Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spotted Turtle

While whipping the grass along the back fence this afternoon, I saw this Spotted Turtle.

This particular turtle first came to the property in 2005 and was seen again in 2006 and 2009.  A picture of the turtle's plastron (bottom shell) was taken each time she was on the property and compared.  The unique markings were identical, indicating that this is the same turtle coming to lay her eggs.  

Spotted Turtles are approximately 5 inches in length. Sexual maturity is reached at 8-10 years and most individuals live for at least 25 years.  Some members of this species can reach 50 years of age.

Assuming the turtle on the property was 8 years old in 2005, she may be 16 years or older now.

You can also see the 2009 photos of this turtle on this blog located under the June entries.

We have named her "Polka-Dot Lily" -- we hope to see you for many more years to come!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Snapping Turtle

We have never had a snapping turtle on the property.  I saw this guy during a rain storm near the driveway.  

Snappers will travel extensively overland to reach new habitat or to lay eggs.   This species mates from April through November, with their peak laying season in June and July. The female can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole, the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks. In cooler climates, hatchlings overwinter in the nest.