the same turtle…four times

We are blessed with a large yard. It’s about 3.5 acres. Most of the front yard has flower beds while the backyard has a few old oaks and some open grass. In the backyard, there’s an ancient mulberry tree with an old well under its branches. Near the well, a tiny spring bubbles up and keeps the ground damp and the grass green, even when we’re in a drought. The temperature is noticeably cooler under the tree, even on the hottest days. Past the mulberry, we have a little one acre “woods” at the south end of the property. It was all grass when we moved in, except for two large pin oaks. After a while, I began to mow around little oaks that sprouted where the squirrels had hidden acorns. After a while, I was just mowing paths through the trees. Now we have a little woods. The whole yard is a wildlife magnet, which we enjoy a great deal.

One species we keep track of are the box turtles. It amazing how many different ones we’ve seen in the 20+ years we have lived here. At some point, we began taking pictures to keep track of them. This morning, after a good rain during the night, DH found an old friend. This particular turtle has been spotted at least four times in our yard.

This morning he was found under the redbud tree near the old foundation in the backyard.

Found July 27, 2017.

April 28, 2012
He was found on the east side of the fenced garden, with his girlfriend. But she got away before I could take her picture.

carapace of the box turtle

May 1, 2010…caught in the act of mating.
Found in the flowerbed under the Southern Red Oak in the backyard.

Eastern Box Turtles

September 8, 2009
Found near the old foundation by the veggie garden, which is where he was found this morning.

Eastern box turtle

Our friend has a bright red eye which indicates a male turtle.

Eastern box turtle

Turtle populations are declining in a many parts of the United States. It’s important to take care of the wild population to give them the best possible chance for survival. If you see a turtle crossing a road, do stop if you can safely do so, and move it to the side of the road it is heading for. Don’t move turtles to other areas where you think they may be safer. Turtles attempt to return to their original habitat. Most box turtles have a limited home range of half an acre to up to two acres. Some will range over as much as ten acres. Their home range can overlap with other turtles. They don’t mind sharing.

We’ll keep an eye out for more turtle sightings and we’ll keep you posted!


One Comment

  1. Posted July 31, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Love this Rhonda! How fun to see this same turtle in your yard over the years. We have seen one occasionally but see more toads and the occasional snake. My husband will always stop and help a turtle across the road!

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