Wednesday, October 17

Wednesday Garden Pics: Box Turtles

Here, where I'm typing on my desk top computer, there's a window right next to me on my right. It's a south facing window and, since it's nice fall weather, it's open a few inches every day to let in a little breeze and fresh air.
Laying behind me, on a cat-scratch platform that's even with the window sill, is my cat, Sunni. She naps or suns herself, content to be a quiet companion while I'm working.
She doesn't constantly sleep, but often enjoys peering out the screen. There are interesting things outside for her to see, such as squirrels or birds or even the neighbors cat, whom she can't stand. Earlier this week I noticed that she was rather intent on watching something outside.
 So, I looked, too-- and lo and belold, I saw something I've never aeen before---a baby box turtle, strolling right into my strawberry bed, which happens to be right under that window.
His shell was only 2 inches at most! I excitedly grabbed my camera and dashed outside to grab a picture!
I picked him up (or "her"---since I can't tell gender) and put him on the sidewalk for better camera visibility.
Being so young, his shell wasn't big enough for him to pull all thew way inside! So it was so funny watching him trying to hide and failing!
Here's his picture:
"Box Turtles" are called by that name, because a full grown one can pull completely into it's shell and shut it up tight, like a "box."
They are, however, a land tortoise native to North America.
This particular one is a Eastern Box Turtle. 
 They are best left in the wild.
It is difficult for them to breed in the wild, since they usually only stay in a certain range of territory and it can be hard for them to find a mate.
I was so very pleased to see a youngin'! That means successful reproduction is happening!
 I see the same Box Turtles around my yard year after year, but I try and protect them, not make them pets.

That baby Boxy isn't the only Boxy I saw this week!
The next day I saw I a really old one I've seen around before on my back patio. I recognize him because he has a white patchiness on his face. I moved him to the woodsy rear of my yard where he'd be safe and noticed the top of his shell was scarred with the look of having healed from some sort of damage in the past.

Then two days later I found yet another Boxy out in my Hosta bed,though he was younger and slightly smaller is size then White Face the Ancient One.
He was less afraid of me and I got a lot of good pictures of him with his head out!
I think they're all out seeking a nice location to hibernate for

Finally, I mentioned thinning out my clumps of Siberian Iris in order to spread them into blank spots in their row.
Here's a picture of my Siberian Iris clumps:
And to imagine I only started with one!
Another bit of good news: a Black Swallowtail butterfly left
me a "little visitor"(a caterpillar) on my Curly Parsley in the back bed!

The Mama Kat prompt I'll be doing tomorrow is a "favorite fall recipe," so do come back!

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