I called Bill Allan, our local turtle expert, this morning to tell him that we had 5 Box Turtles that hatched in our yard from Thursday to Saturday. He was very excited. He suggested that we dig down a bit very gently and see what the nest looked like… whether the egg remnants were still there or perhaps another egg that wasn’t going to hatch. Were we surprised!
I dug down very carefully and there was another little baby turtle trying to dig its way out! Wow!! This is Number 6 and I think the last. We did see some of the eggs remnants that had hatched and that was pretty cool.
Two things that I learned from this awesome experience: 1. Sometimes it takes days for them to all hatch. Ours took 5 days. They do not all hatch on the same day. 2. They are the cutest, most precious little things I’ve seen in a long, long while.
Bon Voyage, little ones, I hope we see you around our yard in the future! What an unbelievable experience!
When I posted my blog on Friday about the 2 Box Turtles that had hatched in our yard on Thursday, I thought that was it. Until… there were 2 more that hatched on Friday afternoon. What a wonderful surprise! (Click on blog link to see more photos.)
They are just adorable, as you can see from the photographs. And then yesterday morning, we could see a little one crawling out of his little hole in the ground. How precious is that?! Wow! We’re now up to five little ones!
The photos show the 3 new ones and how cute they are. You can see in the last photo the 5th turtle who is climbing out of the hole where the egg has been for the past 78 days.
What an awesome experience! Anyone living on Cape Cod might have the same experience next year! What a treat!
We’ve been checking every day to see if the Box Turtle eggs in our yard had hatched yet. Yesterday was Day 76 with the average being 70 days. (Click on blog link to see whole story with photos.)
A couple of weeks ago we called the local “turtle expert” Bill Allan who came over and put a little cage on the area where the female had laid her eggs in June. He even loosened the soil a bit to help them along. While doing this we saw 2 eggs buried about 3-4″ in the sand. Wow! They were really in there!
Yesterday morning I went out early to check them as the forecast was for torrential rain. No one was stirring then. But when we went out later in the afternoon, after the rains had stopped, there were 2 little Box Turtles that had hatched and needed to get out of the cage into the nearby woods.
The chronology of photos is: 1) First turtle that we picked up to place in the woods. 2) The cage that Bill Allan put in our yard over the nest. 3) When I first noticed that the turtles had hatched. I could see 2 little holes in the sand. You can see the turtles inside the cage. 4) Removal of the cage. 5) 2nd turtle getting a helping hand to the woods. 6) First turtle under some ground cover. 7) 2nd turtle under ground cover.
Just went out to check again. They made it out into the woods! Wow! What an incredible experience! So cool!!
Yesterday was an unbelievable day as we watched this Box Turtle sauntering around our yard for quite a while early in the morning. We watched it from time to time. Then she stopped and began burying herself in the wood chips. Hmmmm. (Click on blog link to see additional photos.)
Little did we know that she was going to dig a nest right next to my Zinnias and lay her eggs. What a treat! I’ve never seen this ritual before. Amazing… We first saw her about 7:30 am and she finished up covering her nest about 3:30 pm. Wow! She must be exhausted!
The sequence of photographs is: 1. Looking for that perfect spot in our yard (They like their nests in the sun.) 2. She’s digging her nest with her back legs. You can see the dirt in the back. 3. She’s laying her eggs. 4. She’s covering up her nest with her back legs. 5. The nest all covered up. You wouldn’t even know it was there. Wow!
Box turtles usually lay an average of 5 eggs and lays several clutches. Eggs hatch 70-120 days later, so I will have to put that on my calendar! What an experience!
Yesterday morning I got a frantic call from one of my neighbors saying that there was a Box Turtle stuck in the window well under her deck and she couldn’t get it out. She had called several places but no one had returned her call and she had no idea how long it had been in there. Please come and help! I couldn’t go so I sent Phil to the rescue.
When she had gone down in the basement that morning, she heard a light tapping sound. She thought it was the vent from the dryer but it kept tapping and it wasn’t near the dryer. She looked around and there was a beautiful Box Turtle stuck in her window well, tapping on the window, but the window well was under the deck so she couldn’t get to it from outside.
She and Phil got the built-up sand out of the window track and were finally able to open it. Phil reached in with his gloves on while Wendy held the box. He was able to place the turtle in the box. They then brought it outside and released it where Wendy had seen some turtle nests in her yard a while back.
Kudos to Wendy and Phil for saving this beautiful turtle!
We looked out the window the other morning and caught a bit of movement in the yard. But it blended in so well to the background of wood chips. And there was a Common Box Turtle sauntering across our yard, headed for the woods across the way.
A Common Box Turtle is a little more than 5″ with a high-domed shell. It is dark brown with intricate, variable orange and yellow patterns. It loves to live in the woods and meadows.
Our neighbors have talked about Box Turtles in our neighborhood, so they will be so excited to see this new one!
Beautiful coloring, don’t you think?