Turtles Seeking Sunlight

Top Photo: Sliders catching some rays. As soon as the sun returned after a couple of weeks of overcast skies, and 12 solid days of rain, our Wetlands turtles returned to their favorite perches to bask in the golden, and long awaited, sunshine. The turtles were crowded onto logs, boulders, and tree limbs. Where there was sun, there were turtles.       There’s proof in the Wetlands’ water that at least one turtle that had come ashore to nest this past summerRead more


Although I’ve been seeing Common Baskettails (Epitheca cynosura) for several weeks now, the one above is the first that I was able to photograph. Again, not the first bullfrog tadpoles of the season (they’re present all year long) but they are beginning to become frogs. Some are showing short hind legs, they’re surfacing to gulp air, and well, just look at them, they’re huge! Right on time is the first Eastern, or Common, Musk Turtle. This one was seen baskingRead more

The Cycle Continues

Spring is moving right along here at the Museum. More insects are being seen, frogs and toads breeding, and turtles are out basking with ever more frequency. It can’t be stopped. There’s no turning back. It’s cold and rainy today (3/31), but once the low pressure system (two lows, in fact) that’s causing all of this wet weather passes our area, spring will continue the way it always has. The trees will proceed to leaf-out, birds will arrive from theirRead more

Sleepy Skink and a Very Small Toad

A Ground Skink’s presence is most often betrayed by a rustle in the leaves as the unseen lizard scurries away, leaving the passerby scratching his or her head wondering what made the noise. The skink in the photo on the left was basking in the sun. It must have been enjoying itself too much to give way to the big bipedal intruder clomping down the path, me. As you can see, I was able to get a photo of itRead more

Tree-climbing Turtle, Snakes vs. Frogs

In a previous Journal entry (Explore the Wild Journal, July 1-15) I mentioned having seen a Stinkpot, or Eastern Musk Turtle, in the Wetlands. I also mentioned that they’ve been known to climb trees, as high as 6 feet up. On August 3rd I saw one in a Willow about 50 feet off the Wetlands Overlook (image below). However, this little turtle was only about 3 feet above the water’s surface. I saw a young Snapping Turtle (4-5 inches fromRead more

Storms Bring Out Frogs, Stinkpot Appears

The first week of this period brought daily thunderstorms towards the end of each day. Before each day’s rain, Gray and Green Tree Frogs and Narrow-mouthed Toads began calling from the dense cover surrounding the Wetlands. While it’s difficult to impossible to actually see it happening, many new eggs were being deposited in the Wetlands each night. On a smaller scale, and easier to see, small patches of eggs have been seen floating in the water of the U-shaped pondRead more