Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dirty Turtle

The hot weather hasn’t slowed down the Eastern Box Turtles. I see at least one turtle every time I walk through the woods. This one spent some time buried in a muddy spot and is now carrying around a ring of dried soil on its shell.

This guy was taking advantage of the early morning coolness to get out and move around. Things are dry enough now that you can hear the turtles crunching leaves as they walk.

There’s not much in the way of worms, bugs, or slugs for the turtle to eat. Most of those items have retreated deeper into the soil where some moisture still exists. I guess it’s a lucky thing the turtles can’t find a never ending supply of food. I’ve seen captive box turtles that were so well fed they couldn’t close their shells. That wouldn’t be a good situation for a wild turtle.

At some point in its life, this turtle had a nasty encounter with something. Part of the foot is gone and there’s a deep wound on the leg. There’s no telling how long ago this happened. All that’s left is some scar tissue and disfigurement. The turtle didn’t have any trouble walking.

The mud on the shell made it difficult to get a good ID portrait. I don’t think I really need one in this case. The damaged leg, a chunk missing from the shell and a splash of color that looks like a bird dropping on top of the head should be enough for me to recognize this guy if I meet him again.


  1. That poor guy has had a rough life.

  2. HI Steve...It seems this fellow has had a bad incounter with something ....poor little guy , and to have that face only a mother could love makes it even worse : }

  3. Ouch!
    Wouldn't it be great if he could talk? Or rather, if we could hear? He would have some harrowing and heroic tales to tell!

  4. Still seeing quite a few in my neck of the woods aswell and everytime thinking of your buddies to my east! Unfortunately due to our change in the weather and lack of rain I noticed that dry creek beds pose a serious threat as I found several who it appeared had tried to cross and flipped over or stumbled off the rocks and were unable to right themselves.:(!

  5. He has indeed, Lois, but he just keeps turtling along.

    Hi, grammie g. I think the turtle is old enough that we should refer to his face as being dignified.

    Hi, Jain. If he could talk, he’d probably ask me if I knew a good attorney, because he wanted to sue someone.

    Hi, Michael. Maybe the raccoons come through at night and flip all of the turtles right side up.