End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLES

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brick911
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End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLES

Post by brick911 » November 18th, 2013, 6:33 am

(Copied from theme #1... See below for theme #3 guidelines)

Hey guys,

I have a list of different threads I'm gonna start, spreading them out every few days. Each one will have a different theme. I would appreciate if you'd follow the rules (more like guidelines) just to keep it fun. eg. Ya know how people put up "Post your favorite picture of the year" threads, and people HAVE to put up like three pictures. Let's pay attention and try to stick to the rules. As winter creeps in, I will keep starting new threads and we can have fun with this while we look out the window at the leafless trees with tears in our eyes. If you have any ideas, feel free to PM me. Of course, I don't care if you start your own "themed" thread, but I was taking it upon myself to plan out these threads over the next few weeks as I have seen the forum die off along with the herping. *Don't let these "End of the Year" threads have any effect on any end of the year summary posts y'all were planning on doing. These will all have specific themes. I'm also hoping this will bring some of the non-posters out of the woodwork to share a photo or two. (You know who you are.). It's an opportunity to just share photos with peers, despite our herping/conservational differences. I don't mean to call you guys out and mean no offense. Just think about sharing here and there if you can with sound mind. I look forward to everyone's posts. Let's make this fun because its getting boring outside!

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Theme 3: Turtles

1. Go back through your finds over the year and review your turtles.

2. Post your favorite three turtle shots. This is up to you how you would like to do it. It can be three of the same turtle, or one each of three different turtles. Let your year's experience determine how you post.

3. Give some kind of explanation as to why you chose what you chose... eg. My photo skills were rockin' it that day, or... It was a freaking Bog Turtle, or... I don't like turtles and don't herp for them, but I took these pics of a few painters at 55 mph while passing them by.

4. If you only have one pic that you deem worthwhile, then please feel free... The max is three. There is no minimum.

Testudine time...

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mike h
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by mike h » November 18th, 2013, 6:46 am

I'm in!

Spotteds were tougher than Blandings this year for us, so I'm ecstatic for this shot that I got in early April! He was my last one, too!
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Untitled by ZantiMissKnit, on Flickr

How can I not choose this Snapper who made me wallow through the mud just to touch him?! He has a healed bullet-hole in his shell, too. Tough ol' guy!
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DSC_0095 by ZantiMissKnit, on Flickr

(You can see the whole embarrassing Snapper adventure here: http://hitmewithyournaturestick.blogspo ... urtle.html)

Lastly, because I know what my lovely bride will be picking, I'm going to pick a picta, just because I like his smile!
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DSCN7855 by ZantiMissKnit, on Flickr

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MattSullivan
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by MattSullivan » November 18th, 2013, 7:42 am

I only photographed 3 turtles this year. and one of those was a tortoise. Pretty sure i didnt see anymore turtles than these this year other than painteds from a mile away hence the reason i posted these three
Baby Painter
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Eastern Painted Turtle Hatchling- Chrysemys picta by MattSullivan, on Flickr

Possibly my favorite shot of anything all year. Gopher Tortoise
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Gopher Tortoise- Gopherus polyphemus by MattSullivan, on Flickr

One of my favorite finds of the year. Baby Box
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Hatchling Eastern Box Turtle- Terrapene carolina carolina (Explored) by MattSullivan, on Flickr

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Nshepard » November 18th, 2013, 9:02 am

Okay, I'll bite...

Here is a Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) from this past May that chilling on a log as it started to rain lightly. This caught me by complete surprise as I was walking in a very popular park. I've seen few basking out in the open like this, at least in May. I went on to see three more basking on logs that day.
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During the same day as the above turtle, I went on to cruise up two other Spotted Turtles. In all I saw 6 live Spotted Turtles that day. To make it better, I went on to observe four Mud Snakes that day. Here is a posed shot of the prettiest and most cooperative individual.
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I spent a few days up in West Virginia back in June of this year. I caught my first Flathead Catfish, which was big on my list for the visit. However, we also put a full day into observing some turtles on the river by boat. We managed to see three species, all lifers for me. I was only able to snap a decent photo of this basking Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera) right before it dove in. The other species we observed were Ouachita map turtles (Graptemys ouachitensis) and Northern Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica). Anyway here is the photo of the Apalone spinifera:
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by cbernz » November 18th, 2013, 10:06 am

I didn't herp very much this year, and I only photographed 2 turtles.

One was this monster Snapper on a dead end street in April:

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The other was this small Snapper sitting in my vernal pool in August:

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This was one of my favorite sightings this year, because it was my first yard turtle, and the first turtle or reptile of any kind to find my two-year-old vernal that I hand dug in 2011.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by ZantiMissKnit » November 18th, 2013, 11:31 am

Okay, I'll play.

