Mid-summer tracking

Looks as if a raccoon left some pretty sharp tracks.      

Probable raccoon track
They were so distinct that I made plaster casts of them. Here’s a close up of a hind foot. 

Raccoon hind foot
Earlier this month, we found what we could only interpret to be a set of frog prints. 

Frog print
I think that the frog was going from left to right. Near the pen you’ll see the larger wedge- shaped hind prints, which seem to be a little deeper at the ankle and the toes. Superimposed over part of the hind print is the print of the fore feet, with tiny “fingers” splayed toward the center of the body.

Some July turtle stats

A June turtle but just too cute to not share!
The turtle encounters in the neighborhood this summer have paralleled the rainfall – days of nothing punctuated by a rain day and a burst of activity. That’s proven true for July. Let’s share some “box (turtle) scores”:

  • Finds in July – 7 (6 alive and one dead)
  • Finds since May 20 – 27 (some represent one or more “recaps”, or recaptures, of the same turtle. One was found four times in a week!)
  • # given ID marks in July – 3
  • # given ID marks since May 20 – 16
  • Top turtle spotters in July  – Rick Dappen (3) and Patti O’Dell (1) – GO TEAM!!
  • Highlight so far in July – a female found on July 6 while attempting to nest.

All numbers are tentative as we plug data into the spreadsheet and look for recaps in the photos. Not all turtles have been marked since some were seen by “turtle spotters” when I couldn’t stop in to measure and mark them. 

Remember – a major part of this process is a “census”, or a catalog of turtles and the points that they are seen. If you happen to spot one and wish to document it, then please make a note of the date, time, and location that you found the turtle. Many smartphones have internal GPS apps that will let you capture the location. Next, take two photos. One should be straight over the top (“carapace”) and one over the bottom (“plastron”). Text or email the pics and information to me. Finally, send the turtle on its way. The terms of my permit don’t allow me to encourage folks to hold turtles for me. Please let me know if you can keep an eye on one until I can drive over to measure and mark it. Otherwise, the pics will be catalogued in an album for comparison to other neighborhood turtles. Thanks!

Carapace
Plastron

Updated to correct the swapped captions. Thanks to Melanie Furr for pointing it out!