LD found a turtle

Today LD found a turtle out in the yard. We think it is an Eastern Box Turtle.

We learned quite a bit about these critters:

*Turtles can live 50-100 years.
*Turtles as a species have been around for 250 million years.
*Turtles eat insects, earthworms, millipedes, beetles, caterpillars, fruit, mushrooms, berries and vegetables.
*The plastron or lower shell of the turtle can help identify its sex. Male turtles’ lower shells are concave (goes in) while the females’ lower shells are flat or convex (rounded).
*90% of the time, males have red or orange eyes while the female have yellow or brown eyes.
*The approximate age of a turtle can be estimated by counting the growth rings on the plates (best done on the bottom shell or plastron).
*Turtles “brummate” or hibertnate in the winter by digging into the dirt.
*Turtles are territorial, so if they are removed from their territory they will try to return to their original site (aimlessly if they are taken from the area).
*Turtles lay 1-7 eggs in their clutch.

We think this box turtle is a male. We’re guessing this is a fairly young turtle (6 years or so) after counting the growth rings.

Last week we found this small snake (the dandelion shows how small it is) while weeding. I think it is a Rough Earth Snake. I’m certainly no expert on snakes, though and it could be a Smooth Earth Snake.  Yesterday we saw a huge (well to me that is — it was about 3 feet long) Black Rat Snake in the grass.

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