Here in Virginia we have officially passed the last hard freeze date. So these sliders, their fellow water turtles, and frogs, toads and salamanders, will be out of the mud for the summer!
The warm, sunny days of spring have brought up the Eastern Painted Turtles from their hibernation in the pond mud. Even if it cools down again–like it has here in Virginia–the turtles will be okay. They have a anti-freeze-like blood that sees them through these temperature changes.
What better ‘E’ wildlife to feature on our normal ‘water’ day, Thirsty Thursday!
That Hickory! I had no idea he planned to have the weekend off until I came on to post. Sorry, readers. He does have two columns back-to-back that he rarely ever misses, so in the long view from the top of the highest oak in the neighborhood, I guess he deserves a weekend off.
And luckily for me, a reader has sent in a photo of a turtle he found in his backyard, asking us to identify it. Since you missed your nature’s mystery this weekend, I’ll pause until after you view th photograph before identifying it.
This big fellow–yes, it’s a boy because he has red eyes–is an Eastern Box Turtle. We have not see enough of them this half of the dry summer. This is a species native to eastern North America that lives in our deciduous woodlands. They eat some the same things we do, only on the ground–grubs, slugs, mushrooms, wild berries. They also have stomachs like squirrels and will eat things that are poisonous to humans, so never eat what either of us do!
And by the way, both us are on the lookout for fresh water these long dry weeks! If you humans could put out water bowls at ground level, and maybe in your shady areas of the yard, we squirrels and our turtle–and toad and salamander and skink–neighbors would appreciate it!
Because Hickory missed telling you, Have a great week!