A Tiny Turtle

Top Photo: Head tucked in, hatchling common musk turtle pauses to take shelter while making it’s way across pavement to the wetlands, a long dangerous journey. About 2.5 to 3 months ago, a female common musk turtle mucked her way through the mud of the wetlands and up and across the pavement of the walkway searching for a quiet place to dig a nest. Finding a safe location off the beaten path and in soft soil, she dug a smallRead more

Chasing Turtles

I’ve been watching turtles here at the Museum since my arrival some 6 years ago. We have about five species in our Wetlands: Yellow-bellied Slider, Red-eared Slider, Eastern Painted, Eastern Musk, and Common Snapping Turtles. You might be thinking, “Hey, what’s he talking about, you either have five species or you don’t,” and you’d be right. The reason I say about five species is because the red-eared is not native. I haven’t seen any adults that I can definitely call red-eared,Read more

A little musky

A few weeks ago I reported on a very small, newly hatched turtle seen making its way across the path to the Wetlands. Well, on Thursday morning (1/27) while helping out with a Wetlands Program down in Explore the Wild I managed to catch two of the same species in a hoop net!   Both little stinkpots were released following the program.Read more

A musky herp and some avian arrivals

The thumbnail sized Common Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), or Stinkpot, in the photo above was walking up the middle of the path in Explore the Wild. The light markings on the marginal scutes of its carapace and face identify it as a musk turtle. To get a feel for its size, the willow leaf next to the turtle is less than a centimeter across at its widest (7 or 8 mm). I saw several adults of these bottom-walking, tree-climbing aquaticRead 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