Sunday, August 9, 2009

Timber Rattler but No Turtles

The only turtles we saw on our mini-vacation this weekend (aside from a sick turtle we brought with us so we could treat him every day) were at the Minnewaska Wildlife Center as we hiked around the lake. And here they are:

But the real excitement occurred after we'd take about ten steps out of the parking lot. Allen's cousin had just finished saying, "You know, every time I visit this park I see a snake," when we saw a juvenile timber rattler crossing the path. And here he is:

Some park goers wanted to take photos of the snake. Others were scared. I stopped told a man and a woman on bicycles to stop. I didn't want them running over the snake. From the look on the woman's face, she didn't want the snake running over her. But all it wanted to do was get to the other side of the road.

Taking Bob the Turtle on a Trip

It finally happened. We had to take a sick turtle on vacation (well, along with us for a weekend away) so that Allen could make sure the turtle got his ointment and antibiotics.

Here's Allen, ministering to Bob in our motel. (The fact that Allen's wearing a Red Cross t-shirt as he applies ointment to Bob's paw is purely coincidental).

We kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the door so that Housekeeping wouldn't find Bob (in his plastic tub with lid) and freak out. We also weren't anxious to be thrown out of a "no pets allowed" motel.

What we do for turtles!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

At the Turtle Show 2009

The annual New York Turtle & Tortoise Show was held earlier
this month, as always, at the Village Community School in
Greenwich Village. And as always, a great time was had by all,
including the turtles.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Turtles on Vacation--Arizona

Western Box turtle

Although we saw only one turtle on our recent trip to Sedona, the Western box pictured above at an indoor pet, we did manage to meet a turtle lover on our trip--from Switzerland. Allen and I took a jeep tour (a back country "wildlife safari") to see elk, deer, coyote, hawks.

There was only one other traveler on the trip. He introduced himself (call him “P”), told us he was from Switzerland and had just come from NYC. Hey, we're from NYC we said.

Have you heard of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge out by Kennedy Airport? P. asked. Sure, we go there all the time. P. told us he thought Jamaica Bay was a wonderful birding spot—even better than those in Europe.

We realized that we take Jamaica Bay for granted. It’s four miles from our apartment. We go there a few times a year—just to walk around smell the salt air (the refuge is close to the Atlantic) and to be outside. One or twice, years ago, we helped out on Dr. Russell Burke’s terrapin nesting research project. But we’re not birders, and we are unlikely to see terrapins unless we’re involved in the research project, so we’ve begun to take the place for granted. You never know what’s in your own backyard that you’re overlooking.

Then, when P learned we’re turtle lovers, he told us that not only does he have Greek tortoises, he just hatched a number of babies. Plus, he said he knows a turtle person in Europe who has a house for his family and a second house for his turtles. It really is a small world.

On the tour we saw a rattlesnake and elk (above).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Turtle Carapaces

Turtle carapaces are varied and beautiful. And they're wonderful camouflage.