For me, one of the sure signs of spring is a turtle basking on a log. These cold-blooded critters don’t move until temperatures are optimal, and this year it has taken quite a while to warm up! Recently I had my first seasonal sighting of these ancient reptiles on a warm, sunny day in central Massachusetts. While on a drive, we passed a local beaver pond filled with standing dead trees as well as toppled trunks. We saw a few turtles, so we stopped and scanned the pond with binoculars—there had to have been a few dozen turtles out basking on the downed trees with the sun glinting off their shells! Talk about a herd of turtles……Then, while at a meeting at DCR’s Myles Standish State Forest, I spotted my first hatchling painted turtle making its way across a path. Most likely it had hatched late last fall and overwintered nearby and was now headed to water.
Did you know turtle conservationists have declared 2011 as the Year of the Turtle? Beginning this month, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) is promoting awareness about turtles, threats to turtle species, and actions we can all take to assist them. You can check out the Year of the Turtle Event Calendar filled with turtle programs offered by conservation groups across the state, attend a MassWildlife “Celebrate Turtles” event in Hanson tomorrow, May 27 where you can get close to live native turtles (both common and state listed species), help release endangered turtles, learn how turtle researchers use telemetry to track turtles, or download some interesting turtle facts and conservation information to share with others!
DFW Year of The Turtle Calendar
DFW and PARC Turtle Conservation Tips
Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) May Newsletter (PDF) – This group has declared 2011 as the Year of the Turtle. Their newsletters are a fascinating read for any person with an interest in turtles.
Northeast PARC website – Information about turtles in the Northeastern US.
Some of you may recall the Turtle Road Crossings blog from last summer
The View from Massachusetts posted on Sep 17
While Massachusetts can claim significant success in urban river revitalization, dam removal, cranberry bog naturalization and stream flow restoration, globally there are daunting challenges to restore highly impacted or vanishing ecosystems that will test the acumen of ecologists, engineers and politicians for years to come.
2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September posted on Sep 12
September’s photo contest winner was Gary Kamen, who photographed Mount Warner Vineyard in Hadley. Mount Warner Vineyards is a farm-winery located in Hadley, a small town in the beautiful Pioneer Valley. Operated by Gary and Bobbie Kamen, their philosophy is to recognize the unique characteristics of …Continue Reading 2014 DAR Agricultural Calendar: September
Calling All Shuckers! posted on Sep 3
Do you know where the oysters you ate at the raw bar last night were grown? Do you know how oysters are grown? Oysters naturally inhabited the eastern coast dating back to the 1700s, but due to over-harvesting, disease, and habitat loss, wild oysters have …Continue Reading Calling All Shuckers!