Posts Tagged ‘rings’

A Yard Visitor

A storm passed through southern Illinois earlier this morning.

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 I sat at the computer, beside the picture window, working on blog. I looked out, and there was a box turtle crossing our yard. I grabbed my camera and out I went.

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At least turtles are slow and more cooperative for pictures.

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You can tell the approximate age of a box turtle by counting the rings on plastron (a plate). I counted thirteen rings on one of the plates.

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Male box turtles have red eyes and the females have brown.

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I sat at the computer working on the blogs from the earlier yard visitors. Then what do I see next — a young squirrel.

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Squirrels aren’t common in our yard.

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This one was a fast little critter that didn’t pose for pictures. I lucked out getting these two.

Resident or Crossing Through?

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It seems like I walk up to an eastern box turtle in the yard every spring.

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It remained calm and posed for pictures.

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Male box turtles have red eyes and the females have brown. So, this is a female.

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Counting the rings on a scute (plate) will give the approximate age of the turtle. So, this one appears to be 8-10 years old.

I once watched a female digging a hole with her hind legs to lay her eggs in. I was camping that night. She worked slowly and methodically. She was still digging when I went to bed. The next morning I could hardly tell where she had been digging. Box turtles lay between 4-6 eggs, and they take roughly 3 months to hatch.