In July, Mike and I signed up for a program called "Turtle Walk", where participants go around a sanctuary with volunteers/veterinarians to find nesting diamondback terrapins. The vet gets all of the turtle's stats and she gets re-released.

We volunteered to take all identifying photos, which we later emailed in for this turtle's file:

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She was NOT happy with all of the handling the vet had to do, and when we let her go (Mike and I were both allowed to handle her for this purpose!), she got away from us pretty quickly.

Why I picked this turtle: LIFER! plus, we were able to help out the sanctuary while getting our geek on.

A couple of months ago, Mike and I were at a new-to-us place that is known for Blanding's turtles. Anyone who goes looking for them knows how hard they can be to find -- they seem to be quicker to jump into the water than painteds, and probably do so before you even get within sight. So imagine my surprise at finding this on the shore:

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This had about a 4 inch carapace, so was pretty young. It just chilled there while I took some photos, then we moved on.

As far as a third...hey, it's hard to pick only three. I could go for the obvious, the other turtle lifer we had this year, or I could go for one of my favorite things ever, a tiny yet indignant baby snapper:

Image

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by incuhead2000 » November 18th, 2013, 11:34 am

Softshell from florida, I just love softshell turtles.

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This river cooter because it was a lifer and my only lifer turtle of the year.

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Well, being a graduate from the University of Maryland it is hard to not pick the Terrapin. The other reason I chose this picture is because this is a spot that I visited three times this year until I scored my yearly Terrapin. I had to sneak through the brush and with every step closer I took another picture to try and get the closet I could. This one pretty much let me stand on the shore until it jumped for it.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by ThatFrogGuy » November 18th, 2013, 3:01 pm

One day in April I was stalking basking turtles, and all but one in a group fled. I sneaked up and managed to grab it and was pretty proud of myself...until I realized it was blind in its left eye, the side that was facing me.
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Red-Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) by Zach Truelock, on Flickr

Gotta love snappers.
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Eastern Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) by Zach Truelock, on Flickr

On a family vacation in SC this summer we were driving through Charleston when a massive yellowbelly started to cross in front of us. Luckily, since it was a turtle people stopped and allowed me to help her cross. Cool way to get a lifer.
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Yellow-bellied Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) by Zach Truelock, on Flickr

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by MarcLinsalata » November 18th, 2013, 6:25 pm

Had two lifers this year as far as Cali turtles. In July, I did an amazing morning hike through a desert flat and up a wash through some mountains. I was continuing my search for Diamondback rattlesnakes. I suddenly came up onto a sad site - an upside down male desert tortoise shell completely cleaned out but completely intact. I wondered if this guy was a loser in a male on male combat who had gotten flipped over and perished in the desert heat upside down. The gular horn was the only damaged part of the shell. I ended up taking the shell. The legalities of this I don't know. I wasn't in a state park and I don't collect anything living so I figured I would keep the shell. I have countless preserved turtle shells (in my parents basement at home in NJ, unfortunately) and this desert tortoise I could not pass up. It turned out nicely after some cleaning and enamel and has a future resting place in a museum or nature center in Riverside County but for now it overlooks the patio.....

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As luck would have it, 3 days later I was back in the desert and riding a dirt road early in the morning when all of a sudden a living tortoise was in the middle of the road!! She was pretty shy and I sat in the road in front of her waiting for her to give me some camera love. I never touched her in fear of her releasing any retained water and went on my way super stoked after missing all of my East coast turtles for the past couple of years.

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Finally, I ended up finding my lifer Texas spiny softshell in an irrigation canal in Arizona which is where I figured I would find them and was pleased that I did. Driving back from AZ on a separate trip I had to stop and jump into the Colorado River. SoCal doesn't have as many bodies of fresh water as back home so wading in the river felt good. Walking back to my car I did notice a spiny softshell foraging through the weeds so I snapped a pic from a good distance and thought nothing of it. Little did I know that this would be a county record for the HERP database so that was a pleasant surprise :)

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by davhug1 » November 18th, 2013, 9:32 pm

Image/albums/a570/davhug1/IMG_0923_zps67be77b2.jpg[/img][/url] Was on a ride back in sept along a popular rail trail, when i looked over on some rocks i saw this turtle. I 'm not good with turtles and i needed help with identification, posted on facebook, and i was told it was a wood turtle. Little did i know they are hard to come by, so i was extremely happy to find this guy. It was one of only four or five that i vouchered all year.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by sstaedtler » November 19th, 2013, 3:11 pm

Not necessarily my best photos, but I liked these for all different reasons.

