Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Box Turtle Heading to Church

Someone asked me recently if there were turtles in the Habitat. On two recent and separate Sunday mornings, this Eastern Box Turtle paid a visit to the Habitat. Each Sunday morning, he was making serious time, for a turtle, on the same path. Perhaps he was headed to church. In the wet grass and in the bright sun, and with his neck extended so far that he looked like a giraffe, this turtle was easily visible from the porch (per the first photo). He, or maybe this turtle was a she, brought his neck and head in a bit, but never completely as I approached. He slowed as I took some close-up photos. Within in minutes, he was long gone. Imagine my surprise we he returned at the same time the very next Sunday morning.

The eNature site says that “a few specimens are known to have lived more than 100 years, having served as "living records," with fathers then sons carving their names or other family records on the shell.” Further, “if [the] habitat conditions remain constant, a Box Turtle may spend its life in an area scarcely larger than a football field.” The Colvin Run Habitat became a housing development about 25 years ago. Prior to that it was farm land owned by the Carpers family, who had purchased the land from George Washington (no joke), who was given the land by Lord Fairfax (again no joke). The wooded area that is part of what I call the Colvin Run Habitat has probably been staple and not farmed for the last century. This puts perspective on who was here first, this box turtle or me.

More on this and another turtle in later posts. Posted by Picasa

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