a vehicle or mower.

    Please post up your photos and any interesting details about your box turtle encounters.

    Cheers.
     
  2. WRHC TopGun

    WRHC TopGun Supporter Supporter

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    9A46938A-732C-4C59-9CA6-064CBADC2983.jpeg 8A838C78-8CAE-45A0-9F23-385FDEAB3E6D.jpeg B95A981A-9030-4B0C-81FA-0120A9FF1D42.jpeg 909ED42F-AA22-4327-A592-35A1977AABB7.jpeg 84CF7BF8-6290-4166-9CC4-72E4F0102130.jpeg Found these shots from past years. The variety in coloration is amazing to me. This orange guy is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
     
  3. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    Found this in the woods. It sits in my curio cabinet in my study.
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  4. carpenter

    carpenter AXE MOB Supporter

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  5. hillst1

    hillst1 Supporter Supporter

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    Saw 2 yesterday on a hike.
     
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  6. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    NICE PICS !
     
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  7. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    I got some turtle pics, they're not box turtles though. One snapper and a painted. They were laying eggs right next to each other.

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    Turtles are somewhat sacred in Michigan. Michimilimackinac (Mackinac Island) is the Great Turtle, said by the Ojibiway to be the first land God raised up out of the waters.
     
  8. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    I usually have seen at least 1 every time I've been out this year. I think the logging and controlled burning in LA was probably bad for them. Here in MD, they seem much more common. I like running into them.
     
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  9. BradGad

    BradGad Supporter Supporter

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    Tim Homan’s Hiking Trails of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wildernesses has superb natural history notes in each chapter. The one on Eastern box turtles is one of my favorites. I can’t find my copy right now, but when I do I will try to type it out. Meanwhile here are some highlights I remember.
    • They’ve been here for something like 140 million years, well back into Dinosaur Days. Easily one of the oldest species of complex fauna in the Appalachians.
    • They can live at least 120 years.
    • If the habit isn’t disturbed, they will likely live that span in the space of a couple football fields.
    • The males have a concave under-plate, the better not to slide off their lady friends when mating.
    • The eye color is different by gender, but I can’t remember which is which.
    • When both Native Americans and colonists were in the upper Appalachians, the tortoises almost went extinct, with both groups taking them, the colonists mostly to eat, the Native Americans mostly for bowls and ceremonial rattles.
    • They are one of the few animals that can eat the poisonous Amenita mushrooms (you know, your Death Caps, your Destroying Angels) without ill effect. Their meat is wholesome but any number of people have died of liver failure after eating Eastern box turtles that had recently dined on Amenita.
     
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  10. WRHC TopGun

    WRHC TopGun Supporter Supporter

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    8551869C-CD84-4AE4-8ECD-53709090D800.jpeg 05CCF54E-D329-48AF-8D8B-DF68F4262DF9.jpeg D1FFF344-BFE1-4B5F-8B6E-E7A1C519E990.jpeg C8003684-6DBD-4B2E-A35E-5DDC01A28F6E.jpeg ECA2DCDB-DA5C-42B0-988A-1A04A2BB7E58.jpeg 8CCE1C2F-CBD1-4688-BABB-1E5A8AEC52F5.jpeg 03561547-CB35-4BFD-A030-21CAABCB61C8.jpeg So I just had my strangest box turtle encounter to date. As I headed out the back door I noticed something floating in the pool - a box turtle. How it got there is beyond me. It had to either climb stairs or go over a stone wall that surrounds the pool. Couldn’t have been in there more than about a half hour since I skimmed and added water earlier this AM. Crazy! And, in case you wonder, they float like a cork and swim just fine. There was actually a tree frog floating on her back but I was too slow to get a pic.

    Rescued and relocated back into the woods until next time...
     
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  11. Dillon Finan

    Dillon Finan Scout

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    Beautiful Turtles!
     
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