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This one is not even a good photo, but this was an ABSURD amount of Softshells to see sunning themselves on a bank near my house at one time. I counted somewhere between 21-23, and who knows if any went it before I got there.

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Maybe not my best box turtle, but this Eastern Box Turtle looked pretty cool during a damp morning in Southern Maryland.

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I like this because 3 juvenile Northern Red-bellied Turtles with a yearling Map Turtle is not something you see every day or get in a photo. Kind of a weird unexpected combination.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Jared Cain » November 19th, 2013, 4:27 pm

Gotta love baby Box turtles! First turtle of the year, too but not so great picture.
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004 by Cain304, on Flickr

Box turtles are very abundant in the area of WV I am from. I thought this one had a really cool pattern and coloration. It was raining really hard and didnt have anything to cover my camera when it was out so I only snapped a quick pic. Now I wish I would have tried to spend a little more time with it.
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019 by Cain304, on Flickr


First Snapper of the year. I got a call from a buddy that one was chilling down by the river so of course I had to go down.
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002 by Cain304, on Flickr


That is a very nice photo of the Gopher Tortoise, MattSullivan!

Some nice looking turtles in this thread :beer:

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kyle loucks
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by kyle loucks » November 23rd, 2013, 12:35 pm

My favorite turtle was my first turtle.... found in March.
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by The Jake-Man » November 24th, 2013, 1:39 pm

The only turtle that I actually tried to photograph was this wood turtle-


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hanging out with another wood turtle at the edge of a creek. Regrettably, I only had my iPhone to take pictures.



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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by paturtlelover » November 26th, 2013, 1:11 am

Turtles have always been my favorite group of animals. In 2013 I had great success and crossed two things off my bucket list when I witnessed nesting and hatching Sea Turtles in south Florida.
[imgImage][/img]
I was lucky enough to make friends with 2 women who were volunteers marking nests. We watched this female nest and then struggle to exit the massive hole she was stuck in. After 2 hours of watching her struggle one of the volunteers suggested we help her along. After digging her a path I placed my bare feet under the back feet of the turtle and she pushed her way out. The pic above is the Green Sea Turtle returning to the Ocean. The pic below shows the path she left and shows the massive amounts of sand we moved.
[URL=http://s545.photobucket.com/user/x ... .jpg[/img][/url]
Again I only intervened after the volunteers suggested we do so . IT WAS ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS I HAVE EVER DONE!!!!!
Later that week I witnessed a nest of 86 hatchling loggerheads hatch but didn't take any pictures as the flash would hurt their eyes.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by BashHarris » December 2nd, 2013, 9:21 pm

A dirty Mud turtle
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A Lehigh County Boxie
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A baby Musk turtle. Lol too cute mannn.
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 6th, 2013, 10:10 am

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Juvie chicken. Raining that day and camera blinking dead so I was rushing pics. One could argue this is the rarest turtle species in the "NE" as there are only 2 populations. For those that don't know chickens are the outcast of the turtle world. Mature fast (this guy was a year), die young (for turtles), aquatic but hibernate on land, diapause with eggs.

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A beautiful turtle in a beautiful setting.

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These little rascals were found within 10m of each other. I never haphazardly find hatchling box turtles, let alone two. (and no there was no nest right by).

I really really wanted to post the juvie bog I saw (it was a beautiful animal rarity aside), but I didn't want to upset anyone around xmas time.

Zanti you realize that juvie Blanding's is marked right? Some researchers may be interested if you have a pic of the entire code. Recapturing juvies is rare for species like that, and it may be an important record.

Jake-man what time of day did you see those two wood turtles? I am sure you knew but in case you didn't, those are two nesting females. You can see the test-hole one dug in the picture. Unless it's early morning or just before evening, it is interesting they are active (and possibly trying to nest) during the day. Cool observation.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by The Jake-Man » December 6th, 2013, 12:29 pm

I had no idea that those woods were nesting. The way they were behaving I kind of figured that it was a male following a female, but I know next to nothing about turtle behavior. I found them at about 6 p.m.. If that was in mid-June, what time would they hatch out?

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 6th, 2013, 6:00 pm

Yeah that makes sense 6pm is around when I have observed them starting. That hole in the pic above the bottom turtle is a "test hole". One of those females dug it and ended up not liking something about it or were spooked. Wood turtles spook much easier than aquatic turtles, and are generally more picky about nesting. Minimum day recorded is 65 in the literature, the average I have observed is 76 days. If you are local you could go out early mornings after a rain 76 days later and probably observe some hatching. Unfortunately, most nests (sometimes as high as 90%) get predated. A mammal will just run the stream bank and clean up in a night. Your guess of a male chasing a female is good, male wood turtles are so damn aggressive. I have some video of where they shake and slam the female, and they will certainly chase them. This is in PA I assume? I'm sure you already do, but keep that site secret!

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 6th, 2013, 6:10 pm

Davhug, I almost want to not say anything and let you enjoy finding a wood turtle. Unfortunately, I am pretty positive that is a slider. I definitely see the confusion and would not bet a large sum of money on it, but I would bet a little. I'd be damn surprised you observed a wood turtle basking on a rock by a stream. Wood turtles just don't bask the same way aquatic turtles do (not in the NE at least, around the great lakes and sometimes in ME they act like more aquatic turtles). If its a turtle basking on a log or a rock in the river/stream likely a slider (they do have similar "builds"). Again, I could be wrong, you could have observed interesting behavior.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Rich in Reptiles » December 6th, 2013, 9:33 pm

I love this photo because it takes you eye-to-eye with the turtle in its habitat.
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Eastern box turtle in habitat by Bethany Avilla, on Flickr

During a mini-drought this summer, i found these two box turtles soaking in the same spring. In-situ:
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Eastern box turtles in situ by Bethany Avilla, on Flickr

They call them serpentina for a reason.
Image

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by cbernz » December 7th, 2013, 6:24 am

Zombie_Kid wrote:Davhug, I almost want to not say anything and let you enjoy finding a wood turtle. Unfortunately, I am pretty positive that is a slider. I definitely see the confusion and would not bet a large sum of money on it, but I would bet a little. I'd be damn surprised you observed a wood turtle basking on a rock by a stream. Wood turtles just don't bask the same way aquatic turtles do (not in the NE at least, around the great lakes and sometimes in ME they act like more aquatic turtles). If its a turtle basking on a log or a rock in the river/stream likely a slider (they do have similar "builds"). Again, I could be wrong, you could have observed interesting behavior.
Sure looks like a Wood Turtle to me. I've never seen a Wood Turtle on a rock, but I do see them basking on muddy riverbanks, and I've seen photos on here of Wood Turtles basking on logs in the middle of rivers.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 7th, 2013, 11:33 am

Muddy banks sure. I am really not confident enough to argue. The pictures you have seen on here are from Michigan where they display that behavior.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 7th, 2013, 3:04 pm

I do not wish to derail this thread too much as it's an awesome thread. I also couldn't find the perfect picture to illustrate my point. However, this one shows how they can have the same sculpted look and shell height. An old cell phone camera from far away on a not so colorful "domey" RES with its head pulled in could look a lot like a wood turtle.
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Edit: Expert (Virginia's herpetologist) who did his thesis on sliders and does a lot of wood turtle work says wood turtle. I stand corrected. Really interesting behavior, I'd be interested in knowing more.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by The Jake-Man » December 7th, 2013, 6:25 pm

Zombie_Kid wrote:If you are local
Unfortunately, I live four hours away, although I spend a good amount of time there at our cabin each summer, so it's possible that I could be there next summer at that time.
Zombie_Kid wrote:This is in PA I assume? I'm sure you already do, but keep that site secret!
You got it- Potter county. The area where those woods were nesting area has the most diversity of herps of anywhere I've seen. I have flipped or observed mountain smooth earth snakes, ringnecks, garters, milks, redbellies, garters, long-tailed salamanders, two-lined salamanders, mountain duskies, spring salamanders, and wood turtles all along a 100 yard stretch of that creek.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Zombie_Kid » December 7th, 2013, 10:32 pm

Ah potter county "gods country". I go to a bed and breakfast near cherry springs (the stars are amazing). The scariest evening of my life was getting lost hiking up near potato city as snow and darkness crept in. Some whacky herp distributions up that way too. If I ever visit in the summer we'll have to hook up. I've actually already scouted some spots there.

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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by incuhead2000 » December 9th, 2013, 7:20 am

Rich in Reptiles wrote:
During a mini-drought this summer, i found these two box turtles soaking in the same spring. In-situ:
Image
Eastern box turtles in situ by Bethany Avilla, on Flickr
Nice turtle day spa shot! I wonder how much they charge :lol:

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Rich in Reptiles
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Re: End of the Year 2013, Let's Keep it Going... #3 - TURTLE

Post by Rich in Reptiles » December 9th, 2013, 8:52 pm

Thanks :lol: Must be cheap because i saw four others in the same spring!

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